Mathematics

A few of the books in math that I've read in the past few years. I'm still tracking down some other good ones (R. Hersh, etc., 4/16/2000)

Last updated1/6/02

Beyond Numeracy : Ruminations of a Numbers Manby John Allen Paulos--not as enjoyable as Paulos' other two selections on this page, but worth picking up if you liked them.

Fermat's Enigma : The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problemby Simon Singh--a great history of mathematics and mathematicians told in the context of Fermat's famous last theorem. Quite a nice story.

Fermat's Last Theorem : Unlocking the Secret of an Ancient Mathematical Problemby Amir D. Aczel -- I didn't jot down any notes while reading this book, but like Singh's entry above, I recall it as a great survey of mathematical history, with a layman's account of the complexities of connecting Fermat's last conjecture with the field of elliptical curves. Aczel's writing is to math what Timothy Ferris is to astronomy and astrophysics.

Innumeracy : Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequencesby John Allen Paulos--a very entertaining tour of the world of mathematics. Paulos points out everyday errors and fallacies of thinking that plague the mathematically illiterate person.

The Joy of Pi byDavid Blatner--A wonderfully frivolous book. If you've ever wondered about the history of pi and modern efforts to plum its depths, this book is for you.

The Last Recreations: Hydras, Eggs, and Other Mathematical Mystificationsby Martin Gardner

A Mathematician Reads the Newspaperby John Allen Paulos--more political than Innumeracy, but still a good look at the mathematics of everyday life.

The New Ambidextrous Universe : Symmetry and Asymmetry, from Mirror Reflections to Superstringsby Martin Gardner

On the Wild Sideby Martin Gardner