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Books similar to Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
3.97 avg. rating
· 8225 Ratings
The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshipped it, and the Church used it to fend off heretics. For centuries, the power of zero savored of the demonic; once harnessed, it be…
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A History of π
3.96 avg. rating
· 2362 Ratings
The history of pi, says the author, though a small part of the history of mathematics, is nevertheless a mirror of the history of man. Petr Beckmann holds up this mirror, giving the background of the …
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Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem
xn + yn = zn, where n represents 3, 4, 5, ...no solution

"I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain."

With these words, the sevente…
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The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number
Throughout history, thinkers from mathematicians to theologians have pondered the mysterious relationship between numbers and the nature of reality. In this fascinating book, Mario Livio tells the tal…
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Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics
In 1859, Bernhard Riemann, a little-known thirty-two year old mathematician, made a hypothesis while presenting a paper to the Berlin Academy titled “On the Number of Prime Numbers Less Than a Given Q…
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The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity
A world-class mathematician and regular contributor to the New York Times hosts a delightful tour of the greatest ideas of math, revealing how it connects to literature, philosophy, law, medicine, art…
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Journey through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics
Like masterpieces of art, music, and literature, great mathematical theorems are creative milestones, works of genius destined to last forever. Now William Dunham gives them the attention they deserve…
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e: the Story of a Number
3.93 avg. rating
· 1768 Ratings
The interest earned on a bank account, the arrangement of seeds in a sunflower, and the shape of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis are all intimately connected with the mysterious number e. In this inform…
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An Imaginary Tale: The Story of the Square Root of Minus One
In An Imaginary Tale, Paul Nahin tells the 2000-year-old history of one of mathematics' most elusive numbers, the square root of minus one, also known as i, re-creating the baffling mathematical probl…
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The Music of the Primes: Searching to Solve the Greatest Mystery in Mathematics
In 1859, German mathematician Bernhard Riemann presented a paper to the Berlin Academy that would forever change the history of mathematics. The subject was the mystery of prime numbers. At the heart …
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The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives
With the born storyteller's command of narrative and imaginative approach, Leonard Mlodinow vividly demonstrates how our lives are profoundly informed by chance and randomness and how everything from …
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Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe
Without calculus, we wouldn’t have cell phones, TV, GPS, or ultrasound. We wouldn’t have unraveled DNA or discovered Neptune or figured out how to put 5,000 songs in your pocket.

Though many of us we…
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The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of  Paul Erdős and the Search for Mathematical Truth
Based on a National Magazine Award-winning article, this masterful biography of Hungarian-born Paul Erdos is both a vivid portrait of an eccentric genius and a layman's guide to some of this century's…
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Number: The Language of Science
4.08 avg. rating
· 511 Ratings
Number is an eloquent, accessible tour de force that reveals how the concept of number evolved from prehistoric times through the twentieth century. Tobias Dantzig shows that the development of math—f…
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Chaos: Making a New Science
4.02 avg. rating
· 30516 Ratings
A work of popular science in the tradition of Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, this 20th-anniversary edition of James Gleick’s groundbreaking bestseller Chaos introduces a whole new readership to chaos…
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Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman
An illuminating portrayal of Richard Feynman—a giant of twentieth century physics—from his childhood tinkering with radios, to his vital work on the Manhattan Project and beyond

Raised in Depression-e…
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Gödel's Proof
4.17 avg. rating
· 4000 Ratings
In 1931 Kurt Gödel published his fundamental paper, "On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems." This revolutionary paper challenged certain basic assumptions u…
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A Brief History of Infinity: The Quest to Think the Unthinkable
'Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.…
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Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy
In the words of Bertrand Russell, "Because language is misleading, as well as because it is diffuse and inexact when applied to logic (for which it was never intended), logical symbolism is absolutely…
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Nature's Numbers: The Unreal Reality Of Mathematics
"It appears to us that the universe is structured in a deeply mathematical way. Falling bodies fall with predictable accelerations. Eclipses can be accurately forecast centuries in advance. Nuclear po…
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Measurement
4.26 avg. rating
· 310 Ratings
For seven years, Paul Lockhart s "A Mathematician s Lament" enjoyed a samizdat-style popularity in the mathematics underground, before demand prompted its 2009 publication to even wider applause and d…
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Prelude to Mathematics
4.11 avg. rating
· 72 Ratings
"No mathematician can be a complete mathematician unless he is also something of a poet." — K. Weierstrass
In this lively and stimulating account, noted mathematician and educator W. W. Sawyer (Profess…
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The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
In his first book since the bestselling Fermat’s Enigma, Simon Singh offers the first sweeping history of encryption, tracing its evolution and revealing the dramatic effects codes have had on wars, n…
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Serial Murder
3.92 avg. rating
· 25 Ratings
Continuing in the same well-written and accessible style as the previous editions, this text systematically examines the strange phenomenon of serial murder. Exploring the different types of serial ki…
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Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure
In 2010, French mathematician Cédric Villani received the Fields Medal, the most coveted prize in mathematics, in recognition of a proof which he devised with his close collaborator Clément Mouhot to …
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Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension
- Cut pizzas in new and fairer ways!
- Fit a 2p coin through an impossibly small hole!
- Make a perfect regular pentagon by knotting a piece of paper!
- Tie your shoes faster than ever before, saving lit…
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How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking
The Freakonomics of matha math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands

The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down…
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A Most Elegant Equation: Euler's Formula and the Beauty of Mathematics
An award-winning science writer introduces us to mathematics using the extraordinary equation that unites five of mathematics' most important numbers

Bertrand Russell wrote that mathematics can exalt …
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The Language of Mathematics: Making the Invisible Visible
"The great book of nature," said Galileo, "can be read only by those who know the language in which it was written. And this language is mathematics." In The Language of Mathematics, award-winning aut…
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The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan
The tale of a relationship between a young Indian mathematics genius, Ramanujan, and his tutor at Cambridge University, G.H. Hardy, in the years before World War I. Through their eyes the reader is ta…
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A Mathematician's Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form
“One of the best critiques of current mathematics education I have ever seen.”—Keith Devlin, math columnist on NPR’s Morning Edition

A brilliant research mathematician who has devoted his career to tea…
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