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e: The Story of a Number (1994)
by Eli Maor
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0691058547, Paperback)Until about 1975, logarithms were every scientist's best friend. They were the basis of the slide rule that was the totemic wand of the trade, listed in huge books consulted in every library. Then hand-held calculators arrived, and within a few years slide rules were museum pieces.
But e remains, the center of the natural logarithmic function and of calculus. Eli Maor's book is the only more or less popular account of the history of this universal constant. Maor gives human faces to fundamental mathematics, as in his fantasia of a meeting between Johann Bernoulli and J.S. Bach. e: The Story of a Number would be an excellent choice for a high school or college student of trigonometry or calculus. --Mary Ellen Curtin
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:47 -0400)
Interest earned on a bank account . . . arrangement of seeds in a sunflower . . . the shape of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis . . . are all intimately connected with the mysterious number "e". In this informal and engaging history, Eli Maor portrays the curious characters and the mathematics that lie behind the number e. Designed for a reader with only a modes background in mathematics, this book brings out e's central importance in mathematics. Illustrated.
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