Have answers that one can reach via easily estimated qualities Not require specialized knowledge. The last requirement, of course, is a bit subjective; in fact, the author assumes a wide variety of background knowledge for the different problems in this book. The first chapter contains problems which could be used directly in a quantitative reasoning class. Others are more challenging, and may be more appropriate for science majors.
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Have answers that one can reach via easily estimated qualities Not require specialized knowledge. The last requirement, of course, is a bit subjective; in fact, the author assumes a wide variety of background knowledge for the different problems in this book.
The first chapter contains problems which could be used directly in a quantitative reasoning class. Others are more challenging, and may be more appropriate for science majors. One of my favorite features of this book was when a question seems unanswerable the author chooses a criterion for an answer and leads the reader through the solution. The idea here is that the walk is worthwhile if the value of your time in walking to the recycling bin is less than the value of the energy it would take to make a new can.
Estimating this last value seems doable, if tricky — most readers of this column probably share with me a basic ignorance of the process of converting bauxite ore into aluminum. Certainly, though, this is a chemical process, and bonds must be broken.
The author reminds us a chemical process we interact with almost daily —batteries! I need only glance at a battery in my junk drawer to see that an AA battery has a 1. From this starting point, the author leads us quickly through to an estimate of the energy cost in producing an aluminum can.
By necessity, the reader has to learn a few values in the course of doing the estimates. Some of these were so fascinating that I plan to remember them for some time.
I now know, for example, that in interstellar space there is about one hydrogen atom per cubic centimeter. I know how many solar neutrinos pass through my body every second 4 x and how many interact with my atoms about 10 per day. Did I actually need to know any of these facts? Do they enrich my life? I hope to be able to use many of the tricks I learned in the future. I also hope to teach some of them to students. This would make a great secondary textbook in many classes, ranging from quantitative literacy to a science methods class for future educators.
Because this is quite close to what I want my students to do when faced with a difficult problem in pure mathematics as well, I consider this to be a very valuable book indeed. Dominic Klyve is an assistant professor of mathematics and statistics at Central Washington University.
Guesstimation 2.0: Solving Today's Problems on the Back of a Napkin
Reviews 10 Guesstimation 2. Lawrence Weinstein begins with a concise tutorial on how to solve these kinds of order of magnitude problems, and then invites readers to have a go themselves. The book features dozens of problems along with helpful hints and easy-to-understand solutions. Guesstimation 2.
Business Intuition Market-sizing & Guesstimate 2.0
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