The Calculus Diaries

The Calculus Diaries
How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse
By Jennifer Ouellette

Every equation tells a story

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Were you traumatized by high school calculus? Does the mere mention of integrals and derivatives make you queasy? Jennifer Ouellette feels your pain. She never took math in college, mostly because she -- like most people -- assumed that she wouldn't need it in real life. But then the English-major-turned-award-winning-science-writer had a change of heart and decided to revisit the equations and formulas that had haunted her for years. And she's here to tell you that the mysteries of calculus aren't nearly so scary when they're faced head on.

The Calculus Diaries is the fun and fascinating account of her year spent confronting her math phobia. With wit and verve, Ouellette shows how she learned to apply calculus to everything from gas mileage, diet, and the rides at Disneyland, to surfing in Hawaii, shooting craps in Vegas, and warding off zombies famished for tasty fresh brains. Along the way, she proves that even the mathematically challenged can learn the fundamentals of the universal language.