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Euclid in the Rainforest: Discovering Universal Truth in Logic and Math
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Euclid in the Rainforest: Discovering Universal Truth in Logic and Math

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  67 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Like Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach, and David Berlinski’s A Tour of the Calculus, Euclid in the Rainforest combines the literary with the mathematical to explore
logic—the one indispensable tool in man’s quest to understand the world. Underpinning both math and science, it is the foundation of every major advancement in knowledge since the time of the ancient Gr
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by Plume (first published 2004)
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I really, really wanted to like this book. The table of contents sounded so interesting: infinity! logic! how math pertains to reality! But, the further I got into the book, the more frustrated I became. Each section -- infinity, logic, and reality -- contains several chapters, but it's never clear to the reader how each chapter relates to the overarching theme. Moreover, each chapter itself seemed just like a collection of math-related stories, one after the other, with no obvious link. (I'm su
Euclid in the Rainforest is a personal meditation on the nature of truth and how human's determine the veracity of any statement or idea. As a math professor, Mazur apparently has taught this book as a course on logic and plausible reasoning (but maybe not with as much of the memoirs style personal stories thrown in). His conclusions while not earth shattering are worth pondering. His main point seems to be that there are valid reasons for striving towards any formulation of the truth whether th ...more
Scott Miles
Not bad. I actually finished this book a couple months ago and so its a bit of a struggle to recall exactly what the pros and cons are. It was good enough to sustain my interest until the end! So that says something I guess. This is not a book I would recommend at the top of the list of the genre of "pop math" books though. That of course leads to the question: "what are your top recommendations in the genre of pop math books" and of course I am at a loss right now. I have several at home, some ...more
Mazur does a superb job introducing matematical characters and concepts. The plot had little to do with rainforests, and had a completely unnecessary sex scene. Highly rated due to the accessibility granted to mathematical ideas by way of fictional conversation. Mazur needed to do this because sadly, most accessible mathematical conversations are fictitious.
It was okay--lots of stuff on logic. There were some good examples that I might use in my geometry class. Interesting stories about people the author met on his travels. I wouldn't read it unless you like math though.
While some of the mathematics were beyond me, this book was well-written and enjoyable to read. The broad co concepts, like infinity and logic, were discussed coherently with interesting anecdotes.
Math bits are decent, but book adds little to other popular treatments. Autobiographical bits are a completely superfluous bore.
Jo Oehrlein
Nov 24, 2012 Jo Oehrlein marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction, math
Recommended by Sue Van Hattam
Carlos Cardenas
Fascinating look into the world of mathematical understanding and past theoretical discoveries
Very interesting book. Though the subject matter is mathematics, it reads like a good story.
This is an amazing book which enlightened and enthused me about the Pythagorean theorem.
Steven Tucker
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Dec 10, 2014
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