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

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

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


This is an accessible, fascinating book that unravels the mysteries and beauty of mathematics.

It covers 250 milestones in mathematical history. This paperback version of the bestselling title includes facts about scientists' lives and real-world applications of the theorems.

Maths' infinite mysteries and beauty unfold in this fascinating book.

Beginning millions of years ago with ancient "ant odometers" and moving through time to our modern-day quest for new dimensions, it covers 250 milestones in mathematical history.

Among the numerous delights readers will learn about in this inviting anthology include: cicada-generated prime numbers, magic squares from centuries ago, the discovery of pi and calculus and the butterfly effect.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 528 pages, full colour illustrations throughout, includes photographs, 250 illustrations
  • Publisher: Sterling Publishing Co Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: History of mathematics
  • ISBN: 9781402788291



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

This was a very pretty book with page long descriptions of historically significant mathematical concepts. Each description was accompanied with a full page related image. However, you will need to search further for any significant understanding of the ideas.

Review by

The sub-title gives the best summary of this gorgeous book. I find the iridescent prime numbers on the cover particularly charming. Haven't made it through all chronologically ordered 250 milestones--that would simply be a forgettable gorge--but am trying to ponder a) familiar concepts or theorems such as The Golden Ratio (de Pacioli 1509), the Mobius Strip (Mobius 1858) or the Riemann Hypothesis (Riemann 1859), whose incantatory titles are fun to pronounce and b) a dawning comprehension of the mathematical mind's deployment of functions with symbols (numbers etc.) to identify the infrastructure/laws of reality, like the geometry of a spiral shell or the ear canal. Here is where I start to understand why famous mathematicians were/are often philosophers or deeply religious people--the theorems and proofs ultimately aim to answer all life's questions and we will finally know who we are and then why we are here. I still don't get how mathematicians can put forth conjectures or theorems that require centuries to prove; or problems that we don't yet have the technology to solve?!The empirical method is so much more agreeable--to me any-way.Pickover almost always succeeds in helping us innumerates appreciate the importance of each milestone, only occasionally furnishing explanations as impenetrable as the problems themselves.9 out of 10 Recommended to lifelong learners readers of history and science and fans of lavishly illustrated books.

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