Until about 1975, logarithms were every scientist's best friend. They were the basis of the slide rule that was the totemic wand of the trade, listed in huge books consulted in every library. Then hand-held calculators arrived, and within a few years slide rules were museum pieces.
But e remains, the center of the natural logarithmic function and of calculus. Eli Maor's book is the only more or less popular account of the history of this universal constant. Maor gives human faces to fundamental mathematics, as in his fantasia of a meeting between Johann Bernoulli and J.S. Bach. e: The Story of a Number would be an excellent choice for a high school or college student of trigonometry or calculus. --Mary Ellen Curtin --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Everyone whose mathematical education has gone beyond elementary school is familiar with the number known as pi. Far fewer have been introduced to e, a number that is of equal importance in theoretical mathematics. Maor (mathematics, Northeastern Illinois Univ.) tries to fill this gap with this excellent book. He traces the history of mathematics from the 16th century to the present through the intriguing properties of this number. Maor says that his book is aimed at the reader with a "modest" mathematical background. Be warned that his definition of modest may not be yours. The text introduces and discusses logarithms, limits, calculus, differential equations, and even the theory of functions of complex variables. Not easy stuff! Nevertheless, the writing is clear and the material fascinating. Highly recommended.
- Harold D. Shane, Baruch Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Some of the historical stuff is interesting but in Kindle format, the formatting of the formulae varies between text and images which makes it really tricky to decipher some of the... Read morePublished 9 months ago by R. A. Bruer
Not as good as the book the author is trying to emulate (Pi), but a good read nonetheless. Fascinating history, well written, easy to read, just enough math.Published on Aug. 7 2010 by Gord McKenna
It would be a great side reading for Real Analysis and Multivariable Calculus class. The greatest wonder I had during the first half of Real Analysis (Rudin's book) class was... Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2004 by finance guy