Or so it seems to anyone who has felt very much on the outside of the subject. British mathematician Keith Devlin is certainly on the inside, and in The Math Gene, he has wonderful news for everyone: we can all join him there. For Devlin argues that we all possess the ability to cope with mathematics--if only we recognize what's required. While a number of recent books, notably Stanislas Dehaene's The Number Sense, have focused on numerical ability, the scope of Devlin's book is much larger. He examines the evidence that we all possess, if not literally a gene, then at least an inherent ability not just for arithmetic but for real mathematics: algebra, calculus, and the rest. Devlin even puts forward a Darwinian explanation for the origin of this ability, based on the idea that being able to handle abstract ideas and relationships confers key evolutionary advantages.
Mathematics merely involves a relatively high level of abstraction--but one we can all cope with, if we work at it. "Doing mathematics is very much like running a marathon," writes Devlin. "It does not require any special talent, and 'finishing' is largely a matter of wanting to succeed."
In its wealth of wonderful examples supporting the central argument, The Math Gene bears comparison with Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct, and its plain common sense about this most misunderstood of subjects is inspirational. Thoroughly recommended for anyone seeking to rid their intellectual closet of the skeleton of mathematical "incompetence." --Robert Matthews, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I learned of this book while searching for a book Keith wrote that was recommended on Coursera.com. This Prof. has turned me on to a love of Math.Published 4 months ago by musicgenes
This book is very eye-opening. Tells about the origin of math and how it applies to EVERYTHING. This is a very unique math book. If you have curiosities... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Terry L. Wheeler
Devlin again. Just buy it. You'll be happy you did I am sure. Of course there is a math gene. It is too valuable a quality not to be locked into the genes for safe passage. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Janet Gallin
The book had a sticker on the spine from the seller I guess, but easily removed without any residue. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Elizabeth
I liked this book manly because the author give us a consistent idea of what mathematics is and why everybody are able to learn it.Published 17 months ago by Cláudia Carvalho
I am a psychologist and picked up this book to understand learning difficulties in mathematics as my I am planning my post-doctoral research in that area. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Sateesh
I am a cognitive scientist who studies how children acquire number concepts and numerical language. Based on the last 30 years of research on the acquisition of numerical thought,... Read morePublished 19 months ago by M. Le Corre
I have never been so intrigued by a book as I am with this one! It is so easy to read and understand. Read morePublished on October 27, 2011 by Heather Karuza
The book attracts me a lot. Because the author is a mathematics professor, he wrote many experiences when he learnt mathematics and faced some problems. Read morePublished on April 22, 2011 by Jian Yu