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God Created The Integers

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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  996 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Bestselling author and physicist Stephen Hawking explores the "masterpieces" of mathematics, 25 landmarks spanning 2,500 years and representing the work of 15 mathematicians, including Augustin Cauchy, Bernard Riemann, and Alan Turing. This extensive anthology allows readers to peer into the mind of genius by providing them with excerpts from the original mathematical proo ...more
Hardcover, 1176 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by Running Press
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99th out of 100 books — 9 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Richard Houchin
I only understood half of the original texts. However, I am convinced that in the event of a zombie apocalypse I will risk my life to ensure that this book survives the catastrophe, for it contains the seeds of all human advancement. Such things should not be taken for granted.
Doug Roberts
I'm going to be reading this one forever - it's huge, dense, and already makes me miss math class. THAT'S RIGHT I LIKED MATH SHUT UP.
Will
May 27, 2012 Will is currently reading it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Tried to read this and threw in the towel. It's primarily a collection of the crucial mathematical writings from Euclid on. These old texts just aren't that readable.

Hawking's introductions are very interesting, and made me want to learn more about the history of math. But they're too rapid. Dim-witted readers of my ilk need to be coaxed through this stuff.

The stuff on the progression of ancient Greek mathematics is fascinating. The Pythagoreans had a philosophy wherein numbers, and relations
...more
London
Mar 06, 2012 London rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in math or the history of math
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Anyone interested in the history and evolution of math and science should pick up this monster tome. It's not a book you're likely to read front-to-back in order, nor necessarily even be able to follow all of the copious amount of equations presented without a very solid math background. However, Hawking explains the importance of each mathematicians accomplishments, gives a solid biography for each of them, and presents some of their most important work in its original form.

I'm currently workin
...more
Hadrian
Stephen Hawking is famous for both his expertise in the field of modern physics, and for popularizing the most recent discoveries for the lay audience. He said about his latter books, "For every equation I put in, sales are halved."

This new book is a significant departure from his past design philosophy - he has compiled, edited, and presented some of the great works of mathematical history, with the intent of presenting the lay reader with some of the great and elegant proofs of ages past, from
...more
Silvio Curtis
A giant book with a lot to explore, but not very easy to understand. It's a collection of excerpts from the work of famous mathematicians, with very short biographies by Hawking. Even reading this as a senior math major I couldn't follow most of the math in any detail, so I only have an impressionistic sense of most of it. It surprised me most with the earlier mathematicians. I would have expected to understand them because what they discovered are relatively simple things that I mostly learned ...more
Utsav
Oct 13, 2014 Utsav marked it as bought-not-read  ·  review of another edition
This is huge (like, 1100+ pages) and full of math (like, equations, and diagrams, and such) and I doubt I'll ever finish reading it, but the idea of it is so beautiful I had to have it. I expect I'm just going to keep turning the pages as in a trance, eyes glazed as I recite, "sine squared theta plus cos squared theta equals one" over and over...

Compulsive book buying: 1 Efforts at elevating myself out of poverty: 0
Jenny Prince
Feb 21, 2012 Jenny Prince rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mathematicians, bored peoples
I haven't finished this yet - I wasn't even sure I wanted to check it out. I was perusing the math section to find some calculus texts and brush up before next term starts, and there it was: like Brian Greene's _The Fabric of the Cosmos_, it was too intriguing to ignore.

If you don't think math history can be interesting, I dare you to read the first page and a half.
Michael Weaver
This is a great collection of some of the more significant breakthroughs in theoretical mathematics. Though I appreciated how in the introduction he brought it back to the core and showed the sophistication of the Egyptians and Babylonians and went forward; I wish he had included Euler and Einstein.
Laurent
Contrary to what the title could imply, there is nothing about God and the mathematics in this book (by "and" I mean "intersection", not "union"). It's a collection of short bibliography of Mathematicians, alongside a selection of their most interesting and representative publications for the history of mathematics. The material itself is interesting and refreshing, but the added value of this book is rather poor. The selection of mathematicians is somehow arbitrary and misleading about the cont ...more
Ashlee
Hmm...probably another book I will always still be reading.
Koen Crolla
It's hard to see what Hawking intended with this book; the works are too inaccessible because of their great age (for the earlier ones) or the advanced mathematics background required (for many of the later ones) to be very enjoyable, and while they do add some historical perspective, spending a few dozen pages summarising them would probably have been more productive than spending a few hundred including translated fragments of them. Many of them are still interesting, but not 1160-pages intere ...more
Chacko
Amazing but there is a doubt " Atheist " why should we read " Are rational persons are atheists? " More they go into science and rationality they rationalize Miracles. God help them
Austin Castellanos
I honestly should have given this book 1 star, but there was enough interesting stuff to keep it a little afloat. While the intent was great, and the introduction are engaging, the constant egregious errors make it too frustrating for me to read. There were glaring mathematical errors (in a book about math!!!) in the first 5 pages, in italicized "proven" conclusions. Really disappointed that this kind of sloppy work has Stephen Hawking's name on it.
William Crosby
Not for the beginner.

