PART 1: ANALYSING US Chapter 1: Finding Banksy Chapter 2: Make Some Noise Chapter 3: The Principal Components of Friendship Chapter 4: One Hundred Dimensions of You Chapter 5: Cambridge Hyperbolytica Chapter 6: Impossibly Unbiased Chapter 7: The Data Alchemists PART 2: INFLUENCING US Chapter 8: Nate Silver vs the Rest of Us Chapter 9: We ` Also Liked ' the Internet Chapter 10: The Popularity Contest Chapter 11: Bubbling Up Chapter 12: Football Matters Chapter 13: Who Reads Fake News? PART 3: BECOMING US Chapter 14: Learning to be Sexist Chapter 15: The Only Thought Between the Decimal Chapter 16: Kick Your Ass at Space Invaders Chapter 17: The Bacterial Brain Chapter 18: Back to Reality Notes Acknowledgements Index
How do mathematics, statistics and algorithms monitor and control our lives? What shouldn't we worry about, and what ought to concern us? In this book, mathematician David Sumpter undertakes a first-hand exploration of the algorithmic world we now inhabit.
David Sumpter is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Uppsala, Sweden. Originally from London, but growing up in Scotland, he completed his doctorate in Mathematics at Manchester, and held a Royal Society Fellowship at Oxford before heading to Sweden. His scientific research covers everything from the inner workings of fish schools and ant colonies, the analysis the passing networks of football teams, segregation in society to machine learning and artificial intelligence. David has written for The Economist, The Telegraph, Current Biology, Mathematics Today and FourFourTwo magazine, amongst others. He has been awarded the IMA's Catherine Richards prize for communicating mathematics to a wider audience. David's first book was Soccermatics: Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game.
Sumpter's [...] expertise and sceptical approach are brought alive
with fascinating examples including Banksy and Space Invaders. *
Financial Times *
[David Sumpter] reckons with the sheer scales of the systems that manage much of our digital lives. Step by step he details the maths that underpins each of these systems, laying out the straightforward, if advanced, calculations that govern their outcomes - and their limitations. * Guardian *
An important message. * Popular Science *
As millions slowly wake up to the pitfalls of handing over their digital lives, Sumpter combines engaging hands-on demonstrations with stories from insiders to shed light on precisely how data alchemists seek to persuade and predict us, and whether their almighty algorithms are all they're hyped up to be. -- John Burn-Murdoch, data journalist, Financial Times
You've heard about these algorithms that run your life and you want to know two things: how exactly do they work? And how much should I worry? With a refreshing mix of in-depth knowledge and personal honesty, David Sumpter answers both those questions. * Timandra Harkness, writer, comedian and broadcaster, and author of Big Data *
A stellar book about the application of mathematics to the real world. Each chapter tells a fascinating story, and David's warm and witty style demonstrates that a mathematician can be so much more than just a machine for turning coffee into theorems. A riveting read. -- Kit Yates, Senior Lecturer, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Bath