**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

*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*. "Who's Counting"

... his long-running monthly column on ABCNews.com ... deals with mathematical aspects of stories in the news.