Book 4 Vote

to be determined
You know the drill. You have until Sunday 1st June, 6pm to vote for your choice in the poll at the foot of this post. Go!

Here are the blurbs to help you decide:

The Number Devil – Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Twelve-year-old Robert hates his maths teacher. He sets his class boring problems and won’t let them use their calculators. Then in his dreams Robert meets the Number Devil who brings the subject magically to life. The Number Devil knows how to make maths devilishly simple.

A Mathematician’s Apology – GH Hardy

A Mathematician’s Apology is the famous essay by British mathematician G. H. Hardy. It concerns the aesthetics of mathematics with some personal content, and gives the layman an insight into the mind of a working mathematician. Indeed, this book is often considered one of the best insights into the mind of a working mathematician written for the layman

Why Do Buses Come In Threes – Rob Eastaway/ Jeremy Wyndham

Fascinating questions are answered in this entertaining and highly informative book, which is ideal for anyone wanting to remind themselves – or discover for the first time – that maths is relevant to almost everything we do.

Love and Math – Edward Frenkel

What if you had to take an art class in which you were only taught how to paint a fence? What if you were never shown the paintings of van Gogh and Picasso, weren’t even told they existed? Alas, this is how math is taught, and so for most of us it becomes the intellectual equivalent of watching paint dry.

In Love and Math, renowned mathematician Edward Frenkel reveals a side of math we’ve never seen, suffused with all the beauty and elegance of a work of art. In this heartfelt and passionate book, Frenkel shows that mathematics, far from occupying a specialist niche, goes to the heart of all matter, uniting us across cultures, time, and space.

A Disappearing Number – Simon McBurney
Winner of the 2008 Olivier Award for Best New Play

“With touching emotion and unnerving disquietude, “A Disappearing Number” forces the spectator to consider the fact of love, death and belonging, within the space of his or her own personal universe.”–“New Statesman”

A man mourns the loss of his lover, a mathematician mourns her own fate. A businessman travels from Los Angeles to Chennai pursuing the future; a physicist in CERN looks for it too. The mathematician G.H. Hardy seeks to comprehend the ideas of the genius Srinivasa Ramanujan in the chilly English surroundings of Cambridge during the First World War. Ramanujan looks to create some of the most complex mathematical patterns of all tim

The Music of the Primes – Marcus du Sautoy
The paperback of the critically-acclaimed popular science book by a writer who is fast becoming a celebrity mathematician.

Prime numbers are the very atoms of arithmetic. They also embody one of the most tantalising enigmas in the pursuit of human knowledge. How can one predict when the next prime number will occur? Is there a formula which could generate primes? These apparently simple questions have confounded mathematicians ever since the Ancient Greeks.

Alex Through The Looking Glass – Alex Bellos
From triangles, rotations and power laws, to fractals, cones and curves, bestselling author Alex Bellos takes you on a journey of mathematical discovery with his signature wit, engaging stories and limitless enthusiasm. As he narrates a series of eye-opening encounters with lively personalities all over the world, Alex demonstrates how numbers have come to be our friends, are fascinating and extremely accessible, and how they have changed our world.

He turns even the dreaded calculus into an easy-to-grasp mathematical exposition, and sifts through over 30,000 survey submissions to reveal the world’s favourite number. In Germany, he meets the engineer who designed the first roller-coaster loop, whilst in India he joins the world’s highly numerate community at the International Congress of Mathematicians. He explores the wonders behind the Game of Life program, and explains mathematical logic, growth and negative numbers. Stateside, he hangs out with a private detective in Oregon and meets the mathematician who looks for universes from his garage in Illinois.

Read this captivating book, and you won’t realise that you’re learning about complex concepts. Alex will get you hooked on maths as he delves deep into humankind’s turbulent relationship with numbers, and proves just how much fun we can have with them.

Ball of Confusion – Johnny Ball
TV maths star Johnny Ball presents brain-teasers from his regular slot on his daughter Zoe’s Radio 2 show. Ball of Confusion is designed to twist your brain into enjoyable knots of empuzzlement, from puzzles solved in a twinkling of an eye to some that will knit your brow for hours. From how to cheat in a coin toss to why it is that some parts of a high speed train travelling at 125mph are actually going backwards, Ball of Confusion will bend your mind in places it’s never been bent before. ‘This is a lovely compilation of puzzles including many classics, and Johnny Ball’s legendary enthusiasm and humour jump out of every page.’ Rob Eastaway, co-author Maths for Mums & Dads.

The Norm Chronicles – Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter
Meet Norm. He’s 31, 5’9″, just over 13 stone, and works a 39 hour week. He likes a drink, doesn’t do enough exercise and occasionally treats himself to a bar of chocolate (milk). He’s a pretty average kind of guy. In fact, he is the average guy in this clever and unusual take on statistical risk, chance, and how these two factors affect our everyday choices. Watch as Norm (who, like all average specimens, feels himself to be uniquely special), and his friends careful Prudence and reckless Kelvin, turns to statistics to help him in life’s endless series of choices – should I fly or take the train? Have a baby? Another drink? Or another sausage? Do a charity skydive or get a lift on a motorbike?

Because chance and risk aren’t just about numbers – it’s about what we believe, who we trust and how we feel about the world around us. What we do, or don’t do, has as much do with gut instinct as hard facts, with enjoyment as understanding. If you’ve ever wondered what the statistics in tabloid scare stories really mean, how dangerous horse-riding is compared to class-A drugs, or what governs coincidence, you will find it all here.

From a world expert in risk and the bestselling author of The Tiger That Isn’t (and creator of BBC Radio 4’s More or Less), this is a commonsense (and wildly entertaining) guide to personal risk and decoding the statistics that represent it.

The Drunkard’s Walk – Leonard Mlodinow
Leonard Mlodinow reveals the psychological illusions that prevent us understanding everything from stock-picking to wine-tasting winning the lottery to road Safety and reveals the truth about the success of sporting heroes and film stars. and even how to make sense of a blood test. The Drunkard’s Walk is an exhilarating. eye-opening guide to understanding our random world – read it. so you won’t be left a victim of chance.


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