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# One to Nine: The Inner Life of Numbers

Andrew Hodges, one of Britain’s leading biographers and mathematical writers, brings numbers to three-dimensional life in this delightful and illuminating volume, filled with illustrations, which makes even the most challenging math problems accessible to the layperson. Inspired by millennia of human attempts to figure things out, this pithy book, which tackles
...more

Hardcover, 336 pages

Published
May 17th 2008
by W. W. Norton & Company
(first published September 6th 2007)

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## Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)

Too bad. It looked so good.

UPDATE: So I accidentally kept reading this book (it was on my bedside table) and I'm amending my review. It got a LOT more mathy as I read further. Too mathy. Like complicated imaginary number equation mathy. Still bad, but not one-star bad.

*One to Nine*is a stream of consciousness about everything relating to numbers: the numbers themselves, the history of their discovery, computers, algorithms, the universe, theoretical physics, science, climate change, and the relevance of mathematical thought and learning to modern society. Especially with that last point, it isn't strictly about the numbers one to nine, but it's interesting. I found a lot of misprints, even with the math problems.

Per quanto potessi non gradire un libro, per quanto potesse stufarmi, non sono mai arrivato al punto di abbandonarlo, salvo forse una volta: è sempre stata una questione di principio, unita al desiderio di farmi l'idea completa del libro senza potermi domandare se magari in seguito migliorasse.

Orbene, tutte le regole hanno un'eccezione e la mia è giunta proprio in questi giorni: "Il curioso dei numeri", di Andrew Hodg ...more

Un Vero Matematico non deve necessariamente usare i numeri irrazionali, immaginali o surreali (anche se sono divertenti, una volta che uno riesce a capire come si formano). Kronecker asserì che "i numeri interi provengono da Dio, tutto il resto è opera dell'uomo": ma anche solo con i numeri da uno a nove c'è già materiale assolutamente a sufficienza, come Andrew Hodges mostra in que ...more

The book has a chapter devoted to a different number, the first nine natural ...more

However, I did enjoy the breadth and depth of this book in covering the math and physics and computer science details covered in the book. But I would have preferred more common history for each number, like the brief sentance in chap ...more

Mi aspettavo qualcosa di più "semplice", anche perché ritrovarsi

al centro della teoria dei twistori è un po' sentirsi naufraghi in un mare in tempesta.

Spicca ogni tanto qualche stilettata al sistema scolastico inglese (vedesse

quello italiano!) per non parlare delle ridicolaggini dei media che, in Inghilterra

come in Italia, hanno il simpatico vizio di parlare di cose che non comprendono.

In definitiva il libro lo si può definire "godibile", anche se ogni tanto ...more

This book would be a lot of fun if you had the exact same knowledge base as the author. But, for everyone else, the references aren't explained for the most part, and the book quickly becomes a non-illum ...more

May 19, 2010
Aaron Humphrey
rated it
liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
non-fiction,
library

I was expecting a bit of a light-hearted romp through the numbers. While it does wander a bit, and makes a bizarre number of Pet Shop Boys references (and mentions of climate change), it does settle down once a chapter or so for a not-completely-superficial examination of a topic free-associated to by the number of that chapter. Which topics include particle physics, probability theory, number theory (overlapping with, and even referencing, the Marcus du Sautoy book I read the week before), and
...more

In realt non spazzatura perch contiene alcuni spunti interessanti. Tipo, cinque frasi in tutto il libro. Per per il resto il classico libro divulgativo scritto da chi invece non sa divulgare: capitoli che dovrebbero essere dedicati a un numero (e di roba da dire ce n' un sacco) che invece divagano sul nulla, perch quando si cita qualcosa senza spiegarlo di nulla si tratta, solamente perch ...more

Feb 17, 2009
John
added it

This book never seemed to know its audience. There were countless references to Desperate Housewives, and Pet Shop Boys, which seemed to be a nod to the average layperson who doesn't know much about math, but then a lot of the math was completely over my head. Which is understandable because I don't know much about math, but often times the mathematics was not clearly explained.

Also, there were more than a few typos and such, which makes me wonder about the accuracy of the math. Not that I'd kno ...more

Also, there were more than a few typos and such, which makes me wonder about the accuracy of the math. Not that I'd kno ...more

The style of prose can border on condescending but it smashes together haphazard references to Chess, Pet Shop Boys, Bach and countless other items.

Poorly written, poorly executed but a good concept.

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A mathematician, an author and an activist in the gay liberation movement of the 1970s.

Since the early 1970s, Hodges has worked on twistor theory which is the approach to the problems of fundamental physics pioneered by Roger Penrose.

He is a Tutorial Fellow in mathematics at Wadham College, Oxford University.[3] Having taught at Wadham since 1986, Hodges was elected a Fellow in 2007, and was appoi ...more

More about Andrew Hodges...
Since the early 1970s, Hodges has worked on twistor theory which is the approach to the problems of fundamental physics pioneered by Roger Penrose.

He is a Tutorial Fellow in mathematics at Wadham College, Oxford University.[3] Having taught at Wadham since 1986, Hodges was elected a Fellow in 2007, and was appoi ...more

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