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God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History Hardcover – 13 Sep 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1176 pages
  • Publisher: Perseus Books; First Printing edition (13 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762419229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762419227
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 17.1 x 5.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 930,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"God created the integers, all the rest is the work of man."

About the Author

Stephen Hawking is, like Sir Isaac Newton before him, a Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge. He is the author of numerous books, including the phenomenally successful A Brief History of Time which has sold over 10 million copies in 40 different languages.


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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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By Mr. P. Harvey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 July 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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