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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 21 June 2017
Already knew the book - wanted my own copy to highlight - recommendation enough
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on 28 March 2017
I enjoy mathematics so enjoy this informative and entertaining book.
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VINE VOICEon 6 May 2010
Mathematics gets a bad press in school and elsewhere, characterized as dry and difficult ,is one of the most hated topics in a student can read. But for Alex Bellos math can be inspiring and brilliantly creative and he proves it in this book that can be read easily by most non-geeks.

Mathematical thought is one of the great achievements of the human race, and arguably the foundation of all human progress. The world of mathematics is a remarkable place.

Exploring the mysteries of randomness, he explains why it is impossible for our iPods to randomly select songs. In probing the many intrigues of that most beloved of numbers, pi, he visits with two brothers so obsessed with the elusive number that they built a supercomputer in their Manhattan apartment to study it.

Bellos has traveled all around the globe and has plunged into history to uncover fascinating stories of mathematical achievement, from the breakthroughs of Euclid, the greatest mathematician of all time, to the creations of the Zen master of origami, one of the hottest areas of mathematical work today.From the Amazon forest he tells the story of a tribe there who can count only to five and reports on the latest findings about the math instinct and also the revelation that ants can actually count how many steps they've taken.In India he finds the brilliant mathematical insights of the Buddha and in Japan he visits the creator of Sudoku and explores the delights of mathematical games.

Whether writing about how algebra solved Swedish traffic problems, visiting the Mental Calculation World Cup to disclose the secrets of lightning calculation, or exploring the links between pineapples and beautiful teeth, Bellos is a wonderfully engaging guide who never fails to delight even as he edifies. Here's Looking at Euclid is a rare gem that brings the beauty of math to life.
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on 27 April 2010
A lovely, infectiously entertaining book... it's a sort of mathematical equivalent of Bill Bryson's 'short history of nearly everything' on science.
I've just bought a second copy to give as a present.
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on 14 May 2010
As one who, many years ago, just scraped by on the minimum amount of maths needed to pursue a career in chemistry, I've always enjoyed reading user-friendly books on maths --- with strictly no exam at the end --- but this one is in a class of its own. Every page-turn brings new vistas of mathematical marvels.

For all that, among the most interesting parts were those which dealt with might be thought, by comparison, more prosaic subjects, namely, the history of maths, right from man's first efforts at counting.

I didn't want the book to end!
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on 8 August 2010
This is not a mathematical treatise but and immensely readable adventure into the intriguing world of numbers. It is a perfect antidote for those who hated maths and arithmetic at school showing how their interest could have been aroused had they been taught wisely. Alex Bellos illustrates how numbers and relationships between individual numbers and classes of numbers are mystifyingly fascinating. Numberland is indeed a wonderland.
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on 4 June 2010
As an engineer I have always been intereted in numbers,and completed 4 modules in Mathematics during my OU Technology degree studies.
I found Alex Bellos' book fascinating and it has given me a new perspective on dealing with numbers. Having an understanding of their origins and how various theroms have developed is magical.
I strongly recommend this book to any student interested in numbers. Having read my copy my Grand son who is 17 and wants to be an aeronautical engineer has borrowed it and finds it fascinating. The book is well planned easy to read and it is easy to flit around the chapters as they bsically stand alone. A great book, no a marvellous book.
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on 4 June 2017
This is not a normal book. It should not be read cover to cover. the concepts are rhought provoking and it is best to think, calculate on your jotter and appreciate the wonder of the mathematics and the brilliance of the author to convey this on paper.

There are, in my experience, no other books that I have read which demand so much attention and respect. I have. been, am being bowled over by it...having just reached chapter seven.

Personal favourites are Diaphantus' epitaph and the marvellous Curta mechanical calculator. Algebra is mine and whatever you're interested in mathematics there is something in this book for you.

I cherish this book and despite having just reached halfway through the paper cover is beginning to wear significantly,, so I might have to buy myself a new copy just to finish it in one piece.

I hope you get half as much fun as I have.
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on 26 April 2017
Perfect
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on 15 May 2010
I have actually only read half of this book so far but have been so impressed that I feel compelled to write my first ever review. I am 46 but can still remember those achingly tedious, dry maths lessons and my dis-interest in the teachers - how much more respectful would I have been if I (or perhaps they !)had read this book. Who knows where it would have taken me. I have just sent off for a book on Euclid...thats how inspired I feel. Thank you for this epiphany. The next person who tells me maths is boring will get this book right between the eyes.
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