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Bertrand Russell wrote that mathematics can exalt "as surely as poetry". This is especially true of one equation: ei(pi) + 1 = 0, the brainchild of Leonhard Euler, the Mozart of mathematics. More than two centuries after Euler's death, it is still regarded as a conceptual diamond of unsurpassed beauty. Called Euler's identity, or God's equation, it includes just five numbers but represents an astonishing revelation of hidden connections.
In Calculating the Cosmos, Ian Stewart presents an exhilarating guide to the cosmos, from our solar system to the entire universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it's all going to end. He considers parallel universes, the fine-tuning of the cosmos for life, what forms extraterrestrial life might take, and the likelihood of life on Earth being snuffed out by an asteroid.
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.
In this must-have for anyone who wants to better understand their love life, a mathematician pulls back the curtain and reveals the hidden patterns—from dating sites to divorce, sex to marriage—behind the rituals of love. The roller coaster of romance is hard to quantify; defining how lovers might feel from a set of simple equations is impossible. But that doesn’t mean that mathematics isn’t a crucial tool for understanding love. Love, like most things in life, is full of patterns. And mathematics is ultimately the study of patterns—from predicting the weather to the fluctuations of the stock market, the movement of planets or the growth of cities. These patterns twist and turn and warp and evolve just as the rituals of love do.
In Significant Figures, acclaimed mathematician Ian Stewart introduces the visionaries of mathematics throughout history. Delving into the lives of twenty-five great mathematicians, Stewart examines the roles they played in creating, inventing, and discovering the mathematics we use today. Through these short biographies, we get acquainted with the history of mathematics.
Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy, and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind-boggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist.
Bertrand Russell wrote that mathematics can exalt "as surely as poetry". This is especially true of one equation: ei(pi) + 1 = 0, the brainchild of Leonhard Euler, the Mozart of mathematics. More than two centuries after Euler's death, it is still regarded as a conceptual diamond of unsurpassed beauty. Called Euler's identity, or God's equation, it includes just five numbers but represents an astonishing revelation of hidden connections.
In Calculating the Cosmos, Ian Stewart presents an exhilarating guide to the cosmos, from our solar system to the entire universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it's all going to end. He considers parallel universes, the fine-tuning of the cosmos for life, what forms extraterrestrial life might take, and the likelihood of life on Earth being snuffed out by an asteroid.
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.
In this must-have for anyone who wants to better understand their love life, a mathematician pulls back the curtain and reveals the hidden patterns—from dating sites to divorce, sex to marriage—behind the rituals of love. The roller coaster of romance is hard to quantify; defining how lovers might feel from a set of simple equations is impossible. But that doesn’t mean that mathematics isn’t a crucial tool for understanding love. Love, like most things in life, is full of patterns. And mathematics is ultimately the study of patterns—from predicting the weather to the fluctuations of the stock market, the movement of planets or the growth of cities. These patterns twist and turn and warp and evolve just as the rituals of love do.
In Significant Figures, acclaimed mathematician Ian Stewart introduces the visionaries of mathematics throughout history. Delving into the lives of twenty-five great mathematicians, Stewart examines the roles they played in creating, inventing, and discovering the mathematics we use today. Through these short biographies, we get acquainted with the history of mathematics.
Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy, and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind-boggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist.
Whether you are a student struggling to fulfill a math or science requirement, or you are embarking on a career change that requires a higher level of math competency, A Mind for Numbers offers the tools you need to get a better grasp of that intimidating but inescapable field. Engineering professor Barbara Oakley knows firsthand how it feels to struggle with math. She flunked her way through high school math and science courses, before enlisting in the army immediately after graduation.
Does time exist? What is infinity? Why do mirrors reverse left and right but not up and down? In this scintillating collection, Holt explores the human mind, the cosmos, and the thinkers who’ve tried to encompass the latter with the former. With his trademark clarity and humor, Holt probes the mysteries of quantum mechanics, the quest for the foundations of mathematics, and the nature of logic and truth. Along the way, he offers intimate biographical sketches of celebrated and neglected thinkers, from the physicist Emmy Noether to the computing pioneer Alan Turing and the discoverer of fractals, Benoit Mandelbrot.
Atom Land brings the impossibly small world of particle physics to life, taking listeners on a guided journey through the subatomic world. Listeners will sail the subatomic seas in search of electron ports, boson continents, and hadron islands. The sea itself is the quantum field, complete with quantum waves. Beware dark energy and extra dimensions, embodied by fantastical sea creatures prowling the far edges of the known world. Your tour guide through this whimsical - and highly instructive - world is Jon Butterworth, leading physicist at CERN.
