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Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Review: Math with Bad Drawings

Sometimes, I'll watch as Bowen puts down an advanced book he's been reading, and revert to reading a pre-school book more suitable to his brother. I call those moments "taking a stupid pill." It's fun to do something easy once in a while, just so you can reassure yourself that the things you knew were the things you knew.

Math with Bad Drawings is a great book to read when you're taking a stupid pill. It covers all math/statistics/probability you already know, including probability, statistics, etc. In the opening chapter he covers Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe, which is a fun game that I've now taught to my wife and Bowen. That, alone was worth the cost of the book.

The drawings are pretty bad, and even worse on the kindle edition. Sometimes I didn't even bother zooming in to read the cartoons, because they're not very funny anyway. Much of the coverage is rather pedestrian, though if you haven't been reading too many science books they might not be familiar to you. There's a section on trusses that's fun, and in an obvious homage to Martin Gardner, a description of the game of life, though unfortunately, at a rather shallow level.

Would I recommend this over a Martin Gardner book? No. But if you're having a day when you took a stupid pill, this book is much more accessible than Martin Gardner, and is much more readable. Hey, how often would you find a math book I'd recommend that would make for a light airplane read? Recommended.

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