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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, excellent value
The vast majority of this book is a collection of fascinating historically important mathematical papers, arranged in chronological order from Euclid to Turing. Each of the 17 mathematicians covered is given half-a-dozen pages of background, which is well written and informative, but it is the papers and essays themselves - which include commentary in the form of...
Published on 30 Nov. 2005

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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just a Collection of Papers
A few days after buying this book I think I might have been suckered into it with the metallic cover and Stephen Hawkings name. Well now I realise that its really just a collection of papers (by some of the famous mathematicians) and not even a commentary. Sure there is a nice little introduction to each sections author.

But perhaps part of what we are paying...
Published on 3 Dec. 2005 by Masdo


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, excellent value, 30 Nov. 2005
By A Customer
The vast majority of this book is a collection of fascinating historically important mathematical papers, arranged in chronological order from Euclid to Turing. Each of the 17 mathematicians covered is given half-a-dozen pages of background, which is well written and informative, but it is the papers and essays themselves - which include commentary in the form of footnotes in very small print - that is the best part. These are generally in the public domain anyway, but the printing and layout is top-quality. Obviously much of the contents will only be understandable with some previous maths experience, and the papers don't necessarily build on each other, but if maths is at all interesting to you...
This book could have been even better with the addition of an index and cross-references, but it is outstanding value and has such depth I have to give it five stars.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just a Collection of Papers, 3 Dec. 2005
A few days after buying this book I think I might have been suckered into it with the metallic cover and Stephen Hawkings name. Well now I realise that its really just a collection of papers (by some of the famous mathematicians) and not even a commentary. Sure there is a nice little introduction to each sections author.

But perhaps part of what we are paying for is the fact someone has selected what they considered to be the important works.

I was hoping for a bit more in the way of commentary/explanation. Saying that the sections I was interested in where Cauchy/Fourier/Riemann

Maybe its too early to tell I may need to spend more time reading it.

A book I did like was called "A History of Mathematics" by Boyers et al. A book that is available very cheaply now on Amazon (check out the review) and less formidable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just What I Expected, 28 Jan. 2012
This review is from: God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History (Paperback)
Nice quality book (was a tiny tear by the back of the pine but nothing a bit of tape couldn't fix - hardly noticable). As for the contents, nice to see some of the original works and wording that were used and much more discussion and explanation of reasoning behind the theorums which now are largely brushed over and demonstrates the thought processes rather nicely. Good book to have in my collection as a source of reference.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Did God create Integers?, 8 July 2009
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Mr. P. Harvey "Phil" (Cornwall, UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
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This is a massive tome comprising 1357 pages with a commentary by Professor Stephen Hawking. It is not a mathematical textbook in the conventional sense. It is in fact a collection of mathematical papers written by some of the most eminent mathematicians throughout history. For example, there are contributions from: Euclid, Archimedes, Diophantus, Rene Descartes, Isaac Newton, Leonhard Euler, Pierre Simon Laplace, Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky, Janos Bolyai, Evariste Galois, George Boole, Bernhard Riemann, Karl Weierstrass, Richard Dedekind, Georg Cantor, Henri Lebesgue, Kurt Godel and Alan Turing. There is a brief introduction by American Physicist Richard Feynman.

This is not a book to be read from cover to cover, it is more of a reference book to be dipped into when the need arises.

It is also not the kind of book to answer all your mathematical enquiries because there are great gaps in the various mathematical disciplines presented in the book. However, it gives the reader an appreciation of what Integers are and how they can be manipulated by a set of rules we call mathematics. These rules are steadily evolving and increasing but Integers themselves are unchanging. They have both an abstract and real quality.

Despite its size and content, this book is eminently readable and I purchased it in the hope that it would fill in some of the gaps in my mathematical knowledge. Thirty years ago I obtained and Honors Degree which included mathematics. I found this academic subject particularly interesting but it was always my regret that I never really grasped the underlying theory of numbers, especially Integers. They control almost every aspect of our lives and it seems unlikely that they grew out of nothing, like the Universe from the Big Bang. Or did they exist before mankind or even before the Universe?

The title of the book: ' God created the Integers' could be interpreted as both a statement and as a question. It is left to the reader to decide which is more appropriate.

I have read relatively few of the mathematical papers in this book but what I have read has proven thought provoking as if there was an underlying link between the different branches of mathematics and that link are the Integers.

This kind of book won't appeal to everyone because it introduces mathematic concepts that are frequently very difficult to grasp. However, each paper introduces its subject at a level that most can understand and develops the associated mathematical theory to its ultimate goal. Perseverance is the key.

If you like 'numbers' whether professionally or as an interest, this book maybe for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars All in all quite useful, 26 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History (Paperback)
As dense as you'd expect this book to be. One could consider this the abridged Bible of documented achievements in mathematics over the last 2 and a half millennium. Granted this is a ridiculously hard book to read (at-least for me, an undergraduate student of Astrophysics), but its interesting to delve into now and then particularly when you want a solid grounding in the proofs of the mathematical techniques that are used so often.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay, I think ..., 19 April 2013
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This review is from: God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History (Paperback)
Having read several books by and about Stephen Hawking, I felt I owed it to myself to read more about the mathematical breakthroughs that made his - and other scientific greats - work possible. However, the first chapter made me realize that this book would be a more extended project, as my own math background is so limited. Paper and pencil and time are necessary.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, but could have done with a proof-read, 1 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History (Paperback)
This is a great book, the works of some truely inspirational mathematicians are reprinted in one (maybe cumbersomely thick) book. If you are looking for an introduction to maths or the history of maths this is the wrong book for you, Hawking has chosen a selection of interesting papers for the mathematically-minded to muse over and mavel at, most of us will be all too familure with Newton, Euler and Lorentz so they do not feature much, however not many of us will own a copy of 'elements' or the works of Descartes and reading the original proofs and words of Archimedes is a treat! Hawking guides you through the terminology and historical context as well as explaining the maths in modern language (x and y) alongside the original where required and giving a short introduction to the mathematicians bofore each section.

my only complaint is the the text changes size alot from page to page and is often very tiny! one page is also left in Latin which may act as a barrier for some I imagine!

Well done to the Professor for this insightful guide into the minds and works of the ancient and modern geniuses featured.
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4.0 out of 5 stars complex, 27 Nov. 2012
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Stephen Hawkings is an amazing scientist but the book is complex and the equations really hard to understand. I spent days try to understand them but im biologist :(, maybe thats why.
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5.0 out of 5 stars god created integers, 9 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History (Paperback)
bought it s a present for my physicist son - he loved it - and started reading it straight away
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful but big omissions, 4 Jan. 2007
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R. Richards (UK) - See all my reviews
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This book has a useful collection of important papers. A discussion about whether this or that paper should have been excluded/included would go on for ever. Even so it is really rather startling that the collection does not include a single paper by a non-European mathematician. Surely this cannot be justified.
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