Maths in Minutes: 200 Key Concepts Explained In An Instant Paperback – 1 Mar 2012
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About the Author
Paul Glendinning is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Manchester. He was a student and a lecturer at Cambridge before moving to a chair at Queen Mary, University of London and then Manchester (UMIST). He was founding Head of School for Mathematics at the combined University of Manchester and has published over fifty academic articles and an undergraduate textbook on chaos theory.
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Top customer reviews
I read as a reminder of much maths I had learned at school, but not been able to pursue beyond it. All the basic maths is in there- but the book hints at how much more there is behind it. What is amazing is how very simple starting points allow for so much discovery and implication.
The unity of mathematics is well described- the fact that constants such as pi and e are the same whichever way you encounter them is emphasised. The book is excellent at emphasising the coherence the mathematics, and at showing how the sub-specialities are easily absorbed within the whole.
I suspect this book would be most useful to A level and university students of maths and related subjects- either as revision or as inspiration.
The compression factor in the book is huge, and whilst this is good for clarity, and overview, there's a price in lack of space to show you exactly how to make these calculations and arguments, and in terms of full explanation of the implications of the mathematical theorems presented.
Overall however this book achieves what it sets out to achieve, and can be freely recommended to others who want to know something quickly about mathematics.
Some of the consepts might be too complicated to be properly explained in only two pages, so therefore i give it 4 stars.
Beware that the format is very small, only about 12.5cm x 13cm. However,this is not a drawback.
I really liked the format of the book: each of the 200 concepts is described on two pages - the first page giving a written description and the second page showing some relevant graphic or picture. There are a few slight deviations from this format where the written description spans two pages, but the general approach of the book is to describe the main properties of each concept in around 200 words. This makes the book very easy to read in short bursts. The converse of this approach is that each concept is dealt with pretty superficially, but for me personally this was not a bad thing.
Although superficial, the book didn't feel dumbed down - it doesn't shy away from using formulae, for example - and I imagine the more advanced reader might also find the book useful for recapping and seeing the connections between disparate mathematical ideas.
Although I can't really comment on the quality of the mathematics, I felt the quality of the book deserved a 5-star rating. I also think the price is very reasonable too. The only fault I can find is that some of it was a bit hard to understand, but this is probably more my weakness than the book's. Given that I enjoyed this one, I think I'll probably also buy the other two titles in the range, Science in Seconds and Big Ideas in Brief.
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