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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.”

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

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