Working with Eurospan's broad range of titles, from a wide variety of partner-publishers and covering an array of subjects, keeps the job of marketing exciting, but it can also keep you on your toes. Today, Pip, one of our Sales & Marketing Managers, shares some of the challenges of getting to grips with subjects outside of your normal area of expertise.

What is STEM? STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. According to the national STEM Centre in the UK, “STEM subjects are integral to the UK’s success: the UK is the world’s sixth largest manufacturer, engineering turnover is around £800 billion per year, and whilst the UK makes up only 1% of the world’s population, we produce 10% of the world’s top scientific research.”

The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education tells us that investment in STEM disciplines is increasingly seen in the US and Europe as a means to boost innovation, particularly in manufacturing, the sector which helped Asian economies grow exponentially over the last two decades.

The top selling Eurospan STEM title published in 2015 is the enticingly titled Introduction to Tropical Geometry from the American Mathematical Society. It brings to mind visions of colourful shapes reflecting upon the calm seas of an exotic and far away shore does it not? In reality tropical geometry is a skeletonized version of algebraic geometry. “Yes Pip, but why do we care?” (I know you’re all thinking it). Well, this relatively new area of mathematics was used in the design of auctions used by the Bank of England during the financial crisis in 2007. The topics of the sometimes seemingly baffling books that I work with here at Eurospan have some very important real-world applications.

Coming from a non-STEM background I can tell you that I had to look up the meaning of tropical geometry (thank you Wikipedia) and assure you that I’m still none the wiser as to how it really works (I can share some equations if anybody’s interested – see me after class). However, that’s where the fun lies in marketing Eurospan’s STEM lists. Practically every book that crosses my desk provides a new “what the heck is that?” moment. I’ve learned about monotremes, MEMs and MOEMs; the complex difference between automotion and automation (hint: one of them’s not a thing); and been introduced to the intriguingly named “Fuzzy logic” (not the reasoning behind the dodgy decisions made after a tipple or two, surprisingly). I’m intrigued to see what strange new niche subjects come my way next!