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John Allen Paulos (born July 4, 1945) is a professor of mathematics at Temple University in Philadelphia who has gained fame as a writer and speaker on mathematics and the importance of mathematical literacy. His book Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences (1988) was an influential bestseller and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper (1995) extended the critique.

He has also written on other subjects, such as the mathematical and philosophical basis of humor in Mathematics and Humor and I Think, Therefore I Laugh, the vagaries of the stock market in A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market, quantitative aspects of narrative in Once Upon a Number, and the emptiness of the arguments for God in Irreligion.

Paulos wrote a mathematics-tinged column for the Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom, and "Who's Counting" [1] — his long-running monthly column on ABCNews.com — deals with mathematical aspects of stories in the news as well.


Paulos grew up in Chicago and Milwaukee and received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His academic work is mainly in mathematical logic and probability theory.


Paulos received the 2003 AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Award for Promoting the Public Understanding of Science and Technology.[2]


Mathematics & Humor: A Study of the Logic of Humor. University Of Chicago. 1980. ISBN 978-0226650241.
I Think Therefore I Laugh: The Flip Side of Philosophy. Columbia University Press. 1985. ISBN 978-0231060318.
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences. Hill and Wang. 1988. ISBN 978-0670830084.
Beyond Numeracy: Ruminations of a Numbers Man. Knopf. 1991. ISBN 978-0394586403.
A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper. Basic Books. 1995. ISBN 978-0465043620.
Once Upon a Number: The Hidden Mathematical Logic of Stories. Basic Books. 1998. ISBN 978-0465051588.
A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market. Basic Books. 2003. ISBN 978-0465054800.
Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up. Hill and Wang. 2007. ISBN 978-0809059195.


^ http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/WhosCounting/ Who's Counting
^ AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science & Technology, AAAS 2003 Award Recipients.

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