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This is a history of mathematics packed into less than 400 pages Ian tackles everything from ancient tallying systems to group theory, from foundational maths to probability theory, from number theory to complexity So no prizes for guessing that this is not an in depth account of each subject But I did not expect it to be, and Ian freely acknowledges that he had to make choices of what to include, and cut corners in the rigour with which he chose to explain it And I think he made these decis This is a history of mathematics packed into less than 400 pages Ian tackles everything from ancient tallying systems to group theory, from foundational maths to probability theory, from number theory to complexity So no prizes for guessing that this is not an in depth account of each subject But I did not expect it to be, and Ian freely acknowledges that he had to make choices of what to include, and cut corners in the rigour with which he chose to explain it And I think he made these decisions well At first, I did think that his treatment would turn out a bit too fluffy for my taste, but as I progressed further into the book, his chosen topics started to bind together and coalesced into an overall rich account of the development of this fascinating intellectual discipline Even so, I still would have liked atransparent development of some of the maths he presented To give you a flavour of the style Ian adopts throughout his account, look at this example from the chapter on trigonometry Using the obvious fact that 2 2 , Ptolemy s Theorem implies that sin 2 1 cos 2 Now, I was able to work this out from the angle transformation formulae which were also given on the same page , but my point is that I had to stop reading, think about it, and scroll a little algebra into the margin It wasn t hard, but that s only because I remembered having seen this before at school, so I had the confidence to tackle this derivation in the first place Later on, Ian talks about things I had never seen before, and especially in the chapter on group theory, I remember merely reading the words, and emerging thoroughly befuddled and none the wiser at the end Still, these are not really shortcomings of the book Of course Ian cannot go into all the details and present a cogent mathematical treatment of subjects that are often rarefied and odd, even for mathematicians I am told Certainly my enjoyment of the book did not suffer from the fact that he had to gloss over some of the derivations sometimes I did not understand a single word, but for the most part Ian s account offered a fascinating glimpse into the development of mathematics from its earliest origins When I did understand something, it made me think about the concepts involved, when I did not, it made me curious to learn .Thoroughly enjoyable I can only recommend it

This is a short history of maths By short, I mean really short Which is unfortunate, because there can be no justice done to any topic within the few pages that the author has allocated for each In some cases, just as the topic gets interesting, the author is forced to make a rapid conclusion In other situations, he is forced to become very high level and ignores the details necessary to help the reader understand what the topic is all about.Having said that, it is still a fun book in many r This is a short history of maths By short, I mean really short Which is unfortunate, because there can be no justice done to any topic within the few pages that the author has allocated for each In some cases, just as the topic gets interesting, the author is forced to make a rapid conclusion In other situations, he is forced to become very high level and ignores the details necessary to help the reader understand what the topic is all about.Having said that, it is still a fun book in many respects The focus is on mathematicians and scientists who have made important discoveries, talking about their lives and how they arrived at their deductions and proofs There is also mention of when mathematicians discovered that something cannot be done, i.e., they discovered a proof that something is not possible in a particular domain Also how some fields of mathematics did not find much practical use until computers came along.As one would expect, as the book progressed, I found the reading very difficult This is the nature of the increasing complexity of the mathematics involved and even though I was familiar with most of the math discussed, the rapid transition from one point to another required careful reading Unfortunately, the author seems to have devotedtime on the early chapters instead of elaborating and simplifying the later ones

This is one of the best books on history of mathematics I have read in a very long time The author has a wonderful way of starting with something basic and getting to complicated aspects in just a couple of pages I loved it The chapters are very interestingly divided into small sub chapters everything seems to be organised so that each chapter starts with a basic idea and by the end you get the full on complicated aspects From this point of view, I don t think the book is for everyone I wi This is one of the best books on history of mathematics I have read in a very long time The author has a wonderful way of starting with something basic and getting to complicated aspects in just a couple of pages I loved it The chapters are very interestingly divided into small sub chapters everything seems to be organised so that each chapter starts with a basic idea and by the end you get the full on complicated aspects From this point of view, I don t think the book is for everyone I will say you need to have a basic idea of some concepts such as differentiation, solving equations, polynomials, probabilities, geometry It will be eveninteresting if you had an idea of about differential equations, abstract algebra or topology this is not a must, but it will give you a better understanding of the history behind these topics Moreover, the author has a great way of explaining applications of those topics in our society Every chapter ends with a bit on how insert topic do for us , which gives an example from another science or domain that uses that part of mathematics Also, the book has small biographies on different mathematicians per topic I think it is great that after you read about the discovery of a proof or theorem by a great mathematician, you also get a couple of paragraphs about his life He doesn t spend much time or space on this, just basic information that offerscontext For me it felt like transforming a name related to a theorem into the actual person that worked and struggled to discover that

Taming the Infinite could be one of the best books to explain the history of the mathematics from Ancient Periods until this time Ian Stewart had done almost everything in his ability I could generally imagine the world of mathematics and its parts Author showed examples how we use mathematics in our daily life But his words are really difficult to understand to ordinary person who is not familiar, for example, with Topology or Calculus.

