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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Count Us In

How to Make Maths Real for All of Us

Mathematics, like language, is a universal experience. But just as there is a rich variety of languages, so too is there a diversity of methods for counting and recording numbers—methods that have developed over centuries to meet the needs of various groups of people. Count Us In explores these cultural links and differences, drawing examples from the author’s personal experiences. Gareth Ffowc Roberts shows that mathematics—“maths” in the United Kingdom—is something to enjoy, rather than to fear, and his good-natured, accessible stories will encourage readers to let go of their math anxieties and explore alongside him.
As a popular book on mathematics and on the personalities behind its creation, there are no prerequisites beyond the reader’s rudimentary and possibly hazy recollection of primary-school mathematics and a curiosity to know more. Far from being the exclusive domain of specialists and number-crunchers, Roberts makes it clear that math belongs to us all.

144 pages | 8 color plates, 12 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2016

Mathematics and Statistics

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Count Us In presents a highly accessible sequence of insights into the ways in which individuals engage with numbers, along with some fascinating perspectives on the connections between mathematics and culture.”

Gareth Pierce, Chief Executive, Welsh Joint Education Committee

‘This engaging book informs with a light touch, and shows not only how to set subjects like mathematics in their cultural context but also why it is important to do so. It is a fascinating read for anyone who has ever struggled with sums, because it actually makes maths fun!”

Elin Jones, historian and educator

“A delightful and fascinating read about the role of maths in Wales, and the role of Wales in maths. Anyone with an interest in Welsh culture, maths history or education will love this book.”


Alex Bellos, author of Alex’s Adventures in Numberland

Table of Contents

Figures and Plates

1. More cabbage, anyone?
2. Meeting of minds
3. ‘Nothing will come of nothing’
4. Setting the Record straight 
5. ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be’
6. Amazing Mayans
7. What do you reckon?
8. Prairie power
9. Putting down digital roots
10. Areas of (mis)understanding
11. Cracking the code
12. Does mathematics have a gender?
13. How to make maths real for all of us

Answers to puzzles
Notes on chapters
Further reading

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