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The New York Times Book of Mathematics: More Than 100 Years of Writing by the Numbers

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3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  75 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
From the archives of the world's most famous newspaper comes a collection of its very best writing on mathematics. Big and informative, "The New York Times Book of Mathematics" gathers more than 110 articles written from 1892 to 2010 that cover statistics, coincidences, chaos theory, famous problems, cryptography, computers, and many other topics. Edited by Pulitzer Prize ...more
ebook, 496 pages
Published June 1st 2013 by Sterling (first published April 2nd 2013)
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Melissa
Jul 26, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Disclaimer: The extent of my high school math was geometry. In college, my mathematics credit was in “Math for Poets.” I count on my fingers. Yet for some reason, I find higher level mathematics fascinating. It’s mysterious and incomprehensible and magical. Combine the arcane world of higher mathematics with the crisp writing of the New York Times, and you have a winner of a book. The Book of Mathematics chronicles changes in theory and practice over the past 100 years, a time of tremendous chan ...more
Jo
Sep 13, 2013 Jo added it
I am still currently reading this book.. I happened upon it why just scanning the New book shelf at my local library.. It was the Saturday before Labor day, and my local library was to be closed Sunday and Monday, so I wanted to get something different out to read. No, I am not a Math Wiz, nor do I want to sound like I am being so important that I am trying to impress you with my math literacy.. Its just that these days, with computers taking up so much of our lives, and being so intricately ...more
Jonita Pauley
Feb 07, 2014 Jonita Pauley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really don't know what the purpose of this book was supposed to be. I assumed (wrongly) from the title "Mathematics", it had something to do with math. Maybe even the evolution of math. Perhaps some mathematical concepts? Perhaps since it said "100 years of writing about the numbers" it would have been about math in the media--maybe the perception of math in mainstream media/culture? Mathematicians? Affects of math? Anything math-y?

But no. It was rather snippets of articles from 100 years. It
...more
Terry Freedman
Mar 08, 2016 Terry Freedman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching
Not an obvious choice for Computing teachers, you might think, a book on mathematics. But this one is fascinating because there are sections on cryptography and computing, as well as odd chapters on interesting topics like random numbers and electronics.

The subtitle of the book is More than 100 years of writing by the numbers. In other words, this is a collection of articles taken from the New York Times over the last 100 years. It's readable for non-mathematicians (well, mostly), and gives you
...more
Tom
Jan 28, 2014 Tom rated it it was ok
As originally published, many of the collected essays were reasonably interesting. As collected however, they frequently overlap, with great redundancy, provoking a lot more skimming than a winning book should.

Beyond this basic structural nuisance, I kept feeling surprised how little math is included. The book reads more like a who's who along with the names of their accomplishments, with very little math content most of the time. I wasn't prepared to handle a math textbook, but somehow expected
...more
Cook Memorial Public Library
A 2013 staff nonfiction favorite recommended by staffer Melissa. Read her review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Check our catalog: http://encore.cooklib.org/iii/encore/...
Walter
Jul 01, 2013 Walter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mathematics
Good collection of essays ranging for number theory, to probability, chaos theory, cryptology, and much more.

The only downside that I can think of is that if you've read some math in the past, you're bound to find many of the essays repetitive (there's more than a couple dealing with Fermat's Last Theorem) which is sort of like watching a movie you already know the ending to.
John Ambrose
Aug 03, 2014 John Ambrose rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable collection of essays for the math-literate reader. I especially enjoyed the essay on the Monty Hall Problem, the series about Fermat's Last Theorem, and the section on chaos. The book also does a great job bringing the personalities of the great mathematicians of the 20th Century to life, especially Paul Erdos.
Leland William
Feb 16, 2015 Leland William rated it it was ok
A silly book. While individual pieces of this collection stand out as good journalism, the collection as a whole stinks. There is repetition in subjects covered, and much of the content in this collection is too simplified to be interesting. I'm not sure what I was expecting out of this thing, but it did not impress.
Peter Mcloughlin
Some interesting articles but the problem of a collection of newspaper articles is they are too short to due their topic justice. It is a good collection for someone not familiar with mathematics but I've seen most of this stuff before. It might be interesting to newcomer to math.
Cynthia
Feb 26, 2014 Cynthia rated it liked it
I wanted something more in-depth, and while the writing was accessible, it wasn't challenging and didn't offer enough examples.
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Kolata graduated from the University of Maryland and studied molecular biology at the graduate level at MIT for a year and a half. Then she returned to the University of Maryland and obtained a master’s degree in applied mathematics. Kolata has taught writing as a visiting professor at Princeton University and frequently gives lectures across the country. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with ...more
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