95) Numbers and Narratives


For decades, New York Times best-selling author John Allen Paulos has enlightened readers by showing how to make sense of the numbers and probabilities behind real-world events, political calculations, and everyday personal decisions. Who's Counting? features dozens of his insightful essays-original writings on contemporary issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, online conspiracy theories, "fake news," and climate change, as well as a selection of enduring columns from his popular ABC News column of the same name.

With an abiding respect for reason, a penchant for puzzles with societal implications, and a disarming sense of humor, Paulos does in this collection what he's famous for: clarifies mathematical ideas for everyone and shows how they play a role in government, media, popular culture, and life. He argues that if we can't critically interpret numbers and statistics, we lose one of our most basic and reliable guides to reality.

Bio: John Allen Paulos (born July 4, 1945) is an American professor of mathematics at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has gained fame as a writer and speaker on mathematics and the importance of mathematical literacy. Paulos writes about many subjects, especially of the dangers of mathematical innumeracy; that is, the layperson's misconceptions about numbers, probability, and logic.

Paulos was born in Denver, Colorado and grew up in Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he attended high school. After his Bachelor of Mathematics at University of Wisconsin (1967) and his Master of Science at University of Washington (1968), he received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1974).