New Books in Maths: October 2016 (I)

Calculating the Cosmos: How Mathematics Unveils the Universe – Ian Stewart

Ian Stewart is releasing a new book on a guide to the cosmos, which recounts the formation of the Earth and its planets and asteroids of the solar system, and from there out into the galaxy and the universe. It explores the structure of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how everything began and how it will end.

Mathematician Ian Stewart is known for his popular science books, including ‘Incredible Numbers‘, ‘Seventeen Equations that Changed the World‘ and ‘Why Beauty Is Truth: A History of Symmetry, which I myself have read and loved. This book promises to be no exception, and as a lover of astronomy and astrophysics I am extremely excited for its release.

“Stewart is Britain’s most brilliant and prolific populariser of maths.” – Alex Bellos

[3.0/5 on Goodreads]

Bayes Theorem: A Visual Introduction For Beginners – Dan Morris

 What is Bayes Theorem?

Bayes Theorem is used across countless industries, from Google search results to Netflix, to help calculate and assess probability. It is topic taught in the first year of an undergraduate math degree and is not intuitive, so understanding it is often challenging.

This book is a short beginners guide to Bayes Theorem and is packed with lots of visual examples to help you get to grips with it.

If you are a visual learner who is struggling to understand Bayes theorem, or would like to learn it, I recommend this book.

[4.0/5 on Goodreads]

The Joy of SET:
The Many Mathematical Dimensions of a Seemingly Simple Card Game – Liz McMahon, Gary Gordon, Hannah Gordon & Rebecca Gordon

The Joy of SET takes the reader on a journey into the seemingly simple card game, revealing its “surprisingly deep and diverse mathematical dimensions”.

SET was originally invented by Marsha Falco in 1974 and was released in 1991. SET contains 81 cards which vary in four features:

  • number (one, two or three);
  • symbol (diamond, oval or squiggle);
  • shading (solid, striped or open);
  • colour (green, purple or red).

The purpose of the game is to identify sets of three cards which satisfy all these conditions (taken from wikipedia):

  • They all have the same number, or they have three different numbers.
  • They all have the same symbol, or they have three different symbols.
  • They all have the same shading, or they have three different shadings.
  • They all have the same colour, or they have three different colours.

SET’s strategic and unique design opens connections to a plethora of mathematical disciplines, including geometry, modular arithmetic, combinatorics, probability, linear algebra, and computer simulations.

No mathematical background is needed to enjoy this book. If you are intrigued by the connections between games and mathematics, then this is the book for you!

Part 2 coming on Monday! M x


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