Author(s): Dr. Hannah Fry
How do you apply game theory to select who should be on your Christmas shopping list? Can you predict Her Majesty's Christmas Message? Will calculations show Santa is getting steadily thinner - shimmying up and down chimneys for a whole night - or fatter - as he tucks into a mince pie and a glass of sherry in billions of houses across the world? Full of diagrams, sketches and graphs, beautiful equations, Markov chains and matrices, Proof That Santa Exists brightens up the bleak midwinter with stockings full of mathematical marvels. And proves once and for all that maths isn't just for old men with white hair and beards who associate with elves. Maths has never been merrier.
Dr Hannah Fry is a mathematician from University College London. In her day job she uses mathematical models to study patterns in human behaviour, from riots and terrorism to trade and shopping. You'll also find her on BBC radio and television where she regularly presents science programmes, or on Youtube's Numberphile channel. Dr Thomas Oleron Evans describes himself as a mathematician and a writer, though how others would describe him is anyone's guess. He used to be a secondary school teacher, but managed to escape and now has a research and lecturing job in London. While broadly agreeable, this does make life a little complicated, since he lives in Strasbourg, France.