Archive for November, 2015

alex through the looking glass Mathematics for many people is either hugely interesting or very unnerving. Either ways, numbers make us think, and think deeply. This book provides a thrilling – that’s the right word – journey through the world of numbers, starting with simple things such as number patterns & triangles before taking us down some of the more trickier paths into the worlds of pi, e and calculus. We learn many of these concepts in school and college, but I wish they had been presented in the way that this book does – using refreshingly straightforward language & illustrations and connecting them with real-world scenarios. The chapters on coneheads and calculus brought up latent memories of tough classroom sessions with disinterested professors, but also a sense of amazement that the concept itself is so logically simple to follow had it been put across the right way.

I think I enjoyed the last two chapters the most, covering logical deductions and cellular automation. Concepts such as the Game of Life show us how simple techniques inspired by mathematics & developed by mathematicians can go on to develop highly complex structures using nothing more than a handful of rules. It was almost disappointing when the book ended – it leaves us wanting more!

Mathematics can fascinate and inspire a sense of awe, yet its magic is within the reach of every one with a high-school education. The author’s love & passion for the subject shines through on every page. His selection of concepts to cover in this book and the manner of explaining them through everyday examples helps to retain the interest levels all through. At times it becomes a little complex, but skipping over a few paragraphs doesn’t leave a gap in the understanding.

Thoroughly enjoyed the book. We need such books to develop & sustain our interest in this most fundamental of subjects.


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