What is the connection between the outbreak of cholera in Victorian Soho, the Battle of the Atlantic, African Eve and the design of anchors? One answer is that they are all examples chosen by Dr Tom Körner to show how a little mathematics can shed light on the world around us, and deepen our understanding of it. Dr Körner, an experienced author, describes a variety of topics which continue to interest professional mathematicians, like him. He does this using relatively simple terms and ideas, yet confronting difficulties (which are often the starting point for new discoveries) and avoiding condescension. If you have ever wondered what it is that mathematicians do, and how they go about it, then read on. If you are a mathematician wanting to explain to others how you spend your working days (and nights), then seek inspiration here.

- Cover
- Half Title
- Title Page
- Copyright
- Contents
- Preface
- I: The uses of abstraction
- II: Meditations on measurement
- III: The pleasures of computation
- IV: Enigma variations
- V: The pleasures of thought
- Appendix 1: Further reading
- Appendix 2: Some notations
- Appendix 3: Sources
- Bibliography
- Index
- Acknowledgements