MATH 4827: Book Reviews

Communicating Mathematics
MATH 4827/5827
Spring 2008

Book Review Project

Required Reading: Select a popular book about mathematics written for the general public. You may choose a book from the following list or find an example of your own, but you must get the instructor's approval of your choice. No two students should pick the same book.

* The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist  by Reviel Netz and Wiliam Noel. 

Benjamin Franklin's Numbers: An Unsung Mathematical Odyssey by Paul Pasles.

* Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz: Making Light of Weighty Ideas by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird.

* Count Down: Six Kids Vie for Glory at the World's Toughest Math Competition by Steve Olsen.

Descartes: A Biography by Desmond Clarke.

* e: The Story of a Number by Eli Maor.

* Euclid in the Rainforest: Discovering Universal Truths in Logic and Math by Joseph Mazur.

* Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem by Simon Singh.

* Fermat's Last Theorem: Unlocking the Secret of an Ancient Mathematical Problem by Amir D. Aczel.

* Four Colors Suffice: How the Map Problem Was Solved by Robin Wilson.

* King of Infinite Space: Donald Coxeter, the Man Who Saved Geometry by Siobhan Roberts.

The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer by David Leavitt. 

* The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth by Paul Hoffman.

The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved and Why Numbers are Like Gossip by Keith Devlin.

* The Math Instinct: Why You're a Mathematical Genius (Along Lobsters, Birds, Cats, and Dogs) by Keith Devlin.

Music: A Mathematical Offering by David J. Benson. 

* My Brain is Open: The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos by Bruce Schechter.

The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero by Robert Kaplan.

* Poetry of the Universe: A Mathematical Exploration of the Cosmos by Robert Osserman.

* The Poincare Conjecture: In Search of the Shape of the Universe by Donal O'Shea.

* Randomness by Deborah J. Bennett. 

* Shadows of Reality: The Fourth Dimension in Relativity, Cubism, and Modern Thought by Tony Robbin.

* The Square Root of 2: A Dialogue Concerning a Number and a Sequence by David Flannery.

* Symmetry and the Monster: One of the Greatest Quests of Mathematics by Mark Ronan. 

* The Triumph of Numbers: How Counting Shaped Modern Life by I.B. Cohen.

* To Infinity and Beyond: A Cultural History of the Infinte by Eli Maor. 

* Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra by John Derbyshire. 

Why Beauty is Truth: The Story of Symmetry by Ian Stewart.


Elizabeth Adkins: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. 

Kelechukwu Alu:  * The Pythagorean Theorem: A 4000-Year History by Eli Maor.

Katie Bach: * In Code: A Mathematical Journey by Sarah Flannery.

Jeffrey Bonnell: Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter.

Tina Browder: * A Beautiful Math: John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of Nature by Tom Siegfried.

Joe Campbell: A Mathematician at the Ball Park: Odds and Probabilities for Baseball Fans by Ken Ross.

Crystal Dougherty: Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail by Danica McKellar.

Garth Ghearing: Kepler's Witch: An Astronomer's Discovery of Cosmic Order Amid Religious War, Political Intrigue, and the Heresy Trial of His Mother by James A. Connor.

Randetta Fuller: * The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number By Mario Livio.

Elizabeth Harris: * A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar. 

Brooks Hayes: Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson.

Madeline Hunt:  Letters to a Young Mathematician by Ian Stewart.

Kelly Jefferson:  * The Numbers behind NUMB3RS: Solving Crime with Mathematics by Keith Devlin and Gary Lorden.

Amanda Phebus:  The Man Who Knew Infinity: The Life of the Genius Ramanujan by Robert Kanigel.

Hamilton Scott: The Education of T.C. MITS by Lillian R. Leiber. 

Kristin Stone: * From Zero to Infinity: What Makes Numbers Interesting by Constance Reid.

Than Wilson:  Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife.