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Trolling Euclid: An Irreverent Guide to Nine of Mathematics' Most Important Problems Paperback – February 2, 2016
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About the Author
Tom Wright earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Johns Hopkins University in 2009. He is currently a math professor at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC, and his teaching style has been praised as “enthusiastic,” “funny,” and “really loud.” Outside of math, Tom is a professional jazz saxophonist who has shared the stage with everyone from Regis Philbin to Miss America.
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But it's not just for laffs: there's a lot of genuine mathematics in this book. Wright doesn't go deep into any particular topic, but at the level he does attempt to explain things, he succeeds beautifully. For example, this book contains the clearest, most accessible explanation of what the Birch-Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture (one of the famous Millennium Problems) is that I've seen.
I remember years ago reading a blurb regarding Dave Barry: "Mr. Barry is the funniest man in America and we should encourage him." I want to say something similar: Tom Wright is the funniest man in mathematics and we should encourage him. Buy this book, read it, and hope he writes more.
It's also a good read for mathematicians who want to get a different explanation for teaching purposes. I think I'm going to draw faces on all of my elliptic curves now.
Laughing (especially at equations) is a great way to health and inspiration so I recommend this to any curious mind who wants to live long