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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Here’s a roundup of some of the mathematical things that happened in the first month of the year.
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.
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.
Here’s a round-up of some mathematical news stories from this month.
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.
The Calculus Story is the latest new book from author and mathematician David Acheson, telling the story of the history of calculus – with all the positive determinants and negative determinants along the way. The book came out on 23rd November through Oxford University Press. We spoke to David to find out what inspired him to tell the greatest (local maximum) story ever told.