I am a bit late to the party.
A six-part series by the New York Times entitled “Me, Myself and Math” released its last essay about a year ago, but I only discovered it today. No matter. Penned by Cornell University professor of applied mathematics Steven Strogatz, the series looks at humans through the lens of math. For instance, his last essay in the series – Visualizing Vastness – looks into how humans can and cannot comprehend the math of ginormous numbers, and then delves into scientific notation and wealth inequity.
And then while you are at it, read the archived essays that came earlier in the series: ones about coincidence (“It’s My Birthday Too, Yeah“), and the mathematics of Facebook popularity (“Friends You Can Count On“) to name but two.
The writing is engaging and delightful. See for yourself and then dig even deeper into the archives, reading Strogatz’s previous series “The Elements of Math.”