Category Archives: books

Book review: Fermat’s Enigma

Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical ProblemSimon Singh After having it recommended to me several times, I finally picked up this book when I happened to see it at our favorite local used bookstore. I … Continue reading

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Book review: The Universe in Zero Words

The Universe in Zero Words: The Story of Mathematics as Told Through EquationsDana Mackenzie As the title suggests, the “gimmick” of this book is that each section centers around some particular equation, chosen for its beauty and depth. But it’s … Continue reading

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Book review: The Irrationals

The Irrationals: A Story of the Numbers You Can’t Count On Julian Havil Princeton University Press sends me lots of cool books to review! Here’s one. Remember the irrational numbers, which can’t be expressed as a ratio of integers ? … Continue reading

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Three new books

A three-for-one today! Here are three books I wanted to mention to you, dear reader, for one reason or another. A Wealth of NumbersBenjamin Wardhaugh Princeton Press kindly sent me a review copy of this book. As an anthology of … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Enigma of the Spiral Waves

The Enigma of the Spiral Waves (Secrets of Creation Volume 2)words by Matthew Watkins, pictures by Matt Tweed Matthew Watkins and Matt Tweed have done it again! I previously wrote a (very positive) review of Volume I—this book is just … Continue reading

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Book review: In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman

As mathematical problems go, the “traveling salesman problem” (TSP) is a rare gem: it is simultaneously of great theoretical, historical, and practical interest. On the theoretical front, it is a well-known example of the class of “NP-complete” problems, which lie … Continue reading

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Book review: Nine Algorithms that Changed the Future

Nine Algorithms that Changed the Future: the Ingenious Ideas that Drive Today’s Computers, by John MacCormick. Princeton University Press, 2012. I’m often wary of books written for general audiences on technical topics. It’s quite difficult to write in a way … Continue reading

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