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Geometry Juniors, by Ed Southall

Long before Catriona Agg’s Geometry Puzzles in Felt Tip Pen were all over Twitter, Ed Southall was doing something similar without felt tips. He and Vincent Pantaloni served up a smorgasbord of Geometry Snacks in 2017 and More Geometry Snacks the following year — but these are aimed at a (chronologically) grown-up market. 

Book cover of Geometry Juniors, showing some people looking at a square pensively and also there's a dog

Geometry Juniors, as it says on the tin, is aimed at a younger audience. Or rather, it’s aimed at parents or carers of a younger audience; it’s as much for starting conversations about geometry as it is for direct instruction or to bamboozle puzzle-solvers. 

Review: Why Study Mathematics, by Vicky Neale

Vicky Neale on Twitter: "My new book "Why Study Mathematics?" is published  today! It's designed for students considering a maths degree, and their  teachers and families. @LPPbooks and I would love it

In fact, St Andrews offered a French for Scientists course, so I ended up doing Maths with French. A win all round.

I can pinpoint the exact moment it became clear I would study maths at university. Parents’ evening, year 12, I mentioned to my French teacher that I was thinking about a French degree. He looked at me as if I was stupid and said something like “you’re good at French, but you’re GOOD at maths. Besides, a French degree isn’t much use.” Alright, fine. Maths it is. He was spot-on. I never looked back.

Conway’s Circle Theorem: a proof, this time with words

Back in the olden days, Colin entered a proof without words in the Big Mathoff. It was mentioned, in passing, in a New York Times obituary of John Horton Conway.

Review: Maths on the Back of an Envelope, by Rob Eastaway

Maths on the Back of an Envelope

A book about mental arithmetic? By Rob Eastaway? Count me in! In my fuzzy mental Euler diagram of topics and authors, Maths On The Back Of An Envelope lies in the intersection of several ‘favourite’ circles.

Perhaps paradoxically, this meant I was expecting to be a little disappointed: how can a book, by an author I admire, on a topic I both love and have Strong Opinions about, live up to what I’d like it to be? Luckily, Eastaway’s writing is excellent, even taking into account that you expect it to be excellent.

Review: The Maths of Life and Death, by Kit Yates

The Maths of Life and Death, by Kit YatesI have two simple rules for deciding whether a popular maths book is Any Good. Firstly: does it teach me something I didn’t know? And secondly: does it entertain me when treading ground I’m familiar with?

Review: How To Fall Slower Than Gravity, by Paul J Nahin

How To Fall Slower Than Gravity - book cover

The cover text says How to Fall… is “more than a puzzle book”, which is roughly how I was planning to describe it: twenty-six questions that require an element of mathematical or physical thought, followed by solutions in the obvious bijection.

Puzzle books, for me, are hit and miss – I’ve had a steady diet of pop-maths puzzles for the last three decades, and I’m cynical and jaded enough to expect a book of such things to be of little interest: either I’ve seen most of them before, or I’m just not interested in the topics at hand. Nahin’s book is something like an enthusiastic rookie that shakes me out of my cynicism.

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