Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension

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9780141975863: Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension

A book from the stand-up mathematician that makes math fun again!

Math is boring, says the mathematician and comedian Matt Parker. Part of the problem may be the way the subject is taught, but it's also true that we all, to a greater or lesser extent, find math difficult and counterintuitive. This counterintuitiveness is actually part of the point, argues Parker: the extraordinary thing about math is that it allows us to access logic and ideas beyond what our brains can instinctively do―through its logical tools we are able to reach beyond our innate abilities and grasp more and more abstract concepts.
In the absorbing and exhilarating Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension, Parker sets out to convince his readers to revisit the very math that put them off the subject as fourteen-year-olds. Starting with the foundations of math familiar from school (numbers, geometry, and algebra), he reveals how it is possible to climb all the way up to the topology and to four-dimensional shapes, and from there to infinity―and slightly beyond.
Both playful and sophisticated, Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension is filled with captivating games and puzzles, a buffet of optional hands-on activities that entices us to take pleasure in math that is normally only available to those studying at a university level. Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension invites us to re-learn much of what we missed in school and, this time, to be utterly enthralled by it.

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About the Author:

Matt Parker is a stand-up comedian and mathematician. He writes about math for The Guardian, has a math column in The Telegraph, is a regular panelist on Radio 4's The Infinite Monkey Cage, has appeared in and worked on Five Greatest on the Discovery Channel, and has performed his math stand-up routines in front of audiences of thousands.

From School Library Journal:

Gr 8 Up—For readers who haven't balked at Stephen Hawkings's A Brief History of Time (Bantam, 1988) or Robert P. Crease and Alfred Scharff Goldhaber's The Quantum Moment (Norton, 2014), this sustained ramble through the thickets of mathematics offers similarly lucid but challenging insights into our universe's deeper patterns and principles. Building not on a chronological but a conceptual framework outlined in the opening chapter, "Zeroth Chapter," the author explores the historical evolution of mathematical tools, conjectures, and concepts from numbers and geometrical shapes to primes, knots, algorithms, multiple dimensions, computers from the Antikythera Mechanism on, probability, "ridiculous" (i.e., negative, transcendental, surreal, and the like) numbers, and infinities of diverse flavor. He adds lots of small diagrams and photos to illustrate his topics, but appends no index or, aside from follow-up comments on scattered posers, back matter. A stand-up comedian as well as a trained mathematician, Parker lightens the intellectual load considerably with zingers ("That's the problem with binary jokes: they either work or they don't") and everyday examples from bar bets to dating algorithms. Still, even confirmed math geeks will find this pleasurable but not casual reading.—John Peters, Children's Literature Consultant, New York City

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is the complete guide to exploring the fascinating world of maths you were never told about at school. Stand-up comedian and mathematician Matt Parker uses bizarre Klein Bottles, unimaginably small pizza slices, knots no one can untie and computers built from dominoes to reveal some of the most exotic and fascinating ideas in mathematics. Starting with simple numbers and algebra, this book goes on to deal with inconceivably big numbers in more dimensions than you ever knew existed. And always with something for you to make or do along the way. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141975863

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is the complete guide to exploring the fascinating world of maths you were never told about at school. Stand-up comedian and mathematician Matt Parker uses bizarre Klein Bottles, unimaginably small pizza slices, knots no one can untie and computers built from dominoes to reveal some of the most exotic and fascinating ideas in mathematics. Starting with simple numbers and algebra, this book goes on to deal with inconceivably big numbers in more dimensions than you ever knew existed. And always with something for you to make or do along the way. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141975863

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