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What Is Mathematics?: An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods
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on May 17, 1999
Covers a lot of different branches of mathematics in depth but does not require a significant mathematical backround. This is good for beginners; you can even learn the basics of calculus, and in a much better way than those "calculus made simple" types of books. I particularly liked the sections on algebraic number fields, geometric constructions, Louisville's construction of transendental numbers, a "probabilistic proof" of the Prime Number Theorem, and the whole section on functions and the Calculus. Actually, the whole book was great. Get it.
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I read this book while in high school, before enrolling in college. I was captured by the beauty of the subject. Every concept seemed alive: a triumph of imagination, intuition and intelligence. I chose Physics and Mathematics thanks to this book. Without exaggeration, this book had a big influence in my life. Still today it has no equals, and is an enjoyable yet challenging reading for any reader armed with a good hig-school-level math knowledge, and some curiosity.
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on September 14, 2000
Like other reviewers, I first read this book between high school and college, and my experience was the same - wonder, challenge, appreciation. It seems to start off innocently enough, but it quickly moves into complexity and density. Sort of like going for a jog with a Kenyan who decides to "pick up the pace" about a mile out. You may never be the same again.
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on July 15, 1998
I am a college student, majoring in math, but not very far along in my major sequence. I found that this book gave me an understandable perspective on what might lie ahead in my studies. I highly recommend this book for anyone who thinks they might be interested in learning more about Mathematics! It inspired me!
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on March 6, 1999
I love math. I eat, drink, and sleep math. But nonetheless I sometimes find it dry. But not in this book. It covers just about every major topic in mathematics (and even dabbles into topology and fractals) and does all this in a way that's very interesting, never dry. I found it impossible to put down.
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on November 26, 1998
This is a "must read" for every student of mathematics, engineering and the sciences. You will not fail to learn something.
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on December 26, 2001
The title suggests a topic more on the philosophy
of math rather than math proper, but it's all real math, and superbly
done!
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on July 10, 2015
More involved than I'd expected, but great read.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2003
This is a demanding book. One cannot read it listening to Bach. [a clash of complexities]. The construction of he book is 'old style' [which is every seeming possible variation is mentioned] which has fallen into disfavor as confusing,
That written it is very complete and I really enjoyed many parts of this book.
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