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Here's Looking at Euclid: From Counting Ants to Games of Chance - An Awe-Inspiring Journey Through the World of Numbers


Here's Looking at Euclid: From Counting Ants to Games of Chance - An Awe-Inspiring Journey Through the World of Numbers Cover

ISBN13: 9781416588283
ISBN10: 1416588280
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Publisher Comments:

Too often math gets a bad rap, characterized as dry and difficult. But, Alex Bellos says, "math can be inspiring and brilliantly creative. Mathematical thought is one of the great achievements of the human race, and arguably the foundation of all human progress. The world of mathematics is a remarkable place."andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Bellos has traveled all around the globe and has plunged into history to uncover fascinating stories of mathematical achievement, from the breakthroughs of Euclid, the greatest mathematician of all time, to the creations of the Zen master of origami, one of the hottest areas of mathematical work today. Taking us into the wilds of the Amazon, he tells the story of a tribe there who can count only to five and reports on the latest findings about the math instinctand#8212;including the revelation that ants can actually count how many steps theyand#8217;ve taken. Journeying to the Bay of Bengal, he interviews a Hindu sage about the brilliant mathematical insights of the Buddha, while in Japan he visits the godfather of Sudoku and introduces the brainteasing delights of mathematical games.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Exploring the mysteries of randomness, he explains why it is impossible for our iPods to truly randomly select songs. In probing the many intrigues of that most beloved of numbers, pi, he visits with two brothers so obsessed with the elusive number that they built a supercomputer in their Manhattan apartment to study it. Throughout, the journey is enhanced with a wealth of intriguing illustrations, such as of the clever puzzles known as tangrams and the crochet creation of an American math professor who suddenly realized one day that she could knit a representation of higher dimensional space that no one had been able to visualize. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Whether writing about how algebra solved Swedish traffic problems, visiting the Mental Calculation World Cup to disclose the secrets of lightning calculation, or exploring the links between pineapples and beautiful teeth, Bellos is a wonderfully engaging guide who never fails to delight even as he edifies. andlt;Iandgt;Hereand#8217;s Looking at Euclid andlt;/Iandgt;is a rare gem that brings the beauty of math to life.

About the Author

Alex Bellosandlt;b andgt; andlt;/bandgt;has a degree in mathematics from Oxford University and is a freelance writer and regular contributor to the BBCand#8217;s andlt;i andgt;Newsnightandlt;/iandgt; program. He lives in London, UK.

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Tung, September 7, 2013 (view all comments by Tung)
If you like reading non-technical books about math/science (like say Paul Hoffman's classic Archimedes' Revenge), you will want to run to get a copy of this book. There are eleven chapters covering all kinds of neat and wonderous -- but accessible -- stories, anecdotes, and explanations about number theory, probability, cognitive science (about counting), geometry, and so on. Now, I used to be a math/science major, so maybe I have a certain affinity for this sort of stuff, but I haven't dabbled with serious math in over 25 years, so my math skills are pretty rusty. I still found this quite readable and fun.

Let me put it this way: I can't wait for my sons to be old enough to understand this so I can give it to them to read!
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Product Details

Bellos, Alex
Free Press
General Mathematics
Mathematics - General
Number Theory
here s looking at euclid, books on mathematics, here s looking at euclid book, alex bellos, mathematics
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
40 bandamp;w line drawings-charts
8.44 x 5.5 in

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Here's Looking at Euclid: From Counting Ants to Games of Chance - An Awe-Inspiring Journey Through the World of Numbers New Trade Paper
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Product details 336 pages Free Press - English 9781416588283 Reviews:
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