From the author of the national bestseller Innumeracy, a delightful exploration and explanation of mathematical concepts from algebra to zero in easily accessible alphabetical entries. First time in paperback. Beyond Numeracy by bestselling author John Allen Paulos is, according to the introduction, "in part a dictionary, in part a collection of short mathematical essays, and in part the ruminations of a numbers man. In he received the American Association for the Advancement of Science award for promoting public understanding of science, and in the Mathematics Communication Award from the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Beyond Numeracy by John Allen Paulos. From the author of the national bestseller Innumeracy, a delightful exploration and explanation of mathematical concepts from algebra to zero in easily accessible alphabetical entries.
First time in paperback. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published April 7th by Vintage first published More Details Original Title.
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Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Beyond Numeracy. Jun 13, May Ling rated it really liked it Shelves: mathematics. This was an interesting trip through the mathematical theory landscape. Paulos introduces a number of fairly complex mathematical concepts with only 4 or 5 pages each.
There were a few that I had not heard of. In particular, I think the applications of Russell's paradox offer a number of intriguing applications when applied to the social sciences. He synthesizes the theory behind the paradox into simple English that is very digestible. I think what I like best is that he deals with all of the lat This was an interesting trip through the mathematical theory landscape.
I think what I like best is that he deals with all of the later theory. There are tons of books to clearly articulate the work of Euler, Pythagoras and before. But to get really good stuff on topology and probability with plenty of examples is often a bit harder to find in narrative form. I like that he approaches math in a way that is digestible to the masses as math is just a language and should be able to be described as such.
If I were to make one critique it would be with the flow. The chapters do not appear to connect so well. It bounces around. For example zeno's paradox comes last. Fractals are in the middle. One final note, the time line of great mathematicians is great. I generally look these up one at a time, but it's really nice to see them in order. Mar 05, Jared Davis rated it really liked it.
Mar 24, Tom Owens rated it really liked it. For those of you who know Paulos's work, this is a follow up book to his New York Times bestselling Innumeracy. Paulos is a mathematician who is passionate about being being "mathematically literate" and his first book covers a lot of the common misconceptions of the average layperson when it comes to mathematics.
His next offering was this little number if you'll pardon the pun , an "uncommon dictionary of mathematics" to quote the front page. And it is just that, it is a journey through a whol For those of you who know Paulos's work, this is a follow up book to his New York Times bestselling Innumeracy.
And it is just that, it is a journey through a whole host of mathematical concepts ranging from Area and Volume through Calculus, Trigonometry and Pi to more abstract concepts such as Fractals, Human Consciousness and Platonic Solids. This is a man who loves mathematics and wants other people to love and understand mathematics too.
That is never a bad thing in my book, maths is not as scary as people make it out to be. Well, most of maths actually is frightening but the day-to-day stuff is fascinating, useful and not all that difficult.
Anyway back to Paulos. This book is a dictionary and so naturally the concepts are arranged in alphabetical order. This is the logical way to arrange things but I find it means the level of understanding required for a partial topic jumps around a lot. I guess this is by no means a bad thing, it just means it is not the sort of book you can "work your way into" as such.
You might find some of the earlier concepts pass you by a bit if you aren't from a certain school of mathematical thinking. This is definitely not a "mathematics for dummies", nor was it ever intended as one. I have a pretty decent standard of maths as a baseline and there were some of the ideas that outfoxed me completely.
However it is worth persevering with because there are some fascinating sections and Paulos's love for his subject shines through. Everyone who reads this will be a little bit better at understanding mathematics and how it interacts with and influences the world around us, which is definitely no bad thing. Verdict: 4 stars out of Jun 03, Robert Spillman added it. Beyond Numeracy is an engaging read about the history and power of mathematical concepts, with an eye on some of the mysteries mathematicians have explored over the years.
Paulos writes with the general reader in mind. Concepts are explained in a manner that provides knowledge without requiring a solid basis in the subject. I love math, but still enjoyed reviewing important ideas and their history of development. He injects both humor and interesting mathematicians in the discussion, which provi Beyond Numeracy is an engaging read about the history and power of mathematical concepts, with an eye on some of the mysteries mathematicians have explored over the years.
He injects both humor and interesting mathematicians in the discussion, which provide the reader reasons for turning pages and absorbing discussions on topics such as set theory and statistics with anticipation. It is strangely intriguing to peek into some of the obscure mysteries that promote brilliant researchers into trying to prove conjectures that, on their surface, seem to have have little practical value, but often wind up promoting a deeper understanding of math and leading to valuable new foundations.
This is the approach to math that should be considered in education at many levels. May 30, Lucy rated it liked it. It's basically a collection of short essays on various topics in mathematics.
I'm not sure if it's really accessible enough for people with little maths education, and it's a little outdated if you do have maths education. That being said, I liked how short the chapters are, I think the author did a good job explaining things, and I learned some new concepts.
Feb 04, Andrew Schulz rated it it was ok. Interesting trivia pieces but nothing profound or sweeping about mathematics. The followup book Beyond Numeracy I felt was more enlightening and penetrating. View 1 comment. May 26, Anthony Faber rated it it was amazing. Another reread. More fun stuff that even a non math person will probably find interesting.
NOTE: I didn't actually finish this book. Honestly, there's nothing really wrong with "Beyond Numeracy" per se. It's just not for me. Having expected something similar to its predecessor "Innumeracy," I was surprised to find that it's actually a collection of essays on mathematical topics directed at the interested "general reader. That said, Paulos is a decent writer, so if you don't have a very mathematical background but are willing to be convinced that it really is cool stuff, I would recommend checking this book out.
Three stars for the nonmathematicians. Unfortunately, I spotted at least one flagrant mathematical myth: supposed "facts" about phi, the so-called "golden ratio. Mathematics is awesome enough without falling victim to mysticism.
Dec 02, Joe rated it it was ok.
ISBN 13: 9780679738077