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Customer Review

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and concise overview of mathematical concepts, 29 April 2003
This review is from: Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
Professor Gowers explains the key concepts of mathematics in this accessible and well-constructed book. Written for a general audience (although some basic scientific knowledge is an advantage), this book avoids the popularisation of mathematics, but instead focuses instead on the central ideas of abstraction and axiomisation which underpin all of modern mathematics.
After an introductory chapter on mathematical models in the sciences, Professor Gowers covers topics including numbers, limits, dimension and approximation in six short chapters. A final chapter gives thought-provoking answers to questions such as what are the connections between mathematics and music, and what is beauty in mathematics. The format inevitably means that some topics are omitted due to lack of space - there is little background on the history of mathematics for example - but that does not detract from the central theme of the book.
Professor Gowers' enthusiasm for his subject comes across on every page.
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