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The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics (Sterling Milestones) Hardcover – September 1, 2009


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The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics (Sterling Milestones) + The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection, 250 Milestones in the History of Physics (Sterling Milestones) + The Medical Book: From Witch Doctors to Robot Surgeons, 250 Milestones in the History of Medicine (Sterling Milestones)
Price for all three: $54.52

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Product Details

  • Series: Sterling Milestones
  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402757964
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402757969
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Math Book and Clifford Pickover:
“Pickover contemplates realms beyond our known reality.”--The New York Times
“I can't imagine anybody whose minds won't be stretched by [Pickover's] books.”--Arthur C. Clarke
"Bucky Fuller thought big, Arthur C. Clarke thinks big, but Cliff Pickover outdoes them both.”--WIRED
 
 
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Clifford A. Pickover received his PhD from Yale in Biophysics and Biochemistry, and has written more than 40 books and over 200 articles. For many years he was the lead columnist for Discover magazine’s “Brain-Boggler,” and is known for his calendar and card sets, Mind-Bending Visual Puzzles. Currently, he writes the “Brain Strain” column for Odyssey, is associate editor for the scientific journal Computers and Graphics, and serves on the editorial board for Odyssey, Leonardo, and YLEM. His computer graphics have appeared on the covers of numerous magazines, and his research has received considerable attention from such media outlets as CNN, the Discovery Channel, The New York Times, and WIRED.


More About the Author

From my publisher:

Clifford A. Pickover received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is the author of over 30 books on such topics as computers and creativity, art, mathematics, black holes, religion, human behavior and intelligence, time travel, alien life, and science fiction.

Pickover is a prolific inventor with dozens of patents, is the associate editor for several journals, the author of colorful puzzle calendars, and puzzle contributor to magazines geared to children and adults.

WIRED magazine writes, "Bucky Fuller thought big, Arthur C. Clarke thinks big, but Cliff Pickover outdoes them both." According to The Los Angeles Times, "Pickover has published nearly a book a year in which he stretches the limits of computers, art and thought."
The Christian Science Monitor writes, "Pickover inspires a new generation of da Vincis to build unknown flying machines and create new Mona Lisas." Pickover's computer graphics have been featured on the cover of many popular magazines and on TV shows.

His web site, Pickover.Com, has received millions of visits. His Blog RealityCarnival.Com is one of his most popular sites.

Customer Reviews

This book is a great summary of all the wonderful mathematical concepts throughout history.
math_teacher
And in that, I highly recommend this book to anyone who has any interest in mathematics, or needs a reason to find it interesting.
It's That Guy Phil
It's a book that belongs on every Math teacher's desk as well as on the coffee tables of just about everyone else.
S. Donohue

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Paul Moskowitz TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In his previous science book, "Archimedes to Hawking", Cliff Pickover explored the great laws of science and the lives of the physicists and chemists who discovered the laws. In the "Math Book", Pickover takes on the great moments or milestones of mathematics. While the great laws of physics were almost all named by the early twentieth century, scientific milestones continue to be established. Thus, the mathematical milestones of the "Math Book" are documented into the twenty-first century.

The publishers have provided Pickover with a challenging format. Each milestone is described on just one page, and each is accompanied by a full page image on the facing page. These limitations restrict the scope of the presentation for each subject. However, having as many as 250 milestones has allowed Pickover to expand some subject areas into more than one related milestone.

The images are absolutely beautiful. They include paintings, diagrams, photos, and computer-generated art. Among the best are a close-up photo of the game of Go, a map of the Internet as the illustration for the Konigsberg Bridges, the Gray Code using a diagram taken from a US patent, and the Archimedes Spiral as exemplified by a fiddlehead fern.

Many of the milestones cover esoteric theoretical areas of mathematical analysis. This was not my best subject in school. However, because of the latitude provided by having 250 topics to cover, Pickover is able to include more technology-related topics. He has authored many math books, for example, "
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Gordon on August 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Math Book
By Clifford A. Pickover

What a wonderful book. Simply terrific! And, nearly all of the illustrations are
in magnificent full color too. In these pages are told the stories of exactly 250
of some of the greatest events in the history of mathematics, each entry being one
page long with an illustration on the facing page and arranged in chronological
order.

So deep and pervasive is mathematics that mathematical behavior has been
observed in ants in their quest for food, and they appear to have some sort of
counting mechanism which serves as an ant odometer counting the number of steps they take. It must have been an interesting job trimming their little legs or
installing tiny stilts to detect changes in their travel distances. From ant
journeys it's quite a reading journey to the final 2007 entry on Max Tegmark's
speculation that the universe not only can be described in mathematical terms,
but actually is mathematics. In between the ants and the universe we see the spirit of mathematics
persisting in a Nazi concentration camp where Curt Herzstark invented an
ingenious calculating device; so successful was his Curta calculator that it
became a commercial product for about 25 years. There is also a nice story of
Pope Sylvester II who was known as the Number Pope for being a mathematician;
other stories are about dice and games and other chance phenomena, magic squares,and there are some of the most dazzling fractals ever put to paper, especially the
one that accompanies the entry on the Hausdorff dimension.
Read more ›
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Dmitry Brant on August 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Despite already having published more than forty popular science and mathematics books, Cliff Pickover surely outdoes himself with The Math Book!

This is a collection of 250 "milestones" of mathematics throughout history, complete with breathtaking glossy color illustrations for each entry (a first for his books), as well as insightful descriptions that explain the history and the significance of each of these marvels of mathematics. This includes well-known items such as Magic Squares, the Sieve of Eratosthenes, and Fermat's Last Theorem, as well as lesser-known items like Surreal Numbers and Beltrami's Pseudosphere.

As obscure as some of the items might seem to lay readers, the text is thoroughly descriptive and accessible. If you have even the slightest inclination towards mathematics, the entries will immediately draw you in, and won't let go until you've read through them all. The illustrations for each corresponding item include photographs, paintings, and computer-generated images that test the limits of your imagination.

The 250 entries in the book make it an incredibly fascinating stroll through the history of mathematics. The book definitely has bestseller potential, and could easily be one of Pickover's best works.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By N. J. Simicich VINE VOICE on November 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My wife is a high school math teacher. Almost every week, some smart-ass kid asks her, "what good will math be in my later life?" When will I use it? Why would I need it?

This book answers that question. Now, every article is about 500 words long or so, which means that she can assign them as a reading assignment. It is hard to find good short math articles, and this book contains a whole year's worth.

It is a wonderful book. The articles are clear and understandable. My wife called it "Uncle John's Bathroom Reader" for intelligent people. The article sizes are just the size you need. The only problem is that the hardback book is too nice to leave near the toilet.

Printed retail on the book is almost double what Amazon charges for it. I recommend this book to anyone who is remotely interested in mathematics, or who has asked the question about "How has mathematics changed my life"?

It is a wonderful book.
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