As I just wrote over at Melissa Wiley‘s blog, Here in the Bonny Glen, I can’t keep up with with Boing Boing no matter how hard I try, so I’m glad she picked a few to highlight, including Mark Frauenfelder’s recent brief review of the latest Clifford Pickover book, The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics. As Mark writes, “I have to get rid of most of the books that come in my door (I get several a day sent to me). This is one I plan to keep.”
I’m a big fan of Clifford Pickover, whom I last mentioned here, with his 2008 title, Archimedes to Hawking: Laws of Science and the Great Minds Behind Them (Oxford University Press).
Clifford Pickover, prolific writer and undisputed polymath, has put together a marvelous reference work. Its 250 short entries provide a veritable history of mathematics by focusing on its greatest theorems and the geniuses who discovered them. Topics are chronological, starting with the calculating abilities of ants 150 million years B.C. and ending with Max Tegmark’s recent conjecture that our universe is not just described by math, it is mathematics. Dr. Pickover’s vast love of math, and his awe before its mysteries, permeates every page of this beautiful volume. The illustrations alone are worth the book’s price.