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The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics (Sterling Milestones) Paperback – February 7, 2012
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“Pickover contemplates realms beyond our known reality.”--The New York Times
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
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, "...Read more ›
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.
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.
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
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book with lots of interesting concepts, but it does not dive too deeply into any. It will serve very well as a launching pad for curious persons to explore deeper. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tam Le
This book is okay, a little boring and not really what I expected.Published 2 months ago by Lorraine Clark
This book is a real disappointment. Basically, one of the worst math book I have ever read, including the ones I had in my elementary school years.. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Abyk _VA
But my math-expert friend really liked this one! This series of books are very good introductions to the subjects, yet still of interest to those with a good degree of expertise. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Bill Baity
Highly recommended summarized concepts make for an entertaining read.
Provide starting points to expand on subjects.
looks really decent from its cover and i like the size too. but most importantly is the content. it is very substantial and you will going to earn a lot of good stuff in here about... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Iris Jenkins