January 29, 2016

Mathematics, Crime, and Los Angeles

Inside Higher Ed notes the publication of  L. A. Math: Romance, Math, and Crime in the City of Angels (Princeton University Press, 2016)  a book by James A. Stein, is a collection of short stories which combines, well, romance, math, and crime. Here's a description of the contents.

Move over, Sherlock and Watson—the detective duo to be reckoned with. In the entertaining short-story collection L.A. Math, freelance investigator Freddy Carmichael and his sidekick, Pete Lennox, show how math smarts can crack even the most perplexing cases. Freddy meets colorful personalities throughout Los Angeles and encounters mysterious circumstances from embezzlement and robbery to murder. In each story, Freddy’s deductive instincts—and Pete's trusty math skills—solve the crime.
Featuring such glamorous locales as Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Malibu, and Santa Barbara, the fourteen short stories in L.A. Math take Freddy and Pete through various puzzles and challenges. In "A Change of Scene," Freddy has to figure out who is selling corporate secrets to a competitor—so he uses mathematical logic to uncover the culprit. In "The Winning Streak," conditional probability turns the tables on an unscrupulous bookie. And in "Message from a Corpse," the murderer of a wealthy widow is revealed through the rules of compound interest. It’s everything you expect from the City of Angels—A-listers and wannabes, lovers and lawyers, heroes and villains. Readers will not only be entertained, but also gain practical mathematics knowledge, ranging from percentages and probability to set theory, statistics, and the mathematics of elections. For those who want to delve into mathematical subjects further, the book includes a supplementary section with more material.

Filled with intriguing stories, L.A. Math is a treat for lovers of romance, crime, or mathematics.

So, the premise is that math can be fun? Ok, I'll bite.

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