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IWD 2020: Books about Maths by Women

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. 

Not Mentioned on The Aperiodical, 2016

This year has been frankly ridiculous. And while we’ve done our best to cover all the hot maths topics throughout, we have inevitably missed a few. Here’s some mathematical news bits and bobs from 2016 which we (and you!) may have not noticed.

Cheng vs Colbert

Eugenia Cheng was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert recently. Here it is:

Review: Cakes, Custard and Category Theory by Eugenia Cheng


We’ve often mentioned category theorist and occasional media-equation-provider Eugenia Cheng on the site, and she’s now produced a book, Cakes, Custard and Category Theory, which we thought we’d review. In a stupid way.

Not mentioned on the Aperiodical, 3/4/15

Here’s a round-up of some mathematical news from last month.


This post popped into our news queue just before Christmas, and was forgotten about thanks to the seasonal good cheer. Well, it’s 2015 now, and our Nonsense Formula Disapprove-o-Matic is beeping angrily. We still can’t muster up enough enthusiasm to properly dig into this, so I’ve just tidied up the links I collected earlier on.

Eugenia Cheng (of nonsense formulas passim) has “found” the formula for the perfect doughnut, for Domino’s Pizza. Coincidentally, they’ve recently started selling doughnuts.

Actually, “formula” should be in quotes as well – the “formula” she gives is, drumroll…

\[ \frac{(r-2)^2}{4(r-1)} \]

Note that that’s not a formula.