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Zombies and Calculus


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 CHAPTER 1 Hour 6 3 CHAPTER 2 Hour 7 19 CHAPTER 3 Hour 7 1/2 32 CHAPTER 4 Hour 7 3/4 48 CHAPTER 5 Hour 8 63 CHAPTER 6 Hour 9 80 CHAPTER 7 Hour 10 95 CHAPTER 8 Hour 18 111 CHAPTER 9 Hour 24 137 Epilogue 152 APPENDIX A Continuing the Conversations 155 APPENDIX B A Brief Review of Calculus as Explained to Connor by Ellie 191 Acknowledgments 223 Bibliography 225 Index 227

About the Author

Colin Adams is professor of mathematics at Williams College and the author of many books, including How to Ace Calculus: The Streetwise Guide. He is also the humor columnist for Mathematical Intelligencer.


"Romance! Danger! Calculus! Zombies! Adams (How to Ace Calculus), professor of mathematics at Williams College and humor columnist for The Mathematical Intelligencer, takes readers on an apocalyptic and educational adventure that's also a Spielbergian sci-fi thriller... Adams keeps the in-story math both appropriate and accessible, saving in-depth discussion for appendices at the end. Calculus fans looking for 'real-world' applications woven into a nail-biter of a story, chock-full of narrow escapes, betrayals, some plucky kids, the family dog, and even a romantic subplot, will delight in this fun, and funny pop-math book."--Publishers Weekly starred review "The author didn't intend to write a classic horror novel, he intended to write one that explained the ideas of calculus and differential equations (particularly the latter) in a humorous and unusual setting. He has succeeded admirably. This is a book that can be enjoyed by both students and by faculty members seeking a way to spice up their lectures."--Mark Hunacek, MAA Reviews "You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll use calculus! So much for kids who say, 'When am I ever going to use calculus?' When you're trying to survive the zombie apocalypse, that's when."--Nancy Szokan, Washington Post "A fun idea, quite well realized."--M.A.Orthofer, Complete Review "The book well deserves attention from not squeamish math instructors and a wider audience of intelligent readers, curious of a new literary genre that mixes storytelling with gentle mathematical instruction."--Alexander Bogomolny, CTK Insights "Whether you agree or disagree with the idea of mixing zombies with calculus, Adams is a craftsman of the first order. Zombies and Calculus has everything: calculus, calculation of force, statistics, normal deviation, word play, heroics, romance, slapstick, and zombies. Two bloody thumbs up!"--Robert Schaefer, New York Journal of Books "The unusual and clearly explained mathematical set-pieces are appealing... I will be recommending this book to colleagues. Let's hope they're not squeamish."--Noel-Ann Bradshaw, Times Higher Education "Adams combines mathematics and zombies in an exciting, humorous way... Zombies and Calculus would be a helpful supplemental text for a student currently studying calculus as it applies the concepts in a situation--however unrealistic--that makes it easier to understand."--Tara Creel, Deseret News "I have never met a novel in which the hero is actually teaching calculus to the ones he just rescued in between blowing out the little bit of brains from zombie heads, and smashing cars with a snow plough. Quite a reading experience."--Adhemar Bultheel, European Mathematical Society "Adams is clever to employ a zombie apocalypse scenario to demonstrate the usefulness of calculus and mathematics more broadly."--Carrie Bengston, Science Book A Day "Highly recommended for those just being introduced to calculus, or those who need a user-friendly recap of the basics. It may just help them survive--their education, that is, rather than a zombie attack!"--Rob Ashmore, Mathematics Today "Adams tells his tale with gore and humor. If you are a fan of zombies and enjoy offbeat applications of mathematics, this book is for you."--Joseph Bettina, Mathematics Teacher "I think that the book is very successful at doing what it was intended to do, namely to demonstrate the usefulness and relevance of what may seem at the first glance to be very abstract maths while teaching it in an engaging way. I would struggle to name another book that manages to couch the process of solving ODEs in quite so entertaining and humorous a manner."--Andrew Simmons, Mathematical Gazette

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