The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics

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I own this book and actually refer to it often. Interestingly enough the Kepler conjecture was just recently proven to 99.9% I had referred to this book for a reference of the history and the people responsible for it. Great book for math or science geeks.

That last pic, illustrating the ubiquitous Thue-Morse sequence, is mine!
I was tickled that Pickover picked this image – there’s no other book I’d rather have an illustration credit for.


This is a bit reminiscent of Stephen Hawking’s book “God Created the Integers”, however this book looks like it’s a lot more accessible to non-physicists and mathematicians. Hawking’s book actually reprints the original proofs, treatises, or papers where each of the mathematical concepts was first introduced, this includes Euclid, Newton, etc. While fascinating, it makes the book extremelly dense and hard to read.

Isn’t that kind of like being a little bit pregnant?

This book looks like so much fun, I must have it.

If you’re into such things, another great one is The Nature and Growth of Modern Mathematics by Edna Kramer. I’m always happy to be able to refer people to this book. It has interesting short biographical sketches of famous mathematicians in addition to accessible explanations of the math.

The % refers to expert’s estimates of how likely it is that the proof is correct, not to any kinf od fractional correctness

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Interesting. That is not The Math Book I checked out from our library recently.

This one is very good as well. Probably even more accessible to the lay public.

Cliff Pickover has a new book on AI that you might find interesting.

I just read that, my family got it for me for Christmas. It was well-written and had a good balance of explaining the math that was developed, why it’s important, and how it and the discoverer fit into the greater historical landscape of the time.