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What does mathematics mean? Is it numbers or arithmetic, proofs or equations? Jan Gullberg starts his massive historical overview with some insight into why human beings find it necessary to "reckon," or count, and what math means to us. From there to the last chapter, on differential equations, is a very long, but surprisingly engrossing journey. Mathematics covers how symbolic logic fits into cultures around the world, and gives fascinating biographical tidbits on mathematicians from Archimedes to Wiles. It's a big book, copiously illustrated with goofy little line drawings and cartoon reprints. But the real appeal (at least for math buffs) lies in the scads of problems--with solutions--illustrating the concepts. It really invites readers to sit down with a cup of tea, pencil and paper, and (ahem) a calculator and start solving. Remember the first time you "got it" in math class? With Mathematics you can recapture that bliss, and maybe learn something new, too. Everyone from schoolkids to professors (and maybe even die-hard mathphobes) can find something useful, informative, or entertaining here. --Therese Littleton
The book is an enthusiastic and utterly amazing popularization that promises to be in print for decades.... It is an important reference and a book that is plain fun to dip into. If a family is to have only one mathematics book on the reference shelf, then this is the one.See all Editorial Reviews
Incredible text on everything mathematics. This book was written by a physician with a passionate hobby for mathematics to aid his son in college. Read morePublished 1 month ago by aaron boutin
I worked through this book, in perhaps a years time. I spent maybe 30 minutes to an hour a day...while I ate breakfast and afterward. Read morePublished 5 months ago by SouthernWorldBrother
I love this book, and I use it for supplemental reading in several of the advanced math classes that I teach. Read morePublished 10 months ago by D. G. Frank
For a numbers-junkie and a math geek, this was mental manna. I found that I could read only a small section at a time because the information is so dense. Read morePublished 11 months ago by William M