X and the City
This book takes the ‘city’ as the landscape to explore Mathematical Modeling. The author covers a number of interesting areas. Some of the exercises are ‘back of envelope’ calculations. The use of geometric mean (“Goldilocks principle”) for calculations using objects the extreme ranges, harmonic mean for average speeds to highlight common misconceptions is similar to other books.
The book presents these explorations a sequence of questions and answers. It starts with simple models (with declared assumptions) and explores where these lead. The model is then modified to include some other real world features. The appendices at the end of the book amplify the discussion in the various chapters.
The chapters on traffic and public transport were interesting. I enjoyed the exploration of atmospheric phenomena at the end of the book.
I did not enjoy this book as much as I anticipated. It is, however, an engaging way to think about city life.