I was lost by page 3. Then I scanned the rest of the book. I had hoped Hawking would explain some of these books in a more understandable way. Nope.

None of these types seem to believe in diagrams. It's all verbal descriptions which, if there is any ambiguity in the writing (which there was: Hawking needed a better editor), made it difficult/impossible to follow the mathematical descriptions and formulas.
Dallas
If you really want to look like a huge nerd, just whip this baby out at any popular social gathering area, and you'll be amazed at how quickly those who are afraid of mathematics vacate the premesis. With that being said, this book is basically a compilation of the most prominent works by the most prominent mathematicians. I particularly like the short biographical introductions preceding the works themselves.
Colin
I'm a math freak and I really want to like this (along with Roger Penrose's latest) but it's very long and intensive. I keep planning to set aside a weekend just for these kind of books; sit down with a pencil and paper and get through them all. It'll probably highlight some deficiencies in my math education (even though, I'm a comp sci major that took a large number of math classes).
Sabà Peterson
Ive read it three times till now and I think I'll never get tired of reading it again and again.
Those who adore physics and maths should really read it *__*
Jasmine
Skimmed through the more technical stuff. This is something I'd want to own, not just borrow from the library (which is what I did) so that I could look through it at my leisure, or when I needed to look something up. Really interesting. Learned some new anecdotes. Began to understand that mathematicians are even crazier than I had assumed.
Reid
Jun 24, 2008 Reid added it
Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking goes through the most important mathematical realizations of all time. Extremely technical, but readable because of the historical background and discussion.

This book will open your eyes to the incredible order in every-day life, giving you new appreciation for the complexity in simpleness.
Ron Moreland
May 23, 2008 Ron Moreland rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with an interest in math
This book is an excellent resource for students if they want to know more about where a math concept came from. It also provides background knowledge to many of the mathematical concepts that students are going to encounter in a high school math class. From Algebra to Calculus and beyond it is an excellent tool and highly recommended!
Manmohan Dash
Own this book although not yet started reading. This one is a great compilation of mathematical concepts and theorems needed for practising mathematicians, physicists and engineers incase they are also inspired scinetist and/or have good time to brush their knowledge with concepts of mathematics from a super-intellect.
Martin Hernandez
Interesante libro que recoge los escritos originales de los matemáticos más importantes de todos los tiempos. No se dejen llevar por el nombre de "Hawking" como autor, su participación se limita a una breve introducción biográfica de cada autor, después vienen los textos originales...
Nativeabuse
Stephen Hawking's commentary placed beside great works of mathematical genius really isn't very good. The collection of works all together like this is fantastic and interesting but his commentary on the works was severely lacking and mostly uninteresting.
Mads Harpøth
Very enjoyable book, but only the Hawking introductions are straight-forward readable - I used some of the works of Descartes in an essay though. In general a very thorough introduction to the concepts behind the evolution of math.
Owen Lindsell
Only read the start of this. Seems good, but you have to have a lot of time to read it as it's essentailly just a reprint of all the major works of mathematics interspersed with comments from Hawking.
Eben Tonder
It is amazing to work through the development of mathematics with one as gifted as Stephen Hawking! From the earliest Greek "dilemmas" to the modern day thought and how these thoughts impacted our world.
Wolfwest
This is one book I will savour for the rest of my life.I have often referred to it and I always will.This is a book that marries ET Bell with Vakil Naik.A fantastic collection edited by a brilliant physicist.
Shala Howell
Dec 31, 2008 Shala Howell marked it as to-read
This one's going to take a while.... all that math. Best read with a notepad and pencil to convert the mathematical prose into helpful little pictures.
Dianna
It's a book of essays that I keep by the couch. I don't anticipate "finishing" it, but rather picking it up occasionally over time.
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Black Maven: God Created Integers 1 4 Aug 19, 2011 05:10PM  
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Stephen William Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford, England. His parents' house was in north London, but during the second world war Oxford was considered a safer place to have babies. When he was eight, his family moved to St Albans, a town about 20 miles north of London. At eleven Stephen went to St Albans School, and then on to University College, Oxford, his father's old college. Ste ...more
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