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Janna Levin is a Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Barnard College of Columbia University. She has contributed to an understanding of black holes, the cosmology of extra dimensions, and gravitational waves in the shape of space time. She is the author of the popular-science book, How the Universe Got Its Spots and a novel, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, which won the PEN/Bingham prize. Janna was recently named a Guggenheim Fellow (2012).
I loved this beautiful book from the first page.
Mathematicians are in a peculiar predicament. Mathematical beauty is patent to them. And in the perception of that beauty is pleasure, is joy. But that pleasure is not easily shared. Mathematical beauty eludes many others, or even most others.
Steven Strogatz wants to share that joy. He sees the beauty of pi and 0 and infinity. But he doesn’t want to impose his impressions on you or to report on the view from his privileged perspective. He wants you to see it too. He doesn’t want to argue that mathematics is creative and beautiful. He wants you to experience the visceral pleasure for yourself.
To that end, he disassembles mathematics as a discipline, both feared and revered, and reassembles mathematics as a world, both accessible and magical.
If you have never braved this grand world, put away your math anxiety, your preconceptions. This book is the most welcoming entree to mathematical thinking that I know of.
If you have braved this grand world, you will find a collection of gems, new ways of inhabiting the domain. Strogatz links historical anecdotes to new insights, as though the math itself is sculptural, composed of forms that are simultaneously familiar and ethereal. The logic seems effortless so that each module snaps into its complement with a gratifying click.
This book is a rebuttal to the accusation that mathematical abstraction is cold or inhuman. Mathematics is no more intrinsically cold or inhuman than language. And Strogatz lends a warmth and humanity to both.
The Joy of x is, well, a joy.
Well written, excellent book. Steven Strogatz does a great job explaining mathematical concepts in a simple manner.Published 1 day ago by Michael McGrael
For someone that has always had a hard time understanding math, I have found this to very comprehensible.Published 16 days ago by Dennis Meyers
Great overview of the entire (just about) field of math in understandable language. Clear examples and neat fluid language. A fine introduction to the field for the layman.Published 2 months ago by Ronald Fernandez
This was for a gift. The giftee was very pleased to get it.Published 2 months ago by Mariah Pendragon
One of my former AP Calculus students recommended this book to me. Writing books about math for the layman is tough: I myself found that the explanations of topics with which I am... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mr D
Steven Strogatz makes me believe math is for everyone. He doesn't just tell you how (the rules of math), but attempts, and usually succeeds, in explaining why something works a... Read morePublished 4 months ago by E. E. Perry
I really enjoyed all this review. Stick with it, it's worthwhile to go from addition to calculus and pi to infinity!Published 5 months ago by Laura M. Houghton