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by
Paul Hoffman

Syndicated columnist Paul Hoffman provides an acclaimed account of the world of modern mathematicians in the bestselling tradition of accessible scientists Stephen Jay Gould and Tracey Kidder. An extremely clever account.--The New Yorker.

Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages

Published
July 30th 1989
by Crest
(first published 1988)

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Of the four, the number theory section is the most interesting but if that's your bag then just go read Simon Singh's two books ...more

Still, messing with cipher basics comes in handy, like how often certain letters and words occur in English. For example, pretend you teach first grade and you are watching six-year olds try to stretch out words like, "you."

They sound out, "/Yu as in "yarn"/, /aw as in "octopus"/, /uh as in "umbrella"/." Then they look at you like, okay, "yaawuh, I'm done." Their ...more

Jun 25, 2007
jonathan berger
rated it
3 of 5 stars
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
to-read-tier02

The earlier chapters deal with classic mathematical problems and history, but once the book gets "current" for the time it was written--the late 1980s--its a little dated. All in all, I'd skip this book and go straight to Hoffman's incredible biography of mathematician Paul Erdos, "The Man Who Loved Only Numbers".

Dec 07, 2007
Eric Knight
added it

It makes me want to go out and start breaking codes!

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Paul Hoffman (born 1956) is a prominent author and host of the PBS television series Great Minds of Science. He was president and editor in chief of Discover, in a ten-year tenure with that magazine, and served as president and publisher of Encyclopaedia Britannica before returning full-time to writing and consulting work.

He lives in Woodstock, New York. Author of at least ten books, he has appea ...more

More about Paul Hoffman...
He lives in Woodstock, New York. Author of at least ten books, he has appea ...more

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