Alex's Adventures in Numberland: Dispatches from the Wonderful World of Mathematics

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9780747597162: Alex's Adventures in Numberland: Dispatches from the Wonderful World of Mathematics
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In this richly entertaining and accessible book, Alex Bellos explodes the myth that maths is best left to the geeks. Covering subjects from adding to algebra, from set theory to statistics, and from logarithms to logical paradoxes, he explains how mathematical ideas underpin just about everything in our lives. Alex explains the surprising geometry of the 50p piece, and the strategy of how best to gamble it in a casino. He shines a light on the mathematical patterns in nature, and on the peculiar predictability of random behaviour. He eats a potato crisp whose revolutionary shape was unpalatable to the ancient Greeks, and he shows the deep connections between maths, religion and philosophy. Alex weaves a journey from primary school to university level maths, from ancient history to the computing frontline, and from St Louis, Missouri, to Braintree, Essex. He meets the world's fastest mental calculators in Germany, consults a numerologist in the US desert, meets a startlingly numerate chimpanzee in Japan, and seeks advice from a venerable Hindu sage in India. An unlikely but exhilarating cocktail of history, reportage and mathematical proofs, Alex's dispatches from 'Numberland' show the world of maths to be a much friendlier and more colourful place than you might have imagined.

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Alex's Adventures In Numberland

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In a charming, conversational prose style, and with diagrams to ease brain stress, he draws us into a forbidding world, often going into the history of famous bits of maths, including the origins of Tetris and Rubik's Cube.

The most immediately fascinating chapter is on the application of probability theory to gambling, with insights into slot machines, insurance, lotteries and a neat explanation of Pascal's wager on the existence of God. --Metro

What Bellos calls "the wow factor" of mathematics leaps out at the reader from every page ... The stories prove so engaging, the personalities so colorful, that readers may forget
they are mastering some powerful mathematical concepts. --Booklist

`A mathematical wonder that will leave you hooked on numbers' --Daily Telegraph

`Spectacularly successful introduction to the excitement and wonder of mathematics.' --Sunday Times

`He renders the world of numbers accessible and captivating' --Daily Express

`A truly marvellous survey of modern mathematics' --Martin Gardner, for more than 25 years author of the 'Mathematical Games' column in Scientific American

`An unforgettable journey of intellectual discovery'
--Apostolos Doxiadis, author of Logicomix and Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture

Starting with chapter zero, all twelve chapters are a fascinating exploration of the wonders of maths.
--City A.M Newspaper

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781408809594: Alex's Adventures in Numberland

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ISBN 10:  1408809591 ISBN 13:  9781408809594
Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks, 2011
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9781408808863: Alex's Adventures in Numberland

Blooms..., 2010
Softcover

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