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.
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.
Immersive Linear Algebra is an online interactive linear algebra textbook, created by mathematicians and computer scientists Jacob Ström, Kalle Åström, and Tomas Akenine-Möller. With their impressive collective knowledge of the field, and its applications within computer graphics, they seek to improve upon the idea of a textbook with the use of interactive diagrams.
Group theory is a strange and wonderful area of study in mathematics, with plenty of key ideas and core concepts for one to wrap their algebra-hungry head around. But how do you introduce these algebraic constructs to beginners in a fun and engaging manner, whilst simultaneously providing a thoughtful read for the experts? This is exactly what mathematician and computer scientist Alex Berke accomplishes with her mathematical colouring book Beautiful Symmetry and its innovative group colouring concept.
For International Women’s Day, mathematician Lucy Rycroft-Smith has read a selection of maths books by women authors, and recommended some favourites.
There’s a strange irony about being a woman in mathematics. You spend a huge amount of time and energy answering questions about being a woman in mathematics instead of, you know, using that time and energy to do or write about actual maths. We women are somehow both the problem and the solution.
But behold: 2020 is here, and better and braver women than I have solved this conundrum. Here are a whole host of excellent books about maths by women that you should definitely read, collected for you by another woman in maths.