This is a history of mathematics,than it s a book about specific mathematical discoveries While I understand that it s a formidable task to explain the results of mathematics without actually going through the terminology and proofs, I had hoped for somethingakin to Charles Petzold s

A good summary of the history of mathematics and mathematicians , in a clear and simple language I recommend this book specially for young students, but general readers will also gain a good overview of mathematics, even if not particularly enthusiastic about this subject, as mathematical formulas can be skipped without loss of grasping the main historical facts 3.5 5 stars.

I really quite enjoyed this non fiction history of math book I will admit most of the math itself was beyond what I could understand, but I loved hearing about how the different thought processes came about and the histories of the mathematicians Very enjoyable read.

Mathematician and scientist Ian Stewart writes some popular books on the subject I keep meaning to read his annotated Flatland The Story of Mathematics is devoted to an overview and history of Mathematics, and what it was good for in the past and what its good for now.With lots of sidebar digressions on figures and topics, this volume reminded me, in some respects, of my beloved The Math Book textbook that I recently found for sale again, used and purchased The Story of Mathematics takes o Mathematician and scientist Ian Stewart writes some popular books on the subject I keep meaning to read his annotated Flatland The Story of Mathematics is devoted to an overview and history of Mathematics, and what it was good for in the past and what its good for now.With lots of sidebar digressions on figures and topics, this volume reminded me, in some respects, of my beloved The Math Book textbook that I recently found for sale again, used and purchased The Story of Mathematics takes on Mathematical topics of increasing complexity and difficulty Each topic is placed in context with how and why it was invented and developed.So the volume begins with tallies and basic number systems, showing how tallies turned into Babylonian and Egyptian number systems We progress through basic geometry, our own number system with sidebars on things like the Mayan and Chinese systems , trigonometry, logarithms, algebraic geometry, number theory, calculus, differential equations, and all the way up to modern chaos theory In less than 300 pages, this means that no topic really is done in depth, a strength and a weakness Similarly, too, the book remains at a high level overview strictly for non mathematicians This is not a volume by Eli Maor In fact, the Mathematically trained might feel this is a bit dumbed down.So, I believe that intelligent readers who are completely math phobic and yet have an urge to knowabout how it works and where it came from without doing any math skull sweat will be happiest with the book Those fully trained in Mathematics might be frustrated at some of the lack of depth in topics and probably would be happier with a volume on aspecific subject that they are interested in As for myself, I learned some things about fields of mathematics of which I am not very conversant Stewart has a relatively easy style to follow, but its nothing special As a production value, I do mention that to keep the volume under 300 pages, the print in the book is relatively small Still, despite all of this, I enjoyed reading Stewart s Mathematical overview

I used to be good at maths Good, but not especially interested, so I dropped it at a younger age than perhaps I should have Turns out when you don t exercise your maths muscles for over a decade, they atrophy hugely, leaving you staring blankly at the pages of this book about the history of maths, and saying Whut.Each chapter presented the same challenge how far into it could I get before I didn t know what the hell it was on about Some felled me on the first page, throwing out equations I used to be good at maths Good, but not especially interested, so I dropped it at a younger age than perhaps I should have Turns out when you don t exercise your maths muscles for over a decade, they atrophy hugely, leaving you staring blankly at the pages of this book about the history of maths, and saying Whut.Each chapter presented the same challenge how far into it could I get before I didn t know what the hell it was on about Some felled me on the first page, throwing out equations and squiggly lines which my brain couldn t handle Some I made it almost to the end of the chapter, doing surprisingly well on topology, logic and set theory Why were therecent chapters the ones I coped with best Is it because I have bothered to read up on these things in the last few years, whereas I ve left algebra alone since about 2001 Who knows It seems odd to give a positive review to a book I ve admitted I didn t get large chunks of, but it s nicely written and friendly enough that you only realise you ve no idea what s happening once it s too late and you ve read three pages of text without understanding a thing Selling things in layman s terms isn t always possible, which I think this proves, but getting close enough, as Stewart does, is commendable.Maths, eh

Another popular history of mathematics, essentially interchangeable with most others Whatever points he gains for not shying away completely from some of thetechnical aspects in the way his colleagues do, he loses for having hand drawn graphs I know this is the hip thing to do nowadays, but it looks sloppy and occasionally obscures the information he s trying to convey.Still, not the worst book ever written.