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“A first-rate survey of the world of mathematics…Great reading for the intellectually curious,” (Kirkus Reviews) from the bestselling author of Here’s Looking at Euclid—a dazzling new book that turns even the most complex math into a brilliantly entertaining read.
From triangles, rotations, and power laws, to cones, curves, and the dreaded calculus, Alex Bellos takes you on a journey of mathematical discovery with his signature wit and limitless enthusiasm. He sifts through more than 30,000 survey submissions to uncover the world’s favorite number and meets a mathematician who looks for universes in his garage. He attends the World Mathematical Congress in India and visits the engineer who designed the first roller-coaster loop.
“Channeling the spirit of Martin Gardner…Bellos introduces fascinating characters, from the retired cab driver in Tucson whose hobby is factoring prime numbers, to swashbuckling astronomer Tycho Brahe, who lost his nose in a duel over a math formula. Through intriguing characters, lively prose, and thoroughly accessible mathematics, Bellos deftly shows readers why math is so important, and why it can be so much fun” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Get hooked on math as Bellos delves deep into humankind’s turbulent relationship with numbers, revealing how they have shaped the world we live in.