"Correlation does not imply causation". This mantra has been invoked by scientists for decades and has led to a virtual prohibition on causal talk. But today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, sparked by Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and placed causality - the study of cause and effect - on a firm scientific basis.
Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite wall. Just how calculus makes these things possible and in doing so finds a correspondence between real numbers and the real world is the subject of this dazzling book by a writer of extraordinary clarity and stylistic brio.
The aim of this audiobook is to explain, carefully but not technically, the differences between advanced, research-level mathematics, and the sort of mathematics we learn at school. The most fundamental differences are philosophical, and listeners of this audiobook will emerge with a clearer understanding of paradoxical-sounding concepts such as infinity, curved space, and imaginary numbers. The first few chapters are about general aspects of mathematical thought.
Ignition! is the story of the search for a rocket propellant which could be trusted to take man into space. This search was a hazardous enterprise carried out by rival labs who worked against the known laws of nature, with no guarantee of success or safety. John Drury Clark writes with irreverent and eyewitness immediacy about the development of the explosive fuels strong enough to negate the relentless restraints of gravity. The resulting volume is as much a memoir as a work of history, sharing a behind-the-scenes view of an enterprise that eventually took men to the moon.
Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr's students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favored practical experiments over philosophical arguments.
In 1939, Richard Feynman, a brilliant graduate of MIT, arrived in John Wheeler's Princeton office to report for duty as his teaching assistant. A lifelong friendship and enormously productive collaboration was born, despite sharp differences in personality. The soft-spoken Wheeler, though conservative in appearance, was a raging nonconformist full of wild ideas about the universe. The boisterous Feynman was a cautious physicist who believed only what could be tested. Yet they were complementary spirits.
Through Euclid's Window Leonard Mlodinow brilliantly and delightfully leads us on a journey through five revolutions in geometry, from the Greek concept of parallel lines to the latest notions of hyperspace. Here is an altogether new, refreshing, alternative history of math revealing how simple questions anyone might ask about space -- in the living room or in some other galaxy -- have been the hidden engine of the highest achievements in science and technology.
The Art of the Infinite takes infinity, in its countless guises, as a touchstone for understanding mathematical thinking. Robert and Ellen Kaplan guide us through the “Republic of Numbers,” where we meet both its upstanding citizens and its more shadowy dwellers; and transport us across the plane of geometry into the unlikely realm where parallel lines meet.
The laws of thermodynamics drive everything that happens in the universe. From the sudden expansion of a cloud of gas to the cooling of hot metal - everything is moved or restrained by four simple laws. Written by Peter Atkins, one of the world's leading authorities on thermodynamics, this powerful and compact introduction explains what these four laws are and how they work, using accessible language and virtually no mathematics.
What if you had to take an art class in which you were only taught how to paint a fence? What if you were never shown the paintings of van Gogh and Picasso, weren't even told they existed? Alas, this is how math is taught, and so for most of us it becomes the intellectual equivalent of watching paint dry.
In Love and Math, renowned mathematician Edward Frenkel reveals a side of math we've never seen, suffused with all the beauty and elegance of a work of art. In this heartfelt and passionate audiobook, Frenkel shows that mathematics, far from occupying a specialist niche, goes to the heart of all matter, uniting us across cultures, time, and space.
Love and Math tells two intertwined stories: of the wonders of mathematics and of one young man's journey learning and living it. Having braved a discriminatory educational system to become one of the twenty-first century's leading mathematicians, Frenkel now works on one of the biggest ideas to come out of math in the last 50 years: the Langlands Program.
Considered by many to be a Grand Unified Theory of mathematics, the Langlands Program enables researchers to translate findings from one field to another so that they can solve problems, such as Fermat's last theorem, that had seemed intractable before. At its core, Love and Math is a story about accessing a new way of thinking, which can enrich our lives and empower us to better understand the world and our place in it. It is an invitation to discover the magic hidden universe of mathematics.
What did you like best about Love and Math? What did you like least?
Best was the personal story of the author's personal triumph over prejudice in Moscow. Despite horrible anti-semitism, he was able to escape to America and be, at least in his own estimation (with apparent plausibility) a well regarded academic mathematician.
The unfolding mathematical story, as well as personal one, appeared to have the potential to be fascinating. But given it is pitched at a general audience who are not trained in maths, it failed in explaining itself. Given that part of the author's argument (at least expressed in other forums than this book) is that the school curriculum being too slow to take up the progress in mathematics over the last couple of centuries, and that it has the potential to be fascinating, this is a serious failure. The way the mathematical advances are presented in this book, if it is thought by a serious mathematician to be presented for an intelligent lay audience, strains the believability of the proposition that such mathematics can ever be generally accessible.
