Equally appealing to beginners and to the mathematically adept, this book bridges the humanities and sciences to explore applications behind computers, cell phones, measurement of astronomical distance, cell growth, and other areas. Eight fascinating examples show how understanding certain topics in advanced mathematics requires nothing more than arithmetic and common sense. Each chapter begins with a question about strings consisting of nothing more than two letters, and every such question raises intriguing problems to be explored and solved. Author Sherman Stein proceeds at a measured pace that permits readers to move through the chapters in a leisurely fashion, omitting none of the steps. His approach makes complex subjects — from topology to set theory to probability — both accessible and exciting.