Mathematics isn't always seen as the most entertaining of subjects. In 1089 and all that:A journey into mathematics
, David Acheson tries to change that perception. He gives a lighthearted introduction to geometry, algebra and calculus, and goes on to look at the numbers π
. There are chapters on oscillating strings, infinite series and 'the secret of all life'. He also considers chaos theory, soap bubbles, and his own version of the Indian rope trick. There are also has plenty of amusing cartoons - it's really quite impressive how much is packed into this small book.
The blurb suggests that this is aimed at those who have been put off mathematics. I'm not convinced about that - the book still has quite a bit of mathematical notation. I think it's more for someone who is fairly keen about learning mathematics, and wants an entertaining overview of what's on offer. It also suit someone about to start studying these subjects at school, although the cartoons seem aimed at a different generation. Those who already know the mathematics are also likely to find something new and entertaining It would make a good book to read on a journey, alhough unfortunately the paperback version seems to be out of print.