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K. Singh (Hertfordshire)
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Publishing And The Advancement Of Science: From Selfish Genes To Galileo's Finger
Publishing And The Advancement Of Science: From Selfish Genes To Galileo's Finger
by Michael Rodgers
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Introduction to Publishing Science books, 25 May 2015
The author spent over 30 years of his working life being a science editor for various publishing companies. He was the commissioning editor for popular science books as well as science textbooks.
Most of this book describes the authors’ time at Oxford University Press (OUP) but also significantly the work involved in commissioning books such as Selfish Genes by Richard Dawkins and Physical Chemistry by Peter Atkins. Both of these books have achieved enormous sales.
The book under review is not an autobiography but emphasises Rogers working life as an editor. There are some really interesting anecdotes regarding his meetings with various authors and the pressures of publishing companies.
Anyone wanting to write a textbook or popular science book should purchase this as it reveals real insight into publishing such books and how to go about such a task.


Love and Math
Love and Math
by Edward Frenkel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not a book for the layman, 15 April 2015
This review is from: Love and Math (Paperback)
The author is a professional mathematician and describes what it means to do mathematical research. There are some real gems in this book such as:
Which functions (Euler phi function) are used to encrypt credit card numbers.
Which is larger 2/3 or 3/5 – Most people know that 2 bottles of vodka for 3 people is better than 3 bottles for 5 people.
How we can obtain the Fibonacci sequence from its generating function.
What does a finite field mean.
There is also a good explanation of the Langlands Program.
Very few typos (the only two I picked up were both on page 85 - should be divisible not visible and penultimate paragraph should start with ‘As we’.)
It is really pleasing to see that the author does not shy away from the mathematics in his writing.
However this is not a book for the layman because the mathematics is totally inaccessible to general audience. This is not a piece of writing for a popular audience as I mistakenly believed it was after reading a review before purchasing. To fully appreciate this book you should at least be an undergraduate in mathematics or physics as it is tough going in places.
Throughout the book the author has highlighted his personal struggles of being Jewish with the regime of the Soviet Union. This is really interesting as I was unaware of how the regime thought of all Jews as opponents, criminals, foes (these are my words). When depicting this the author mentions a number of locations in Russia which he should have illustrated with maps as most of us in the West will not be able to visualize the locations.
Additionally I have a few minor quibbles:
There are a number of terms omitted from the glossary such as invariant, winding number.
Should have explained the term monodromy through illustrations.
The author claims ‘It is customary to exclude 1 from this list” (of primes). I always thought of 1 as neither prime nor composite, just a unit.
I conclude that this is not a book for the layman.
Kuldeep Singh 15th April 2015


The Education of a Mathematician
The Education of a Mathematician
by Philip J. Davis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £35.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I really like this chapter with subheading such as Male vs Female ..., 10 Nov. 2014
The Education of a Mathematician by Philip Davies
This book is different from most other books for the mathematics layman. It is a very tangible and personal journey of the author from the 1930’s to end of the 20 century. In general I found it a very readable book on mathematics as well as mathematics education. There is also philosophy discussions in the book.
The author is a professional mathematician who gives his personal experience and what it means to be a mathematician with his travels to various countries.
The author discuss some really important questions such as the future role of mathematics and it applications. Also he reflects back at how mathematics has affected all of us in the past.
The last chapter describes the authors’ talk at the ‘The International Congress of Mathematicians’ in August 1998 given in Berlin. I really like this chapter with subheading such as Male vs Female Mathematics and Soft Mathematics vs Traditional Mathematics.
My only reservation is that it was hard to follow in places as the author is also a philosopher.


Mathematics in Victorian Britain
Mathematics in Victorian Britain
Price: £32.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Since each chapter is written by a new author I found some of the chapters pretty technical and others very accessible where the, 30 Oct. 2014
This book is divided up into mathematics of various era and geographical locations. It gives a flavour of mathematics and mathematicians not only in Britain but also in the Commonwealth.
Since each chapter is written by a new author I found some of the chapters pretty technical and others very accessible where the emphasis is on the people involved. A glossary might have made the book more accessible on the technical side but it would have to be such a large glossary that the book loses its compactness.
There are some really interesting snippets about mathematicians and their social life. I found the last chapter by Jeremy Gray the most interesting and controversial and will let you read this to find out why.
However I do have one serious reservation – the size of the font is far too small and in general I struggled to read this book. Hence the three stars.
Any serious history of mathematics student should purchase this book as it provides good motivation to the methods and approaches that lie behind the mathematics.


Mathematical Tools for Physics (Dover Books on Physics)
Mathematical Tools for Physics (Dover Books on Physics)
by James Nearing
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 15 Aug. 2014
This is an excellent book on applications of mathematics in relation to physics.
What I like about the book is the tangible applications of the theory. A lot of books with this sort of title are either very dry or just full of mindless calculations but this book tests your understanding.


I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban
by Malala Yousafzai
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.66

4.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent book as you learn a lot about the Swat ..., 5 Aug. 2014
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This is an excellent book as you learn a lot about the Swat and Pashtun culture and history. It is really well written and has an engaging style which hooks the reader in. The glossary and the chronological events of Pakistan and Swat are a very useful asset to the book.
One of the most moving parts of the book is the picture of her classroom seat left empty for her.
My only reservation is the book should have included more and better maps of Swat as there is only an isolated map at the start and it is difficult to keep on flicking back without losing the flow of the book.


The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets
The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets
by Simon Singh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.19

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book, 10 July 2014
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The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh
Until I read this book I was unaware of the sprinkling of mathematics in the Simpsons.
The book discusses the mathematicians on the writing teams of the Simpsons and Futurama. I must say that I was surprised to learn that most of the writers on these programmes are graduates or postgraduates of mathematics or physics.
It is an excellent book for a layman as all the mathematics is explained in detailed.
My reservation is that the book is a series of detached mathematical stories whose only common theme is that these stories appeared in the Simpsons or Futurama. Also these mathematical stories are so common that if you have read any mathematical popular book you would have come across them. So nothing new here.
However I do think any serious mathematics student should purchase this book as it provides good motivation to study mathematics at undergraduate level.


Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century
Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century
by John B. Thompson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 29 May 2014
Any author, agent, editor, publishing company CEO should purchase this book. I was not aware of all the details involved in publishing a book. This book is an excellent guidance to exactly how fiction and non-fiction books are produced and it has a nice although rather brief history of publishing.


Introduction to Real Analysis
Introduction to Real Analysis
by Robert G. Bartle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £209.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Rigorous but not accessible, 9 May 2014
This is a very thorough rigorous book on real analysis and would suit a strong undergraduate mathematics student. However it lacks concrete examples at the expense of abstract generalities so students who struggle with pure mathematics will find this book hard work.


Book of Proof
Book of Proof
by Richard Heath Hammack
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 4 May 2014
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This review is from: Book of Proof (Paperback)
For any student who wants to read mathematics at undergraduate level should purchase this book. It is an introduction to mathematical proof and at its present price of approximately £8 is a good buy. I think you can download it free from the authors’ personal webpage.
It has a large number of exercises to reinforce your understanding and some good illustrations.
I do not know who published this book but it lacks a polished output and gives the impression that it has been printed on a local printer and bounded together; maybe this is why it can be sold at such a cheap price. Additionally it only gives solutions to odd numbered questions which can be off putting to a student who wants to use this book for self-learning.


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