31 March 2009

Fermi problems

Here's a quiz full of Fermi problems (like "how many people are airborne over the US at any moment?") and an article by Natalie Angier in today's New York Times, in which she suggests that some basic quantitative reasoning skills wouldn't kill people. The article was inspired by a recent book of such problems, Guesstimation: Solving the World's Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin, by John Adam and Lawrence Weinstein. Adam also has a forthcoming book entitled A Mathematical Nature Walk which may be interesting.

3 comments:

TG Girl in Brooklyn said...

yeh but the NY Times was one of those publishing articles about millions, billions and trillions and until today never got around to showing graphically the difference.

Barry said...

Your readers might also be interested in MIT's OpenCourseWare 18.098 Street-Fighting Mathematics course.

Anonymous said...

Was this really a coincidence?:
http://xkcd.com/563/