The Joy of X

The Joy of XLooking for a Christmas gift for a mathematically minded individual? Or perhaps you are being pestered to provide ‘a list?’

I’m happy to recommend this book: ‘The Joy of X’ by Steven Strogatz which I read, and thoroughly enjoyed, in the summer.

As I said on my review of the book on Amazon, its a “… readable romp from 3 plus 3 to infinity, and beyond.”

Its written in a witty, readable style with enough detail to make it enjoyable but avoids getting bogged down in dry, mathematical formula (although I’m not sure if you can get bogged down in something that’s dry …? Sorry, I’m rambling, and rambling about my poor use of English.  Back to the review.)  I enjoyed the explanation of Google’s Page Rank algorithm – so much so that it inspired me to have a go at creating my own, new, ranking system for football’s Premier League (perhaps that’s a future post?) and I had a real light-bulb moment when the author explained, visually, the mathematics behind completing the square.

Some difficult mathematics is explained in an engaging and understandable way and I reckon that the book would be just about accessible to, say, a 14 year old who is ‘good at maths’ and enjoys the subject, would make good background reading for an A-Level mathematics student, and it would certainly be enjoyed by anyone 40+ who used to enjoy maths at school.

In fact, I might just re-read it myself …

Buy it for:

Anyone studying A-Level Maths

That ‘difficult to buy for’ man in your life who likes puzzles, understanding the world around him and shows any interest in numbers and maths.

Buy it on Amazon:

“The Joy of X” Steven Strogatz

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