Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem 1st Anchor Books ed Edition
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--Sir Roger Penrose, New York Times Book Review
"It is hard to imagine a more gripping account of...this centuries-long drama of ingenious failures, crushed hopes, fatal duels, and suicides."
--Jim Holt, The Wall Street Journal
"Though Singh may not ask us to bring too much algebra to the table, he does expect us to appreciate a good detective story."
--Boston Sunday Globe
"The history of mathematics comes alive even for those who dread balancing their checkbooks."
"Singh captures the joys and frustrations of this quest for an extremely elusive proof...and builds to a truly engrossing climax. It's a mathematical page-turner."
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I loved this book. It is an easy read, a few math portions where the author does a great job explaining the concepts. A lot of history and a good feel for why Math people are Math people. It really gives a feel for proof writing obsession. I just finished it and I’m totally going to reread it right away in case I missed anything!
I’d say you need to appreciate history and math to really enjoy this book but you do not need a super strong math background to read it. I think if you have a math background, it makes you appreciate what you’ve learned even more.
Some of these mathematicians committed suicide, some were killed at an early age (Galois, mathematical genius dead at 20), others had to disguise their gender (Sophie Germain) due to discrimination. It's very interesting to learn about each character.
Altogether a highly readable book on a journey to solving Fermat's Last Theorem.
I read it in about 3 days (it's 300 pages), and maybe 15 pages discuss math that I don't understand (modular forms and elliptic equations), but it's very minimal and doesn't get in the way. It was mostly about the lives of these mathematicians and their struggles.
If you are interested in learning about the lives of Pythagorus, Euclid, Euler, Gauss, Germain, Galois, Wiles, and countless others...Check it out.
On a side note I would love it if Simon Singh wrote a book on the history of evolution. He is a master at simplifying very complex subjects.
Top international reviews
Even for a person who is new to maths, this is a fairly understandable book... in most parts.
just love reading it