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Alex's Adventures in Numberland: Dispatches from the Wonderful World of Mathematics

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The slide rule exposed my lack of dexterity, which I blame for a lifelong preference for the directionally correct over pinpoint accuracy. We work closely with publishers and authors to ensure that we offer the best books on the market for your child.

Most of the anecdotes and stories about former mathematicians I already knew, but it’s nice to have them all in one place. They have studied the properties and patterns in numbers, straight lines, curves, surfaces, cubes and hypercubes, all in a bid to understand how these things fit together and what those details might reveal about the deeper logic of mathematics. The style is laced with humour, but at all times, the star of the show is mathematics Ian Stewart, Prospect It is to be hoped that the uncountable delights of Bellos’s book, its verve and feeling for mathematics, convey its enchantments to a new generation.Also the rudimentary thought of quantifying ideas and enumerating large/small quantities , their relation between scales and the ethno-religious constraints , the edification of ideas through various times and filters in human history is quite captivatingly presented in this book and there influence on modern day contemporary society is looked into with lucidity. But for Alex Bellos math can be inspiring and brilliantly creative and he proves it in this book that can be read easily by most non-geeks. Bellos's promised excursion begins with the invention of zero, a number so basic to all calculations that it is easy to forget that it needed to be invented. The insights and intuition you get for the most basic tenets of mathematics from this book Is just exquisite. I now know that the maths of the shape of the fifty pence coin is much less interesting than I might have imagined, also that gambling is a mugs game - think I knew that from playing penny up at school or cards with my card counting father, and that the variability of weight of loaves of bread may be affected by sample variance and local factors as much as by the baker making smaller loaves.

He used a mnemonic technique, assigning syllables to each number from 0 to 9 and then translating pi's decimals into words, which in turn formed sentences.

Chapter 1 discusses the evolution of counting and is devoted to the limitations of the base 10 numeral system under which the West operates. Strings of data are dull, you might think, percentages and sums best left to calculators (or, these days, Google). It is incredibly neutral in its treatment of all the branches of math, no matter how bogus they may seem (I'm looking at you, Vedic math).

In my opinion it was a more appropriate title, mirroring some of the spirit of Lewis Carroll's verbal playfulness. It's no mean feat to be able to explain concepts like Zeno's paradox, regression to the mean, squaring a circle and Riemann's non-Euclidean geometry without using any equations. What ensues is both a historical tour and spontaneous encounters with some of the most eccentric people currently operating on the fringes of mathematics.Mathematical thought is one of the great achievements of the human race, and arguably the foundation of all human progress. Alex Bellos has a very good way of writing, easy to read and sprinkled, sparingly, with a bit of humour too - thoroughly enjoyable.

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