Customer Review

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's over my head, 4 Feb 2010
This review is from: Taming the Infinite: The Story of Mathematics (Paperback)
This is university level pure mathematics so the Waterstone reviewer who wrote "guaranteed to illuminate even the most number-shy" could not have read it. I don't know where this paperback is supposed to fit in: it is not a text book and nor is it a layman's paperback but requires a good level of mathematical knowledge and a high intellect to get anywhere near grasping the concepts. A number of tantalising concepts could have made this book more interesting if they had been explained eg. what is 196,884 dimensional algebra and although it is good to know that the Greeks solved cubic equations using conic sections how did they do it? The index is not very good. I don't know who this book could be recommended to.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Dec 2010 22:16:10 GMT
S R Scott says:
Above you head is it ? There are many many readers who have run through first year University level mathematics course. Most science and engineering courses as well as economics and some of the humanities include this. So there is a very wide numerate readership out there. Professor Steward is a great teacher and communicator - don't knock this book because you cannot handle it.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Sep 2011 19:43:33 BDT
Io says:
I agree with the reviewer about the index. It should be more comprehensive. I agree with nothing else. The book doesn't require any particular mathematical skills but it does require some minimal intelligence. My maths-phobic cousin (educated in the humanities) stumbled upon the book, browsed it rather thoroughly, and she decided to buy it as a present for me, intending to borrow it back when I was finished. If the book is over anyone's head, that person simply can't think logically.

Posted on 8 May 2012 11:40:45 BDT
J. Peters says:
I agree with the original poster. I am educated to A-level in mathematics and physics, and I program computers for a living (in very obscure low-level languages and boolean logic). I am no Steven Hawking, but I am no thickie either. I have read a number of popular science/maths books over the years which include many difficult concepts yet I understand most. By contrast I found reading this book disappointing and bewildering as it lost me several times. By the way, I am surprised by some of the snide comments in here. I would have thought anyone clever enough to buy, read and understand this book must be intelligent enough to realise we all learn differently - some people will respond well to the author's style, others won't. We're not school kids any more, so play nicely :-)
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