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The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th…
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The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in… (original 2009; edition 2012)

by Clifford A. Pickover (Author)

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482921,353 (3.89)12
Member:gregvogl
Title:The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics (Sterling Milestones)
Authors:Clifford A. Pickover (Author)
Info:Sterling (2012), 528 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:mathematics, history

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The Math Book by Clifford A. Pickover (2009)

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» See also 12 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
It was more like a picture book than any math book I ever read. It's still on my shelf, but I may not ever read it again. ( )
  CarolJMO | Dec 12, 2016 |
Use as a research project book for the history of math.
  amandakcook | Sep 19, 2016 |
After nearly a year, I have finally finished the book about math.

It may sound daunting, especially for your average person. But if you really love math concepts, and you really love reading, then perhaps you might want to give this one a go. The writing is great, and the picture that accompanies each description offers a perfect balance to an otherwise not-so-interesting subject for many. At over 500 pages, you'll be reading this for a long time; at least, if you're the type of person that literally likes to read from cover to cover. ( )
  jms001 | Sep 10, 2016 |
The subtitle of this book is; "From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics". That about says sit all. This is a really cool encyclopedia-like book with great images and one-page anecdote about math, from across time. They range from cicada's calculating prime numbers, to the Infinite Monkey Theorem to how they solved Checkers. I used it like a nightly devotional, reading one or two stories every night. (probably why it took me 2 years to finish).

One interesting story is about Benford's Law, where the probability of the first digit of a set of numbers is known. In any set of numbers there is a 30% chance that a number will begin with 1. This idea is used by accounting auditors sometimes to look for fraud. Cooked books are unlikely to follow the law, natural ones would.

Very interesting reading.

10/10

S: 2/19/14 - F: 5/26/16 ( 838 Days) ( )
  mahsdad | Jun 17, 2016 |
The sub-title gives the best summary of this gorgeous book. I find the iridescent prime numbers on the cover particularly charming. Haven't made it through all chronologically ordered 250 milestones--that would simply be a forgettable gorge--but am trying to ponder a) familiar concepts or theorems such as The Golden Ratio (de Pacioli 1509), the Mobius Strip (Mobius 1858) or the Riemann Hypothesis (Riemann 1859), whose incantatory titles are fun to pronounce and b) a dawning comprehension of the mathematical mind's deployment of functions with symbols (numbers etc.) to identify the infrastructure/laws of reality, like the geometry of a spiral shell or the ear canal. Here is where I start to understand why famous mathematicians were/are often philosophers or deeply religious people--the theorems and proofs ultimately aim to answer all life's questions and we will finally know who we are and then why we are here. I still don't get how mathematicians can put forth conjectures or theorems that require centuries to prove; or problems that we don't yet have the technology to solve?!

The empirical method is so much more agreeable--to me any-way.

Pickover almost always succeeds in helping us innumerates appreciate the importance of each milestone, only occasionally furnishing explanations as impenetrable as the problems themselves.

9 out of 10 Recommended to lifelong learners readers of history and science and fans of lavishly illustrated books. ( )
  julie10reads | Oct 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Each two-page spread has a fascinating story about a mathematical principle, discovery, puzzle, artifact, or person. It would make a great gift for people who dislike math because they "don't have a head for numbers."
 
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Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty -- a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture.
- Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic, 1918.
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Introduction:  Mathematics has permeated every field of scientific endeavor and plays an invaluable role in biology, physics, chemistry, economics, socially and engineering.
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Covers 250 milestones in mathematical history, from the magic squares from centuries ago to the discovery of pi. This book helps readers learn about: cicada-generated prime numbers, magic squares from centuries ago, the discovery of pi and calculus and the butterfly effect.… (more)

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