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The Calculus of Happiness: How a Mathematical Approach to Life Adds Up to Health, Wealth, and Love
  • Author Image
    Oscar Fernandez
  • Publisher Logo
    Princeton University Press

The Calculus of Happiness: How a Mathematical Approach to Life Adds Up to Health, Wealth, and Love

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Key Metrics

  • Oscar Fernandez
  • Princeton University Press
  • Paperback
  • 9780691192314
  • 8.9 X 5.6 X 0.6 inches
  • 0.6 pounds
  • Mathematics > History & Philosophy
  • English
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Book Description

How math holds the keys to improving one's health, wealth, and love life

What's the best diet for overall health and weight management? How can we change our finances to retire earlier? How can we maximize our chances of finding our soul mate? In The Calculus of Happiness, Oscar Fernandez shows us that math yields powerful insights into health, wealth, and love. Relying on only high school-level math (precalculus with a dash of calculus), Fernandez uses everyday experiences to provide context for his mathematical insights and guides us through surprising results. Important formulas are linked to a dozen free online interactive calculators on the book's website, allowing one to personalize equations. Every chapter ends with a summary of essential lessons and takeaways, and for advanced math fans, Fernandez includes the mathematical derivations in the appendices.

The Calculus of Happiness: How a Mathematical Approach to Life Adds Up to Health, Wealth, and Love

Author Bio

Professor Fernandez is an applied mathematician by training. His main research field is geometric mechanics, which applies advanced mathematical tools and techniques to study the dynamics of various types of systems (e.g., mechanical systems). More recently, he has been applying those tools and techniques to shed new light on problems in mathematical demography, including how life span inequality changes across time and species.

Professor Fernandez also has a passion for teaching and aspires to make mathematics accessible, engaging, and understandable. He employs a systems thinking approach to operationalize these ideals, designing programming and creating resources that leverage and synergize the connections among students, faculty, and staff. 

For example, in 2012, he co-founded the Wellesley Emerging Scholars Initiative (WESI), a program that provides underrepresented students of color studying mathematics with a learning community centered on excellence in mathematics. WESI received funding from the Mathematical Association of America-Tensor SUMMA and in 2015 was named a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Professor Fernandez is also the author of Everyday Calculus (2014), The Calculus of Happiness (2017), and Calculus Simplified (2019), all published by Princeton University Press. 

The first two books uncover the mathematics hidden behind everyday events and activities, making mathematics accessible and personally relevant to a large audience. Professor Fernandez’ latest book, Calculus Simplified, teaches college-level first-semester calculus assuming no prior knowledge of transcendental functions. (Such content is still covered in the book but optional.) This approach makes calculus accessible to students with as little as an Algebra II background.

 

Research Interests 

Research is in geometric mechanics (specifically, nonholonomic mechanics) and in mathematical demography. Presently researching quantum nonholonomic mechanics as well as the applications of the calculus of variations to problems in mathematical demography.

 

Source: Wellesley College 

Photo Credit: Richard Howard 

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