Category Archives: Mathematics

The Story of Mathematics

The Story of MathematicsI was so impressed by ‘The Story of Physics’ that I then requested another book in the same series, but this time for maths. And I can easily say I wasn’t let down!┬áThis is equally (if not more) as interesting as the physics edition.

Anne Rooney brings to life mathematics from the beginning of time and with the simplest thing you can think of in maths. Numbers. What are they, where do they come from, why on Earth do we need them and so on. She then moves swiftly on to how maths is used: from looking at 1D, 2D or 3D space; formulae; statistics; algebra; logic and a lot more.

This is perhaps not a book where you go to look things up if you’re stuck whilst doing your maths homework, but the book you go and read if you want to understand where something came from (though not Fourier Series or Transforms like I tried to look up!). But for example, should my mum want to understand what my dad and I talk about sometimes, then this is perfect. Simple, clear and plenty of background for interest.

The format of the book is very user-friendly. It is quite obviously a book, so has the usual text, chapters and page numbers. But all over the pages are pictures with captions and separate boxes with information about different mathematicians, many of which I’ve never heard of before, though I’ve come across the maths they formulated so long ago.

So if you’re interested in how mathematics came to be (or you’re a parent and your child keeps asking questions you don’t know the answer to) then this is the perfect book. Forget Brian Cox, it’s Anne Rooney you need!