Over the summer, Dragan Radulović, Ph.D., Department of Mathematical Sciences Professor, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, released his second book, “Why Does Math Work ... If It’s Not Real?” In the months following its publication, Radulović has been amazed by his book’s success. “I was very surprised, particularly since I am an unknown author, and these types of books (popular math/science) are very much personality driven,” shared Radulović. “They sell if an author is a well-known or a Nobel prize winner. So, to overcome all that is quite surprising.”
While the ranking varies day-to-day, Radulović noted his book is often in the U.S. Amazon’s top 20 rankings of mathematics books.
The non-fiction work, published by Cambridge University Press, has also seen success in the publisher’s native county. The brick-and-mortar Cambridge University Press Bookshop in Cambridge, England, recently featured a window display solely showcasing “Why Does Math Work ... If It’s Not Real?” Founded in 1534, Cambridge University Press is the world’s oldest publishing house, and its exclusive shop is located at the oldest bookshop site in the country.
Through a series of anecdotal mathematical effectiveness stories, the book explores how ancient mathematics are applicable to modern technology. Aimed at a general audience, readers only need a sense of curiosity and a basic familiarity with high school calculus to enjoy the book.
“Mathematics is much more than a bunch of formulas and equations,” said Radulović. “It is an art form, and it is a philosophy that existed for some 3,000 years. It also happened to be useful, but that was more of a coincidence – and many people do not know this.”
Radulović began teaching at Florida Atlantic in 2003. The longtime South Florida resident enjoys surfing, writing, and doing mathematics. In addition, he is an ardent traveler and adventurist. Radulović’s previous book, “On the Road Again,” is about his road trip through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and India.
The American Mathematical Society publishes enthusiastic review of “Why Does Math Work ... If It’s Not Real?” in the December issue of the New and Noteworthy Titles on our Bookshelf column. Read more.