Having only listened to the audio book, I do, however, wonder whether this is caused by having to listen to mathematical formulas rather than read them. The words or numbers and symbols on the page of a book, may be more accessible. A possibility is that I have a visually dominant input so that aural input is more difficult. But I found it very difficult to keep the boringly read formulas in my head long enough to work out whether they presented an argument. (Of course, I accept that they did, just that it bypassed me completely) I also supposed that the book must have contained illustrations which are not referred to at all in the auditory text. I suspect if you had the written material in front of you you could at least stop and look at it and read it several times and reason mathematically a little bit about it so it would be more likely to stay in one's head for the next part of the argument.
Possibly this was exacerbated by the reader who seemed not to have a very good ability to give emphasis and nuance to what he was reading. There were several times where
I felt I picked up a lot of mathematical jargon - fields, groups, sets, braids, loops, Galois things, Lie algebra, Langlands program, Weill's rosetta stone, vector spaces, legrangians, Katz-Moody algebras - I'm not sure how to spell all these at is all auditory. But I really can't say that any of this terminology has any meaning to me.
The experience was really just like watching the news in Chinese, with English commentary interspersed to provide historical updates. Unless you speak a bit of Chinese, you wouldn't get it. It was the same here, you need to be pretty knowledgeable about maths to understand the importance of the maths presented.
Perhaps this is just my lack of education in higher mathematics - but that was why i thought I'd be interested to read the book - to gain some general conception of what modern mathematics is really about. I failed. Perhaps it's just me.
Despite these significant shortcomings, the book was interesting and I learnt a tiny shadowy amount of what goes on in that foreign land.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed the book, but would be hard pressed to recommend it since he does explain all the details that goes into the relevant math and the listener can get lost within the weeds of the math. I did not know this branch of mathematics and was able to follow the details, but sometimes it did get overwhelming.
Math is beautiful. Behind our current different branches of abstract math there exist an ultimate theory that ties each branch together. This book explains all of this by delving into the mathematical details and stepping the listener through many abstract math concepts.
The author tells an exciting story. The description of the fundamental particles of nature are said to be described by the "eight fold path". I've often wondered what that meant. The book starts by explaining what it means to be symmetrical and how we can transform objects into mathematically equivalent systems. This leads to Evariste Galois the greatest mathematician who you probably never have heard of. On the night before he died in a duel, he connected number theory to geometry by considering the relationship of certain groups (Galois Groups) with their fields and some symmetries in order to solve quintic equations (fifth degree polynomials). Once again, I had often wondered about what was so special about solving fifth degree polynomials. The book steps me through that.
The ultimate theory of math tries to show the correspondences between different diverse areas of abstract math and then the author ties this to QED and string theory. He'll even explain what SU3 means in the standard model by analogy with constructing SO3 spaces (standard 3 dimensional ordinate systems). He'll step you through the vector spaces, function theory, and metric spaces and the functions of the metric space (sheaves) that you'll need to understand what it all means.
He really does tie all the concepts together and explains them as he presents them. You'll understand why string theorist think there could be 10 to the 500 different possible universes and so on.
Just so that any reader of this review fully understands, this is a very difficult book, and should only be listened to by someone who has wondered about some of the following topics, the meaning of the "eight fold path", the SU3 construction, and why Galois is relevant to today's physics, tying of math branches and physics together, and other just as intriguing ideas. I had, and he answers these by getting in the weeds and never talking down to the listener, but I'm guessing the typical reader hasn't wondered these topics and this book will not be as entertaining to them and might be hard to follow.
P.S. A book like this really highlights while I like audible so much. If I had read the book instead of listening to it, it would have taken me eight hours per most pages because I would have had to understand everything before preceding, but by listening I have to not dwell on a page. Another thing, the author really missed a great opportunity by making the book too complex, because he has a great math story to tell and he could have made easier analogies and talked around the jargon better.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
As a math major I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it filled me with joy, pride, humility, and ambition. I am now more certain than I've ever been that I was born to do mathematics.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I bought the audiobook and the Kindle book, but I found it too difficult to follow the information on the audio, as it always refers to numbers, symbols and equations. The information was worth reading, so I could get an overview on what a “mathematician world” is like. The information is way too complex to understand, at least for me who does not have any mathematical background.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Remarkable story spiced with tantalizing mathematical truths. There’s only a few chapters which delve into the more abstract concepts required to understand the Langlands program.
