A Curious History of Mathematics

A Curious History of Mathematics

by Joel Levy




What links ancient death rays with a naked man in the bath, poisoned apples and rifts in the space-time continuum? Math.

Modern mathematics can appear fiendishly complex to the point where many of us believe we are largely ignorant of the subject. However, the truth is that all of us, whether we realize it or not, are “folk mathematicians,” unconsciously relating quantities and magnitudes, angles and vectors. Every time you ponder which muffin is bigger, divide a pizza into equal portions, count your change or even look at a clock, you are being a mathematician.

By unraveling the fascinating evolution of mathematics, from its earliest beginnings to the most important modern breakthroughs, this book makes mathematics accessible and enjoyable. By the time you have finished your curious journey, you will understand the difference between a quadratic and cubic equation, be passingly familiar with the limits of infinity and have learned how to construct a level platform for your monumental pyramid. Hopefully, you will have come to agree with the words of John Dee, for whom the allure of mathematics was nothing less than a “ravishing persuasion.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781435160903
Publisher: Metro Books
Publication date: 06/12/2015
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Joel Levy has written many books on popular science and mathematics, including A Bee in a Cathedral and 99 Other Scientific Analogies, The Bedside Book of Chemistry, Newton’s Notebook and Scientific Feuds: From Galileo to the Human Genome Project.

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