Tuesday, October 30, 2012
I was absolutely thrilled when I got a copy of Strogatz' book. He explains math to the non-math mind in easy to understand tidbits. I often wished I could explain things as easily. This is a book that progresses from simple number theory, e.g., what do we mean when we say we have six of something? to basic arithmetical operations (adding, subtracting, multiplication, division) to discussions of fractions, and percentages. There are chapters explaining basic algebra, and how often we use the theory of solving for X without even realizing it. Next up is Geometry, the theory of infinity, negative numbers--Strogatz covers them all and then marches through integral calculus (here it started to get a bit more difficult ----just like college!!), differential equations, and vector analysis.
The later chapters are definitely more advanced, but if you manage to stick it out that far, you'll be rewarded with an esoteric but lilting discussion of number theory.
While the author would like to think this is not rocket science, it is still deep and requires attention and interest. It should help many motivated adults in understanding what children are now being taught in school, but I'm not sure it will make math aficionados of those who don't want to get it. It's worth a look for anyone who wants to get a better grasp of what the glorious world of numbers is really all about.
Title:The Joy of X, a Guided Tour of Math
Author: Steven Strogatz
Publisher/Format: Houghton Mifflin, egalley
Copyright/Year of original publication: October 2012
Subject: The story of numbers, mathematical concepts
Number of pages: 326
Source?: Net galley electronic ARC
NOTE: This is NOT a book to be read in the e= format. Unless the actual book is formatted better in the final E-pub format ( I had an "advance" copy) it is almost unreadable in sections. Anytime there is a line drawing, a table, an equation that includes fractions, it can only be seen as it is designed when the text is reduced to the smallest available, thus making it absolutely impossible to read. The constant need to reduce the page so I could see the illustrations really turned me off.
The book itself is fabulous, and I have no doubt that in paper, or with proper e-formatting it will be a hit.
Posted by Tina at 12:20 AM