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

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Bellos proceeds with a revelatory anecdote illustrating our own socialized mania for quantification. Whether writing about how algebra solved Swedish traffic problems, visiting the Mental Calculation World Cup to disclose the secrets of lightning calculation, or exploring the links between pineapples and beautiful teeth, Bellos is a wonderfully engaging guide who never fails to delight even as he edifies. But you would be hard-pressed to find a book on this subject with the same humour, wonder, and with the comfort of knowing that the author is resolutely on your side on this (sometimes difficult) adventure through the land of numbers and shapes.

The maths of Pythagoras is the maths we use today, whereas the scientific thinking of Aristotle has largely been consigned to history. It’s my journey as I travel around the world meeting characters who bring mathematical ideas to life. It is noticeable that the author is trying to offer something to readers who have little or nothing to do with numbers and maths.Instead, he effortlessly reveals the truth of just how fascinating, how human, how intensely interesting this subject (and its history) really is. The insights and intuition you get for the most basic tenets of mathematics from this book Is just exquisite.

The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. The chapter on Vedic Mathematics was insightful, but I still do not see how this method can be considered easier than the traditional method I was taught. Bellos has traveled all around the globe and has plunged into history to uncover fascinating stories of mathematical achievement, from the breakthroughs of Euclid, the greatest mathematician of all time, to the creations of the Zen master of origami, one of the hottest areas of mathematical work today. On one hand it’s an easy read, a beach read if you will, and it covers quite a lot of math’s ground in relatively little space.He eats a potato crisp whose revolutionary shape was unpalatable to the ancient Greeks, and he shows the deep connections between maths, religion and philosophy. In India he finds the brilliant mathematical insights of the Buddha and in Japan he visits the creator of Sudoku and explores the delights of mathematical games. Along the way, he relates amusing stories involving eccentric people and their often mundane means--origami, sponges, crochet--of giving physical shape to the downright unfathomable. Alex Bellos attempts to engage the general public in mathematics by describing maths in a way that anyone can understand. SHORTLIST: BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2010 Praise: A mathematical wonder that will leave you hooked on numbers…It’s hard not to get swept away by Bellos’s enthusiasm Daily Telegraph Original and highly entertaining.

But I'm happy to say that this rare foray into the realm of written reality scored on both fronts: (1) it reported pretty much indisputably factual information with only the odd conjecturable opinion; and (2) it was very well written. If nothing, you should read this book to learn about an encyclopedia of sequences (that also converts them into music), to see the unbelievable impact of the invention of the electronic calculator, to imagine a world of rivalries between human equation solvers and where human calculators would indulge in math duels! His books include the bestselling Alex's Adventures in Numberland and its sequel Alex Through the Looking Glass , Visions of Numberland , Can You Solve My Problems? I joined the Guardian in 1994 as a reporter and in 1998 moved to Rio de Janeiro, where I spent five years as the paper’s South America correspondent. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice.

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. There have been books about the history of mathematics before and, I hope, there will be many more in the future.

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