For many of us, math is a series of courses we took in school. Some of us use it more extensively than others on a day-to-day basis. But mathematics is far more important than a word problem in a textbook. Math equations have shaped our understanding of reality and changed the course of human history. In an excerpt from his 2013 book, "In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World," Ian Stewart writes: "Equations are the lifeblood of mathematics, science, and technology. Without them, our world would not exist in its present form."
Listen to an interview with Ian Stewart.
In a recent article, Andy Kiersz lists the 17 equations and explores how each has shaped our understanding of the world.