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# The Mathematics of Life

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Biologists have long dismissed mathematics as being unable to meaningfully contribute to our understanding of living beings. Within the past ten years, however, mathematicians have proven that they hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of our world--and ourselves. In

*The Mathematics of Life*, Ian Stewart provides a fascinating overview of the vital but little-recognized ...more## Get A Copy

Hardcover, 368 pages

Published
June 7th 2011
by Basic Books
(first published January 1st 2011)

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The book is written very ...more

Oct 12, 2011
Koen Crolla
rated it
liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
mathematics,
biology

Stewart argues that mathematics is becoming increasingly important in biology; an uncontroversial enough point.

In trying to demonstrate this he is alternately very careful (the first few chapters and large swathes of the later ones serve no apparent purpose other than to show that he bothered to open a college-level textbook at some point during his research for this book; presumably he's trying to pre-empt the criticism that usually applies to people who write outside their field, but I like to ...more

In trying to demonstrate this he is alternately very careful (the first few chapters and large swathes of the later ones serve no apparent purpose other than to show that he bothered to open a college-level textbook at some point during his research for this book; presumably he's trying to pre-empt the criticism that usually applies to people who write outside their field, but I like to ...more

(i) the invention of the Microscope,

(ii) the systematic Classification of Earth's living creatures,

(iii) the theory of Evolution,

(iv) the discovery of the Gene and

(v) ...more

After being lulled into a false-sense of security, youll learn about how the spirals in the head of a ...more

Why? Stewart is one of those people who's real calling in life is too teach, and it permeates every chapter of this book. Although I am not a biologist, I felt like I could follow and understand the basic biology concepts used in this book after freshman year biology. However, I can not attest to accuracy in a lot of his claims on biology for that reason also - it would be nice to ...more

All chapters begin with basics, but if you don't have a wee bit of scientific background it can be a struggle to the end. But it is written so well that it is ...more

Jul 16, 2011
Bryan Higgs
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
mathematics,
biology

I am a fan of Ian Stewart. I own several of his earlier books, all of which I have read and enjoyed immensely. So, I had high expectations of this book, his latest. However, I was disappointed. But perhaps it is more my own biases than any failings on Prof. Stewart's part that explain this. I was educated in Physics and Mathematics -- I have a Ph.D. in Experimental High Energy Particle Physics -- and gave up Biology in school at the age of about 14, because I couldn't stand having to copy
...more

*The Mathematics of Life*. What Stewart did was deal in concepts, which you can actually more readily do in higher mathematics. He was so good at it at one point that the chapter "Viruses from the Fourth Dimension" finally had me understanding n-dimensional mathematics. You would think that I would have ...more

This is, obviously, a layman's book about advances in biology. Unlike most popular science books, however, this one assumes a mathematical background on behalf of the layman. Whether this works or not will depend on the reader. I found it quite useful, as concepts in ...more

I especially appreciated the second part of the book, dealing with hallucinations, patterns on fishes, stripes on tigers, the folding of proteins, the likeliness on non-Earth life forms, Fibonacci & evolution, ...

Little prior knowledge is needed, although some logic & mathematics affiliation comes in handy.

Recommended to everyone who wonders on the beauty of ...more

Well written and engaging for sure, but it is mostly something that motivates you to look for more in depth discussions of the details.

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Ian Nicholas Stewart is an Emeritus Professor and Digital Media Fellow in the Mathematics Department at Warwick University, with special responsibility for public awareness of mathematics and science. He is best known for his popular science writing on mathematical themes.

--from the author's website

--from the author's website

*Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See other*...more## Related Articles

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