Friend of the site and good writer/bad drawer Ben Orlin has recently released a new book, and we were kindly sent a copy to play with and review.
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The chances are, dear Aperiodical reader, that you’re familiar with the following chain of emotions while browsing Facebook:
- Oo! A notification!
- Oo! A message from Aunty Jean, I’ve not heard from them in ages!
- Oh. It’s one of those.
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.
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.
This guest review is written by Sophie Maclean. Math Without Numbers will be released on 7th January.
I think it’s safe to say that all fans of The Aperiodical like maths. I would also be confident in saying that there’s a shared feeling of “the more the merrier”, and we want as many people as possible to share our love of maths. In this respect, Milo Beckman would fit right in. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that his book Math Without Numbers is precisely the kind of book that could get more people to realise how fun maths can be.
This is a follow-up to James’s FAQ for the 2014 film The Imitation Game.
Shakuntala Devi is a 2020 Indian Hindi-language film about Shakuntala Devi, a performer of impressive mental calculations, available now on Amazon Prime.
If you’re a fan of maths (which we assume you are, if you’re reading a maths blog), you might be familiar with Alex Bellos from his excellent popular maths books, including Alex’s Adventures in Numberland and the follow-up Alex Through The Looking Glass; you might also enjoy his more recent forays into puzzle books, including Can You Solve My Problems, and Japanese logic puzzle collection Puzzle Ninja, as well as his regular Monday puzzle column in The Guardian.
For his latest book, The Language Lover’s Puzzle Book, Alex has focused on language puzzles, largely drawn from the linguistic equivalent of Maths Olympiads (which he’s gotten really into lately). It’s a hefty volume split into cleverly collected sections on different aspects of language – including how languages are constructed, how words are pronounced, and as you might expect, the origins of how language is used to communicate numbers.
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.