The trials the author went through to get where he is at today is inspiring beyond measure. He has planted a seed of love for math inside this “Miracle-Grow” book such that by the time you’re finished, hopefully that seed will have sprouted in you as well.
The narrator should have been more diligent in researching how to pronounce names of famous mathematicians
If you like math, this book will captivate you. The story alternates between his personal history (fascinating) of desperately wanting to practice pure mathematics in a Soviet Russia that only allowed Jews to pursue certain careers and mathematical explanations (most far, far over my head) of some of the mind-blowing connections found by mathematicians and physicists between seemingly unrelated disciplines in a collaborative research initiative called the Langlands program. It is now a life goal to be able to understand enough of the mathematics to listen to this again in a couple of years and have most of the math parts make sense.
It is a great book because it outlines Frenkel's development and career while keeping the listener in the moments of his development, naive of what is to come, as Frenkel experienced it. One draw back is the audio sections in which the recorded performer must read the formulas and expressions that are superscript and subscript heavy, but I suppose if one wanted to develop ones ability to comprehend complex information via only an auditory delivery, then this is an great challenge; I could not do it, but the upside is that I'm so intrigued to want to understand the content, that I will likely purchase the hardcopy to have to visual opportunity to digest the mathematical formulas.
It has surprised me how easy it is to understand this book even when talking about complex mathematical topics. Still I recommend reading more than one.
The book is also reflected the life of a mathematician; study, motivate. makes through the tribulations, memories and anecdotes of the live of the writer.
It is a book that has funny anecdotes, I really enjoyed
One hopes the author's sense of math proportion is better than his sense of self importance. The book is offered as one focussed on modern math but three quarters seem to be about him. Nevertheless that one quarter is informative and valuable.
What didn’t you like about Tony Craine’s performance?
He clearly didn't understand a lot of what he was reading - it's quite heavy maths in places, and it was impossible to understand. Also, just not getting the concepts of what he was saying meant he sometimes put the emphasis in strange places making it so hard to follow. Not great.
Any additional comments?
Argh, finally finished this book. Unsurprisingly, it does not work as an audiobook. Do not buy it from Audible.
I think when I got it, I believed it was more of a book about mathematicians or a fictionalised autobiography, than a book about maths. It's sort of both, but there is a fair amount of actual maths (and significantly advanced maths, at that). And that's just impossible to make sense of while listening. Particularly as the narrator, Tony Craine, clearly has absolutely no idea what he is saying, so his emphasis is often totally off, or he reads things in a way that doesn't distinguish where brackets would be, so it's just impossible to follow no matter how hard you listen - there's not enough information conveyed.
The story itself I really enjoyed - it was a fascinating account of education and anti-semitism in Soviet Russia, as well as great insight into the lives of professional mathematicians. I did a maths degree so I can't comment on how it would come across to the layman, but I found the actual maths a bit hard-going and uninteresting - these are difficult, complicated concepts that weren't very interesting when you can't get into either the nitty-gritty or appreciate the broader concepts.
A bit of a mixed bag. Quite enjoyable in parts, but I'm glad to be done. Don't get the audiobook.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Where does Love and Math rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Really loved this book. I have always been intrigued with math and it's possibilities but never got further than basic functions. Thanks to Edward frenkel I now dare to dream that I might do more with math than before.
The story is inspiring and gripping. The narrator is doing a great job: there are various equations mentioned which I imagine makes narrating a bit tricky but with a book on math quite unavoidable. His voice is pleasant and very suited for this book.
In short: this book rekindled my love for math. Thank you Edward.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
First, let me state that I am not a mathematics novice. I am reasonably familiar with most of the concepts, at least broadly, that are discussed in this book.
This book starts out with a very exciting premise, that mathematics need not be daunting and that one can even fall in love with mathematics. I tutor kids part time and that notion is something that I desperately want to be able to teach better. Misleadingly, this book approaches the joy of maths in the form of mathematical memoirs of a mathematician written for mathematicians (as confusing as that sounds). Beyond the introduction, this book dives head first into the Langlands Program, braided forms, higher order polynomials, symmetry and other advanced concepts.
The discussion is at a good pace and concisely written. I found it very interesting and from the educational vantage point that I occupy, I got a lot out of it.
While the author takes great pains to make the language accessible to all, the concepts discussed quickly and unapologetically fall far outside the reach of the majority of the general public, and in my opinion, fails in all aspects of the suggested aim to inspire the uninitiated to find love in math.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful