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The Joy of Mathematics

The Joy of Mathematics [Kindle Edition]

Theoni Pappas
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description

Product Description

Part of the joy of mathematics is that it is everywhere-in soap bubbles, electricity, da Vinci's masterpieces, even in an ocean wave. Written by the well-known mathematics teacher consultant, this volume's collection of over 200 clearly illustrated mathematical ideas, concepts, puzzles, and games shows where they turn up in the "real" world. You'll find out what a googol is, visit hotel infinity, read a thorny logic problem that was stumping them back in the 8th century.

THE JOY OF MATHEMATICS is designed to be opened at random…it's mini essays are self-contained providing the reader with an enjoyable way to explore and experience mathematics at its best.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 8309 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wide World Publishing; 2nd edition (23 Jan 1993)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #561,675 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is an excellent book that covers many areas of math. Each subject is covered in 1-4 pages making the book very easy to read, and useful to teachers as a resource for enrichment. This book may be too simple or "shallow" for some of the more serious mathematicians, but the fun feeling of the book makes up for it.

The book also includes many tie-ins to areas such as science, art, and other fields.
Definitely worth reading, a MUST for the library of any middle or high school math teacher.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book awakened my love for maths 4 April 2014
I was given a copy of this book when I was 12. My usual attitude is if I have to study something, then it gets boring, but if I don't have to study it, it stays interesting. Because this book didn't really delve too deeply into each topic, it was a fun read that didn't feel like I was studying maths. I'm 31y/o now, and I think this book is still a great gift for young readers who like to learn about the world around them without the pressure from inside a classroom.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not worth the money 17 April 2009
I am onot sure why such books are written in any case.there is no flow of thought from one topic to another and it will not make an attempt to explain the concept behind.Any street walker could write such a book and it does not take a genius of theoni's kind.Very disappointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars These are vignettes, designed to inspire further exploration 10 April 2005
By Julie Brennan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The widely divergent reviews reflect a lack of understanding of the purpose of this book. It is meant to touch on many mathematical ideas, not to go into depth on any one idea. My son read this at age 8, then at 10, and again at 12 - getting something more out of it every time. Many of the ideas intrigued and inspired him to seek out more information on his own, to research and understand more deeply. For that purpose, it deserves the highest rating.

I did not give 5 stars because there are some instances where I did find errors, these do not detract from the purpose of the book, but they are annoying to those of us who try to delve deeper. What I consistently found myself doing is researching from the internet and other print resources. But the idea originated from the overview in the book.

Many recreational mathematics books are inaccessible to beginners or math phobes. This book allows you to sample many, many ideas without feeling overwhelmed by details you may not understand. If you want details, you go explore the world opened up by the book.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for mathematicans *and* non-mathematicians 2 July 1997
By A Customer - Published on
This is an excellent book that covers many areas of math. Each subject is covered in 1-4 pages making the book very easy to read, and useful to teachers as a resource for enrichment. This book may be too simple or "shallow" for some of the more serious mathematicians, but the fun feeling of the book makes up for it.

The book also includes many tie-ins to areas such as science, art, and other fields.
Definitely worth reading, a MUST for the library of any middle or high school math teacher.
104 of 122 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A pathetic little book that could have been good 14 July 2003
By A Customer - Published on
This book could have been good if the author had done a careful job of writing the text, and perhaps if the illustrations were original, and above all if the author had understood the material she was writing about. Sadly these are often not the case with this book.
Rather, this book gives every sign of being essentially copied from bits of many dozens of other books. All the illustrations appear to be low-quality xerographic copies from other books (clearly used without any permissions).
But worst of all, the book is chock full of misstatements, misconceptions, and sentences that don't convey any meaning.
This book gives the non-expert reader the impression that he or she is learning something, but a great deal of the time this is just the illusion of learning.
I will list a few of the errors and illusory learning that I can readily find:
p. 6: The illustration of the cycloid curve should show it to be in a vertical direction where one arch meets another; instead it is at 45 degrees to the vertical.
p. 7: It is stated that when marbles are released in a cycloid-shaped container, they will reach the bottom at the same time. This phenomenon occurs for a bowl whose cross-section is an *inverted* cycloid, but that is omitted.
p. 13: Both the "impossible tribar" and "Hyzer's optical illusion" are NOT mathematically impossible, contrary to what is written. (They can be constructed in 3 dimensions.) Twistors are mentioned but not defined, even in a rough, metaphoric way -- just not at all.
p. 18: It is mentioned that pi cannot be the solution of an algebraic equation with integral coefficients, but there is no discussion in the book of what such an equation is.
p. 19: Also, it is stated that the probability of two randomly chosen integers' being relatively prime is 6/pi. Not only should the correct number be 6/(pi * pi), but the idea of randomly choosing an integer is left completely undiscussed, although there is no known way to do this.
p. 38: The Platonic solids (aka regular polyhedra) are discussed here, but although they are defined twice, neither definition is correct. (The author neglects to mention that the faces of such a solid must be *regular* polygons.)
p. 45: The Klein bottle is discussed and illustrated here, but there is no mention that a genuine Klein bottle cannot be constructed in ordinary 3-dimensional space. (The familiar model of a Klein bottle depicted here is a self-intersecting version of the real Klein bottle, which does not intersect itself. This is much like the fact that a picture of a knot drawn in the plane must appear as if the knot intersects itself, though it does not do so in space.)
p. 46: The illustration at bottom purports to show what the model of the Klein bottle would look like if it were sliced in half. The halves are erroneously shown as identical, but they should be mirror images of each other.
p. 78: The title of this page is "Fractals -- real or imaginary?"
This is an entirely misguided question that will only confuse the reader. All mathematical concepts are real within mathematics, and do not exist (except as approximations) in the real world.
It's a worthwhile topic in the philosophy of mathematics, and could well have been introduced in this book, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with fractals per se.
p. 91: Here the author attempts to describe a model of hyperbolic geometry (in a circular disk) devised by Henri Poincaré. However, she gets it exactly backwards, saying that objects get smaller as they approach the boundary of the disk.
(She may have been well-aware of how this model works, but her prose is at best completely ambiguous.)
p. 96: Here it is stated that it has been proved that knots cannot exist in more than 3 dimensions. Apparently the author is unfamiliar with an extensive and thriving field of higher-dimensional knots. (For example, a sphere can be knotted in 4-dimensional space.)
There are many, many more such gaffes, but I fear I have gone on too long. I just wanted to make it crystal-clear that this book is riddled with erroneous and vacuous statements.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too cursory for much use, very often misleading. 9 Sep 2004
By Kersi Von Zerububbel - Published on
Sorry to say but this book is a dud. While the concept of presenting interesting mathematical facts is great the presentation is so brief, so wrought with errors, and so incomplete that the work is not worth perusing.

Some of the "chapters" have answers at the back of the book and some do not. It appears that the author could not make up her mind wether this was to be a "math tricks" book or a "popular mathematics" presentation substantiated by theory.

There are many other excellent books that are more fulfilling. Journey Through Genius comes to mind.

All in all a disappointing work.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Notice more around you than just what you see 17 Dec 2007
By Marek Nocon - Published on
My appreciation for Theoni Pappas is enormous as for an observer and admirer of the world around her and mathematician. These factors cannot be separated, as at first you have to do more than just look around, but you have to have a beautiful mind of a child and be an intellectualist at the same time, not just to take things for granted, but as a child be curious and ask questions and finally as an intellectualist and mathematician find answers to them.
Yet, there is more to it. It is so, as the author popularizes mathematics. She answers the basic questions about role of mathematics in our lives. Most people associate mathematics as calculating especially money, yet in mathematics the theory models or formula are created, and it occurs that they find application in our material world sometimes even centuries afterwards. Let us look at some examples in the book "The joy of mathematics": - earthquakes and logarithms- connection lies in the method to calculate earthquakes' magnitudes by means of Richter scale, which is logarithmic, - the catenary & the parabolic curves- who takes as an obvious phenomena- the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco- it looks gorgeous, but what it looks like is connected with construction equations, which contribute to the fundamental thing, that it really is invulnerable and cannot be destroyed by the mass itself, as well as additional natural forces. Even Galileo noticed the curve to be parabola, - Thales & the Great Pyramid- Egiptians' calculations of the height of a pyramid were based on shadows and similar triangles, -the Dome of Milan -Gothic plans incorporating the application of geometry and symmetry in architecture, and lots of stuff like that. If you like to notice more around you, astound your friends, you should read such books, as there is more beauty around you than what you just see.
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