The Mathematics of Love: Patterns, Proofs, and the Search for the Ultimate Equation

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In this must-have for anyone who wants to better understand their love life, a mathematician pulls back the curtain and reveals the hidden patterns—from dating sites to divorce, sex to marriage—behind the rituals of love.

The roller coaster of romance is hard to quantify; defining how lovers might feel from a set of simple equations is impossible. But that doesn’t mean that mathematics isn’t a crucial tool for understanding love.

Love, like most things in life, is full of patterns. And mathematics is ultimately the study of patterns—from predicting the weather to the fluctuations of the stock market, the movement of planets or the growth of cities. These patterns twist and turn and warp and evolve just as the rituals of love do.

In The Mathematics of Love, Dr. Hannah Fry takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the patterns that define our love lives, applying mathematical formulas to the most common yet complex questions pertaining to love: What’s the chance of finding love? What’s the probability that it will last? How do online dating algorithms work, exactly? Can game theory help us decide who to approach in a bar? At what point in your dating life should you settle down?

From evaluating the best strategies for online dating to defining the nebulous concept of beauty, Dr. Fry proves—with great insight, wit, and fun—that math is a surprisingly useful tool to negotiate the complicated, often baffling, sometimes infuriating, always interesting, mysteries of love.
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About the author

Dr. Hannah Fry is a mathematician and complexity scientist from University College London’s Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis. Fry also regularly presents the Number Hub strand of BBC Worldwide’s YouTube channel, Headsqueeze. Her first TED talk attracted more than 500,000 views across all TED channels and evolved into her first book, The Mathematics of Love.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Feb 3, 2015
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Pages
128
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ISBN
9781476784892
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Language
English
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Genres
Family & Relationships / Love & Romance
Mathematics / Probability & Statistics / General
Social Science / Sociology / Marriage & Family
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Shortlisted for the 2018 Royal Society Investment Science Book Prize

A look inside the algorithms that are shaping our lives and the dilemmas they bring with them.

If you were accused of a crime, who would you rather decide your sentence—a mathematically consistent algorithm incapable of empathy or a compassionate human judge prone to bias and error? What if you want to buy a driverless car and must choose between one programmed to save as many lives as possible and another that prioritizes the lives of its own passengers? And would you agree to share your family’s full medical history if you were told that it would help researchers find a cure for cancer?

These are just some of the dilemmas that we are beginning to face as we approach the age of the algorithm, when it feels as if the machines reign supreme. Already, these lines of code are telling us what to watch, where to go, whom to date, and even whom to send to jail. But as we rely on algorithms to automate big, important decisions—in crime, justice, healthcare, transportation, and money—they raise questions about what we want our world to look like. What matters most: Helping doctors with diagnosis or preserving privacy? Protecting victims of crime or preventing innocent people being falsely accused?

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