1089 and All That: A Journey into Mathematics Paperback – 9 Dec 2010
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Thought provoking. (THES)
Popular maths is not easy to do, but David Acheson has really achieved it with this pocket-sized gem of a book. (Brian Clegg, Popular Science)
Review from previous edition 1089 and All That is an instant classic... an inspiring little masterpiece. (Mathematical Association of America)
Possibly the nicest maths book ever written. (Kjartan Poskitt, author of Murderous Maths)
Every so often an author presents scientific ideas in a new way... Starting from such minimalist material, David Acheson works his way up to chaos and catastrophe theory. Not a page passes without at least one intriguing insight... Anyone who is baffled by mathematics should buy it. And all mathematicians should buy at least a dozen copies to hand out to people they meet at parties. My enthusiasm for it knows no bounds. (Ian Stewart, New Scientist)
The tone of this little gem of a book is set by the allusion in its title to the W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman classic 1066 and All That, and the outrageous Steve Bell cartoon on its cover ... The book is such an easy and entertaining read (my non-mathematical family members agree) ... There are few mathematicians who succeed in writing popular accounts of their craft without being superficial or condescending. With this book David Acheson has joined the best of them. (Times Higher Education Supplement)
My ten-year-old daughter read the book with my guidance and loved it. Even mathematicians will find fresh perspectives on old themes in this playful and inventive book. (John Mighton in The Mathematical Intelligencer)
The reader is left with a sense of the magic of mathematics ... An earlier reviewer has advised everyone to 'go out and buy a dozen copies', and I heartily agree, and hope that our embattled schoolteachers (and university lecturers!) take up the cry. (UK Nonlinear News)
On the surface this book is another of those 'let's look at the funny things about numbers' books. But no, this one was far more than that. It treated subjects briefly but in depth and breadth, linked them together, didn't make assumptions... Truly inspiring, and a great read over a weekend. (Mathematics Teaching)
Every teenage mathematician should have a copy. (Symmetry Plus Magazine)
About the Author
Professor David Acheson is Emeritus Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford. As well as 1089 and All That, his other previously published titles include Elementary Fluid Dynamics (O.U.P., 1990) and From Calculus to Chaos: An Introduction to Dynamics (O.U.P., 1997).
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Still, a book that mentions Nigel Molesworth is to be welcomed, even though there is no explicit reference to Sigismund, his (tor)mentor.
This book explains the different branches of maths and why we use or need them in manner that is a pleasure to read and even humorous in places. This approach, or one like it, should be adopted into the school curriculum. Maths lessons would no longer be an arcane mandatory chore, and become a useful learning experience.
Due to its size too, some areas are way way too brief and many are missing completely.
If it were a proper sized book it could even get a 5 as it would be very successful in its goal, which I assume is to give an overview of mathematics to the layman