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Math Girls Hardcover – November 23, 2011
Pierced by the Sun
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The most encouraging aspect of this book is its portrayal of the discovery process as students new to a problem domain play with problems to try to understand not just how to solve them or how to derive a solution, but why the particular domains work they way they do. While I'm certainly no trained mathematician myself, I've taken enough graduate level discrete math to recognize that the original author both has and wanted to convey a deep appreciation for the covered topics.
And, if that isn't enough to pique your interest, there is also a sample chapter available from the publisher's site:
I would recommend this to any math enthusiast out there.
(1) Miruka. Girl. Hot (at math) and she knows it.
(2) Unnamed first-person narrator. Guy. Not as adept as Miruka. He follows her lead, but is intimidated by her.
(3) Tetra. Girl. Least adept at math. Really wants to compete for/with the other two characters.
The really clever part of the book is the dialog between the three characters about their individual struggles with math concepts. The long, drawn out dialog to explain and question math concepts, both elementary and advanced, is a really refreshing way for the reader to learn and review math. Readers who teach advanced math concepts, or use advanced math concepts in their teaching, will be most appreciative of this book. The human interaction with math that is laid out in this book is superb.
I disagree with reviews here that claim that a reader only needs math prerequisites through complex numbers and pre-calculus. The math here seems very advanced to me. Best wishes if this is your first exposure to math on the level of the Basel problem (see wikipedia).
The fiction aspect is minor. Math Girls could provide guilt-free reading for those who would feel uneasy about allocating time to read a beach book.
Most of the book involves explaining how to approach and solve mathematical problems - the thinking involved, various techniques that can be used and the beauty and elegance of the solutions. The problems presented here vary in difficulty from rather elementary (say, mid-high school) to quite advanced (university math major level). The mathematics here is mostly what I would call pure math; that is, there is no effort towards applying any of it to real world physical problems. I found the fictional story line to be quite minor; it’s only used to fill in space between the different problem solving dialogues.
The writing style is very friendly, lively and clear. The mathematics is very well explained, often the same point being made using different approaches in order to help ensure clarity. Because of all the mathematical techniques and reasoning that form the basis of this book, I believe that it would be of interest mainly to math enthusiasts, math students and educators.
The book requires few prerequisites( I'd say it's understandable to anyone who's already seen complex numbers), but the things discussed can easily get difficult ( thus interesting ) even to people who already know all the theory behind the problems.
This stuff is what math lovers live for, and it's what teachers often fail to show. The only gripe I have about the book is the cover. I feel like a pretty big nerd pulling it out with anyone in the area.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful series of math books.......I have been a Math teacher for 36 years and learned some new things.....Excellent.....A+A+A+A+A+A+A+A+A+Published 1 month ago by russell lawrence
It's like a light novel, but mathematical. The fact that this is a romance novel centered around math is pretty rad. Any story with mathematical flirting gets 5 stars in my book.Published 8 months ago by Michael McGrael
I tried to enjoy the story, but the math got in the way, rather than being the reason for the story. Hiroshi should stick to mathematics and forget writing novels. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lee DeGraw Jr.
A beautiful introduction to number theory and other aspects of mathematics. This is not for high school students, but for anyone with an interest in math. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Bob
I'm only a quarter of the way through but already, I've gotten my money's worth. I bought the sequel and will but then third in the series as soon as it is translated. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Tong Nan Ginn
Make no mistake this is a math book. If you are expecting a very good romance or drama story here with some math thrown in you might be disappointed. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Lean Palma