Maths is so much more than the esoteric subject most people left behind at school. It is the false alarms that play on our minds and the false confidence that helps us sleep at night; the stories pushed at us on social media and the memes that spread through it. Maths is the loopholes in the law and the needle that closes them; the technology that saves lives and the mistakes that put them at risk; the outbreak of a deadly disease and the best way to control it. It is the best hope we have of answering the most fundamental questions about the enigmas of the cosmos and the mysteries of our own species. It leads us on the myriad paths of our lives and lies in wait, just beyond the veil, to stare back at us as we draw our final breaths.
As well as pointing out the places in which maths might crop in our everyday lives, Yates will arm you with simple mathematical rules and tools which can help you in your everyday life: from getting the best seat on the train, to choosing the best restaurant. He suggests simple ways to avoid making numerical mistakes and gets his hands dirty with newsprint when untangling the figures behind the headlines. Yates also gets up close and personal with the maths behind consumer genetics and displays maths in action as he highlights the steps we can all be taking to help halt the spread of deadly diseases.