John Allen Paulos
John Allen Paulos
|Born||July 4, 1945|
|Alma mater||University of Wisconsin–Madison|
|Known for||Author of books and articles on a variety of topics, especially the combatting of innumeracy|
|Awards||In 2003 AAAS Award, in 2013 JPBM Award|
|Doctoral advisor||Jon Barwise|
John Allen Paulos (born July 4, 1945) is an American professor of mathematics at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has gained fame as a writer and speaker on mathematics and the importance of mathematical literacy. Paulos writes about many subjects, especially of the dangers of mathematical innumeracy; that is, the layperson's misconceptions about numbers, probability, and logic.
Paulos was born in Denver Colorado and grew up in Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In an interview he described himself as lifelong skeptic. He went to high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After his Bachelor of Mathematics at University of Wisconsin (1967) and his Master of Science at University of Washington (1968) he received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison (1974). He was also part of the Peace Corps in the seventies.
Mathematics is no more computation than literature is typing.
John Allen Paulos, Innumeracy
The most amazing coincidence of all would be the complete absence of all coincidences.
John Allen Paulos, "Irreligion"
Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.
John Allen Paulos, "A Mathematician Plays the Market"
His book Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences (1988) was a bestseller and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper (1995) extended the critique. In his books Paulos discusses innumeracy with quirky anecdotes, scenarios and facts, encouraging readers in the end to look at their world in a more quantitative way.
He has also written on other subjects often "combining disparate disciplines", such as the mathematical and philosophical basis of humor in Mathematics and Humor and I Think, Therefore I Laugh, the stock market in A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market, quantitative aspects of narrative in Once Upon a Number, the arguments for God in Irreligion, and most recently "bringing mathematics to bear on...biography" in A Numerate Life.
Paulos has appeared frequently on radio and television, including a four-part BBC adaptation of A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper and appearances on the Lehrer News Hour, 20/20, Larry King, and David Letterman.
In 2001 Paulos taught a course on quantitative literacy for journalists at the Columbia University School of Journalism. The course stimulated further programs at Columbia and elsewhere in precision and data-driven journalism.
He is married, father of two, grandfather of four.
Paulos tweets frequently at @JohnAllenPaulos 
Paulos received the 2003 AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Award for Promoting the Public Understanding of Science and Technology.
Paulos' article "Counting on Dyscalculia," which appeared in Discover Magazine in 1994, won a Folio Award that year
- Mathematics & Humor: A Study of the Logic of Humor. University Of Chicago. 1980. ISBN 978-0-226-65024-1.
- I Think Therefore I Laugh: The Flip Side of Philosophy. Columbia University Press. 1985. ISBN 978-0-231-06031-8.
- Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences. Hill and Wang. 1988. ISBN 978-0-670-83008-4.
- Beyond Numeracy: Ruminations of a Numbers Man. Knopf. 1991. ISBN 978-0-394-58640-3.
- A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper. Basic Books. 1995. ISBN 978-0-465-04362-0.
- Once Upon a Number: The Hidden Mathematical Logic of Stories. Basic Books. 1998. ISBN 978-0-465-05158-8.
- A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market. Basic Books. 2003. ISBN 978-0-465-05480-0. (British edition titled A Mathematician Plays the Market)
- Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up. Hill and Wang. 2007. ISBN 978-0-8090-5919-5.
- A Numerate Life - A Mathematician Explores the Vagaries of Life, His Own and probably Yours. Prometheus Books. 2015. ISBN 978-1-63388-118-1.
- Potpourri of Writings
- "He Conquered the Conjecture", essay by Paulos on Grigory Perelman from The New York Review of Books
- Metric Mania
- Measuring Bacteria With a Yardstick
- Romantic Crushes and Bayes Theorem
- Stories vs. Statistics, NYT Opinionator piece
- How Much Oil Is Spilling?
- "Meet the Skeptics!". Christopher Brown. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014.
- "NNDB". NNDB.
- Paulos, John Allen (November 10, 2015). "A Numerate Life: A Mathematician Explores the Vagaries of Life, His Own and Probably Yours". New Books in Mathematics (Interview). Interviewed by Jim Stein. Archived from the original on January 15, 2016. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
- "Committee for Skeptical Inquiry". CSI.
- "Paulos at David Letterman". Temple University. Archived from the original on April 11, 2001.
- Who's Counting at ABC News
- - The Top 50 Science Stars of Twitter
- "JPBM Award for Communicating Mathematics". JPBM.
- "AAAS". AAAS. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
- "University Creativity Award". Temple University.
- "Discover Magazine". Discover Magazine.
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