This is truly an ambitious book. To discuss "Mathematics From the Birth of Numbers" in a single volume when entire textbooksentire libraries, evenhave been devoted to topics covered in but one chapter of this book seems like an impossible challenge. To some extent it is, and to some extent, the author succeeded admirably. It depends on what one means by the discussion of mathematics. This book spans many of those different endeavors.
First, it is partly a history of mathematics. Beginning with the first chapter, the author discusses the origin of numbers themselves (albeit briefly) and guides the reader through an increasingly welldeveloped mathematical landscape culminating with a treatment of differential equations. Is it a complete history? Not at all. It is developed well enough to give the reader a taste of how mathematics occurred throughout the past centuries, but it would not serve as a primary text for a course in the history of mathematics. What it lacks in depth, howeveras I'll say repeatedlyit makes up for in breadth. Few textbooks on the history of mathematics could cover as many subjects as are handled by this book, making it a perfect supplementary text.
Second, it is partly a course in mathematics. Again, the breadth requires a certain lack of depth. Ostensibly the reader without much mathematical experience *could* learn mathematics from this book. However, the development of ideas is more rapid than most students would be able to keep up with. Readers wishing to actually learn mathematics would be better served buying several textbooks: one or two each on their topics of interest. However, it again makes a wonderful supplementary text because it collects the bare bones of all of those subdisciplines between the same two covers. Additionally, it provides the beginning student of mathematics with a truly marvelous and extensive survey of the field. The student who doesn't know whether s/he wants to read a book next on probability theory, combinatorics, or differential equations would be extraordinarily wellserved by this book's tantalizing overviews.
Third, it is a remarkable reference. Once more, while such a broad book cannot be encyclopedic on any one topic, it does make for a good book to keep on hand whenever one needs to refresh one's memory of the basics of any number of mathematical topics. Because it's both a course and a history, furthermore, I found it contained some information that most other books on mathematics omit. When I (yes, even in the twentyfirst century) wanted to learn how to perform more advanced operations than mere counting on my abacus, this book was my first reference. Similarly, students who grew up in the age of computers might be interested, if for no other reason than historical curiosity, to read the section explaining the correct operation of a slide rule. Regarding the use of this book as a reference, the reader should be aware that, while the vast majority of the notation is fairly standard, I did notice a few instances in which the author uses different notation from that to which I'm accustomed from my own mathematical education.
Mostly, we can consider this book a single portrait of what one might consider to be elementary (meaning highschool and early undergraduate) mathematics. No, it doesn't contain as many proofs as I would like and no, it doesn't have the exercises that would make it a more effective (if twice as long) pedagogical tool. But it is still a remarkable book because it manages to collect all of that content into a *single* portrait. In so doing, the author helps the reader to observe the connections between the various disciplines of mathematics and for that reason, this book deserves our attention and respect.
The reader with absolutely no mathematical experience will probably find this to be a difficult read, but if you have even a little bit of background in mathematics, I think you will (as I did) find it to be a delightful and entertaining book well worth keeping in your personal or professional library.
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基本信息
 语言 : 英语
 精装 : 1093页
 ISBN : 039304002X
 尺寸 : 19.05 x 5.59 x 26.16 cm
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此商品在美国亚马逊上最有用的商品评论
美国亚马逊：
4.5 颗星，最多 5 颗星
93 条评论
Bob Lewis
4.0 颗星，最多 5 颗星
A mile wide; lacking a bit in depth
2019年6月14日 
已在美国亚马逊上发表已确认购买
9 个人发现此评论有用
N. Mozahem
5.0 颗星，最多 5 颗星
Great Reference
2011年5月15日 
已在美国亚马逊上发表已确认购买
This book is amazing for three reasons. First, it was not written by a mathematician yet it is a great, and in many places detailed, mathematics book. Second, it tackles very diverse topics. Third, it has really funny cartoons. You can read this book from cover to cover like I did, or pick out random chapters. There are chapters on logic, calculus, trigonometry, set theory, topology, geometry, number systems, fractals, complex numbers, and so much more. However, you must be warned that this is not a textbook. In many cases the author does not explain how he got a certain result. Instead. he just writes it down. Don't pick up this book and complain that the chapter on integrals does not explain why certain methods are used. This is not the main idea behind the book. I think that as a reference this book is great. You can easily find whatever it is you are looking for and the material is presented with some humour.
It has been said that if you are to own one math book, then this should be it. I think that this is true but not for all people. If you should own one reference book about material which is not very advanced, then yes, this is the book. However, if you want a book ABOUT math, then I think 'The World of Mathematics' by Newman is the one you should own. Personally, if I were to own just one math book it would definitely be Hardy's 'A course of pure mathematics'. But why own just one math book? Buy all of them!
It has been said that if you are to own one math book, then this should be it. I think that this is true but not for all people. If you should own one reference book about material which is not very advanced, then yes, this is the book. However, if you want a book ABOUT math, then I think 'The World of Mathematics' by Newman is the one you should own. Personally, if I were to own just one math book it would definitely be Hardy's 'A course of pure mathematics'. But why own just one math book? Buy all of them!
10 个人发现此评论有用
D. G. Frank
5.0 颗星，最多 5 颗星
I love this book
2014年11月29日 
已在美国亚马逊上发表已确认购买
I love this book, and I use it for supplemental reading in several of the advanced math classes that I teach. It is not a "flashy" book or a coffee table book, but what it lacks in color it more than makes up for in completeness.
It should be on every math major's bookshelf, and within arm's reach of every math aficionado.
The author's obcession/love of mathematics is evident in its rigorous detail.
It would be a fabulous gift for any math major or history major...even for a budding anthropologist.
It should be on every math major's bookshelf, and within arm's reach of every math aficionado.
The author's obcession/love of mathematics is evident in its rigorous detail.
It would be a fabulous gift for any math major or history major...even for a budding anthropologist.
9 个人发现此评论有用