April 29, 2009


This book takes a really fun approach to understanding big concepts and questions that the world poses. It does this using reason and scientific method. First, it breaks the problems or questions down into approachable pieces. Second, it teaches readers how to estimate the size or quantity of these small pieces. Third, it provides a refresher on using scientific notation to deal with very large numbers. When you put these steps together, you are shown how these simple skills allow you to address very big questions.

The majority of this book is devoted to practicing the estimation and mathematical reasoning skills learned at the beginning on real world questions and problems. Not surprisingly, many of these have their roots in scientific disciplines, from zoology to nutrition, transportation to astrophysics. However, may of these questions are posed in ways that you wouldn't traditionally think about them. For example, how much does a mole of cats weigh? Or, if the sun were made out of gerbils, how much energy would it produce? For the answers to these and many more realistic science-based problems, you'll have to check out this book.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Gue??timation: Solving the World's Problems on the Back of a Coctail Napkin
Lawrence Weinstein and John A. Adam
QA 276.8 .W45 2008