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Raj Persaud in conversation - the podcasts

Dec 3, 2019

You can also listen to this interview on a free app on iTunes and Google Play Store entitled 'Raj Persaud in conversation', which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world. Download it free from these links. Don't forget to check out the bonus content button on the app.


The Calculus of Happiness: How a Mathematical Approach to Life Adds Up to Health, Wealth, and Love

Oscar Fernandez

How math holds the keys to improving one's health, wealth, and love life

 What’s the best diet for overall health and weight management? How can we change our finances to retire earlier? How can we maximize our chances of finding our soul mate?

In The Calculus of Happiness, Oscar Fernandez shows us that math yields powerful insights into health, wealth, and love. Using only high-school-level math (precalculus with a dash of calculus), Fernandez guides us through several of the surprising results, including an easy rule of thumb for choosing foods that lower our risk for developing diabetes (and that help us lose weight too), simple “all-weather” investment portfolios with great returns, and math-backed strategies for achieving financial independence and searching for our soul mate. Moreover, the important formulas are linked to a dozen free online interactive calculators on the book’s website, allowing one to personalize the equations.

Fernandez uses everyday experiences—such as visiting a coffee shop—to provide context for his mathematical insights, making the math discussed more accessible, real-world, and relevant to our daily lives. Every chapter ends with a summary of essential lessons and takeaways, and for advanced math fans, Fernandez includes the mathematical derivations in the appendices.

A nutrition, personal finance, and relationship how-to guide all in one, The Calculus of Happiness invites you to discover how empowering mathematics can be.

Oscar E. Fernandez

Associate Professor of Mathematics; Faculty Director, Pforzheimer Learning and Teaching Center

Research is in geometric mechanics and specifically in Nonholonomic Mechanics. Presently researching Hamiltonian-like properties of some special types of nonholonomic systems.

Professor Fernandez's current research is in Geometric Mechanics, which can perhaps most easily be described as Hamiltonian Mechanics on manifolds, and specifically in Nonholonomic Mechanics. He is presently researching the Hamiltonian-like properties of some special types of nonholonomic systems, through ideas in symplectic geometry and the theory of integrable systems.

Professor Fernandez also has a passion for teaching. He is motivated by his desire to increase the number of students---and particularly underrepresented students---studying math. Shortly after coming to Wellesley he co-created the Wellesley Emerging Scholars Initiative in which students work collaboratively on challenging calculus problems twice weekly along with Prof. Stanley Chang. The two math faculty continue to run the program every semester, and last year the program received 3-year funding from the Mathematical Association of America.

An applied mathematician by training, Professor Fernandez also strives to be a spokesperson for mathematics and its applications. He types up his lecture notes and distributes them to his students, tends to have many office hours, recently created a new course (Introduction to Fourier Analysis and Partial Differential Equations), and recently published Everyday Calculus: Discovering the Hidden Math All Around Us (Princeton University Press, 2014) which reveals the calculus concepts hidden throughout a typical day.