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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Amazing World of Mathematics - For Everyone, July 23 2010
G. Poirier (Orleans, ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
This is a book in which just about everyone should find something of interest, mainly because the author's topics are so wide-ranging. In the first chapters, he discusses how the brain works when solving mathematical problems. He then moves on to how primitive societies started counting and how mathematical concepts evolved. In subsequent chapters, the reader is treated to discussions on a variety of topics including: geometry, origami, number games (e.g., Sudoku), number theory, logarithms, devices used for calculating (abacus, slide rule, etc.), graphing, infinities, the golden mean, pi, probability (especially as applied to gambling), and statistics. In each case, the reader is introduced to some history, various related anecdotes as well as key people (some of whom the author has interviewed) who are currently involved in some of these topics. The author notes that the chapters can be read in any order, but suggests that the usual progression may be best.

Naturally, in a book that is so sweeping in its topics, a given reader may enjoy some chapters more than others; that certainly was my case. However, throughout, the writing style is lively, friendly, accessible, authoritative and quite engaging (depending, of course, on the reader's topics of preference).

I do believe that this book has something for everyone. Those who are math phobic may find clues as to why they are that way, i.e., how their brains may work when they are confronted with a math problem; maths buffs may find fascinating historical information as well current developments in some fields of mathematics that are less known to them. Gamblers may find information that could improve their odds at winning at certain games, or they could learn why they may lose more than they win. Those simply interested in math for its own sake will find plenty here to explore and enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fact-filled, fun read, Aug. 1 2011
SL (Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
This book is a marvelous introduction to the science of numbers. Compared to other books about numbers, this one has a clear structure, gives enough details to back his facts, and is easy to understand. In each chapter he gradually introduces the more bizarre aspects of math and numbers: logic and magic squares, tips for ultra-fast multiplications, the golden number and pi, geometry, series, irrational numbers, infinity... All packaged so that you discover and understand why they're so exciting. This is what is missing from all the math courses I've ever taken.
Too bad that some passages are missing from the US version; but if you really want to, you can read excerpts from them on the author's website.
Overall, a very interesting book for those who want to see the fun side of math.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Number theory for dummies like me, March 6 2012
RMS (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Here's Looking at Euclid: From Counting Ants to Games of Chance - An Awe-Inspiring Journey Through the World of Numbers (Paperback)
Although it gets off to a rather slow start, and is at times too wordy about the (usually I must admit most impressive and interesting) mathematicians whom the author has met, this very-very-easy-to-read book does cover a great deal of absolutely fascinating aspects of numbers and the wonderful, even mind-boggling discoveries of many geniuses throughout the ages. A book particularly suitable for young people who would like to know more about big subjects like Pi and infinity and probabilities and (astounding) number series and much much more.
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