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numbers and functions to important problems."


Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics. By William Dunham. (Penguin,1990) GFBR ****. HS-Adult. "Strikes an extraordinary balance between the historical and technical. He devotes each chapter to a principal result of mathematics, such as the solution of the cubic series and the divergence of the harmonic series. Not only does this book tell the stories of the people behind the math, but it also includes discussions and rigorous proofs of the relevant mathematical results"


The Joy of Pi. By David Blatner. (Walker, 129 pp, 1997) GFBR****. 11-adult. This is an easy book to read. It has many different parts: breezy narratives of the history of pi, and quirky stories of those obsessed with it. There are numerous cartoons, poems, limericks, and jokes as well as the first one million digits of pi.


Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. By Dava Sobel.  (Walker & Co., 184 pp, 1996) GFBR ****. Teen-Adult. "Numbers, like letter forms, have a rich and complex history. Who first invented the? How old are they, and how were they developed? How did they come to represent a world of abstract ideas and universal concepts? How do they differ throughout the world today?" Sobel’s writing is a little dry, but the book is definitely easy to read. There is another edition, known as The Illustrated Longitude, which has many more pictures of the clocks and other devices and the people involved.


Mathematical Mysteries: The Beauty and Magic of Numbers. By Calvin C. Clawson  (Perseus, 313 pp, 1996) GFBR ***. Advanced HS- Adult. "Many of the dazzling beauties of higher mathematics are just as accessible to an ordinary untrained spectator as are similar wonders of great literature, visual art, and music. This well-kept secret is finally blown wide open in Calvin Clawson's latest book." Has equations, but explains them well.


Mathematical Sorcery: Revealing the Secrets of Numbers.By Calvin C. Clawson. (Perseus, 234 pp, 1999) HS-Adult. "Few mathematicians today have the ability to write about math more entertainingly, with greater enthusiasm and clarity, than Calvin Clawson. A splendid introduction to the great ideas of mathematics, their powerful magic, and their intricate, mysterious beauty."


The Mathematical Universe : An Alphabetical Journey Through the Great Proofs, Problems and Personalities. By William W. Dunham  (Wiley, 314 pp, 1997) GFBR ****. Teen-Adult. "Contains a wealth of amusing stories and little known facts from the annals of math. All proofs and equations are introduced through easy-to-follow, step-by-step explanations. Discusses some of the most intriguing mysteries such as Russell's Paradox. Features brief biographies of many great mathematicians including Isaac Newton, Bertrand Russell and Hypatia of Alexandria."


Mathematics for the Million..By Lancelot Hogben. (numerous versions available.) GFBR ****. Teens – Adults. "The best elementary math book (for algebra, geometry, trig, and spherical trig) … it has been in continuous print since the 1930's! There is also lots of history in it. The same author has a history- of -math book, with wonderful illustrations, that I often give to children and arts friends. It really inspired me as a kid." Albert Einstein wrote: "It makes alive the contents of the elements of mathematics."


The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World. By Ken Alder (Free Press, 422 pp, 2002) GFBR****. HS-Adult. “…this [is an] elegant history of technology, acute cultural chronicle and riveting intellectual adventure built around [the] expedition of 1792-1799 to calculate the length of the meter. Disclosing for the first time details from the astronomers' personal correspondences … [the author] reveals how [one of the astronomers] made a mistake in his calculations, which he covered up, and which tortured him until his death. …Alder has placed Delambre and Mechain

Science and Math Books You Can Read – page 16 out of 30

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