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Ben Orlin launches Math for English Majors

July 3 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Math, it is said, is the universal language. But if a language brings people together, why does math make so many of us feel so alone? In Math for English Majors, bestselling author Ben Orlin (Math with Bad Drawings) offers fresh insights for the mathematically perplexed and mathematical masters alike.

As Orlin reveals, the universal language is precisely that: a language. It has nouns (numbers), verbs (calculations), and grammar (algebra). It has funny idioms (exponential), quirky etymologies (squaring), and peculiar ambiguities (PEMDAS). It even has its own form of literature, with equations ranging from the simple wisdom of A2 + B2 = C2 to the startling profundity of eπi + 1 = 0.

Along the way, he shares relatable stories of his own mathematical misunderstandings and epiphanies, as well as the trials and triumphs of his students. And, as always, he sheds further light and levity on the subject with his inept–yet strangely effective–drawings.

Ben Orlin is a math teacher who can’t draw. His books include Math with Bad Drawings (2018), Change is the Only Constant (2019), Math Games with Bad Drawings (2022), and most recently, Math for English Majors (Sept 2024). His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Popular Science, Slate, Vox, and The Los Angeles Times; he himself has appeared in the lines to ice cream stores everywhere. BBC star and leading mathematician Hannah Fry once described him as “terribly bad at drawing” before kindly adding “he’s also fantastically clever and charming.”

Claire Wahmanholm received her BA from UW-Madison, her MFA from the Writing Seminars at the Johns Hopkins University, and her PhD from the University of Utah. Her chapbook, Night Vision, won the 2017 New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM chapbook contest. Her debut full-length collection, Wilder (Milkweed Editions), won the 2018 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, the Society of Midland Authors Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the 2019 Minnesota Book Award. Her second collection, Redmouth, was published with Tinderbox Editions in 2019. Her third collection, Meltwater (Milkweed Editions 2023) is a finalist for the 2024 Minnesota Book Awards and the 2024 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, Claremont Graduate University. She was a 2020-2021 McKnight Writing Fellow, and the winner of the 2022 Montreal International Poetry Prize for her poem “Glacier.” Her work has most recently appeared in, or is forthcoming from, Sierra, The Hopkins Review, Passages North, The Anarchist Review of Books, TriQuarterly, Ninth Letter, and Blackbird, and has been featured by the Academy of American Poets. She lives in the Twin Cities.


July 3
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Magers & Quinn Booksellers
3038 Hennepin Ave,
Minneapolis,MN55408United States
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