90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science

Using Vampires, Zombies And Pizza To Teach Kids Math

An image from "The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math: 24 Death-Defying Challenges for Young Mathematicians" by Sean Connolly.

Author Sean Connolly is attempting the seemingly impossible — in his new book, he tries to make math fun.

He takes square roots, the Pythagorean Theorum and algebra and throws in vampires, zombies and Edgar Allen Poe to challenge kids to figure out, for instance, how long it would take one vampire to take over a town of 500,000 people, if the vampire bites 2 people a month. (Hint: those two people are then vampires the next month and can bite two more innocent victims each!)

He also asks kids to figure out how a group can cross a rope bridge in the dark with only one flashlight while danger lurks behind them or how to make a 40 gallon barrel of water last among five shipwrecked sailors.

“We want someone who’s comfortable with words to branch out into math and also the same thing happening in the other direction,” Connolly told Here & Now’s Robin Young.

His new book is “The Book of Perilous Math: 24 Death-Defying Challenges For Young Mathematicians”

Guest:

  • Sean Connolly, author of “The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math: 24 Death-Defying Challenges for Young Mathematicians.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

March 26 Comment

Noah Baumbach On Middle Age And ‘While We’re Young’

In the writer-director's new film, Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts' characters befriend a younger, free-spirited couple.

March 26 Comment

How March Became Mad

The NCAA men's tournament started in 1939 but it was decades before it became the extravaganza it is today.

March 25 3 Comments

DJ Sessions: Opera Greats Past And Present

Peter Van de Graaf shares some of his favorites, from the late German tenor Fritz Wunderlich to American soprano Renee Fleming.

March 25 15 Comments

The College You Go To May Not Matter As Much As You Think

Frank Bruni writes in his new book that there are many colleges that are great, but just don't get as much press.