Guesstimation: Solving the World's Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin

Class Start Date
Class End Date

February 1-5, 2017 at the University of Oklahoma

Why don't we all drive electric cars? Does it really matter if you don't recycle that plastic water bottle? If the Sun were made of gerbils, would the Earth be incinerated? How can we answer these questions without relying on experts? This course will teach you how to estimate (almost) anything, introduce the "Goldilocks" categories of answers, and then consider some of the big (and small) questions of our time.

Books and readings furnished by OSLEP

Lawrence Weinstein is the author of "Guesstimation: Solving the world's problems on the back of a cocktail napkin" (with John Adam) and "Guesstimation 2.0: Solving today's problems on the back of a napkin", both published by Princeton University Press. He also edits the monthly Fermi Problems column for the journal "The Physics Teacher". Weinstein is an Eminent Scholar and University Professor of Physics at Old Dominion University and a recipient of the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award. In his spare time, he smashes atoms at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility for which he was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society.