William Goldbloom Bloch is a respected professor of mathematics at Wheaton College. This intriguing lecture series, Mathematics Is Power, delves into both the history of mathematics and its impact on people’s everyday lives from a non-mathematician’s perspective. Bloch first examines the history of mathematics and age-old questions pertaining to logic, truth, and paradoxes. Moving on to a discussion of how mathematics impacts the modern world, Bloch also explores abstract permutations such as game theory, cryptography, and voting theory.
©2013 William Bloch (P)2013 Crescite Group, LLC
I'll begin by addressing what pertains to any reader, mathematician or not. This book is a general overview of several "flashy" topics in mathematics, as well as a superficial treatment of more base theory behind those ideas.
The reader is obviously a mathematician and his enthusiasm shows in his narration; however, because he is more mathematician than narrator, the listen can seem somewhat droning at times. That said, he does an admirable job describing complex topics in a simplified manner.
For the general reader: I feel the author's efforts to blunt the theory falls too short at times. You are often asked to visualize some very complex geometric structures that most initiates in mathematics take days or weeks to understand. The material is attainable for the layperson, but the topics are only superficially treated and true appreciation for the underlying theory will only be gained in a handful of instances.
For the mathematician: You will obviously not learn anything earth-shattering or new here; however, the alternative perspective is nice. You will find his conceptualizations sometimes a bit contrite, but some are very interesting.
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