# ZeroSum Ruler (home)

## Blogging on math education and other related things

### The Math Book by Clifford Pickover is awesome!July 11, 2012

“Have you read The Math Book?”

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“Which math book?”

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The Math Book?”

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“Umm, ??”

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“There’s a The Science Book, too!”

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#*%^&!!!!!

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No really!  There IS a book called The Math Book  and it’s by the fascinating and mind-boggling book-producing author Clifford A. Pickover, who you can even follow on Twitter

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Before I was introduced to this book, I would have been the red converser in the above dialogue.  I mean, surely the title The Math Book was taken back in the stone ages.  How could there possibly also be a The Science Book (and a The Physics Book and a The Medical Book, etc.) in modern times?

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I’m not sure how it happened, just that it happened and that it’s awesome.  The Math Book was published in 2009 and has a cooler format than just about any other math book I have ever cracked open (possibly tied with Glencoe’s high school math textbooks, but those are textbooks so are in a different category altogether) and certainly cooler than any other book about math I have ever read.  As you turn each page, you are surprised by yet another full-page picture relating to the previous page’s concise summary of some even stranger mathematical topic.   Here we can see the page on Zeno’s Paradox, a mathematical problem that has plagued mathematicians for centuries.  Did you know that Math states you’ll never make it out of your bedroom door?  If you get up to leave (dinner’s ready!), at some point you’ll be halfway between your computer chair and the door.  At some point later you will be halfway between the halfway point and the door.  You journey to the door is marked by an endless series of halfway points, and you can always take half of whatever distance you have left to travel (think the molecular level… and beyond).  Hope you stashed snacks!

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Ant stride lengths, cicada life cycles, spirals, knots and Murphy’s Law (doh!), fractals as used in animation, Cryptography, magic squares, slide rules, imaginary numbers, Möbius strips, Zero, monkeys typing on keyboards, monsters!, and dimensions far past our comfortable 3 are just some of the many topics, broken down by year, surveyed in this wonderful book.  If you’re a math teacher of students who often ask for extra credit, this book is a great jump-off.  The kids can look through the book for something that catches their fancy and do additional research until their heart’s – and page number requirement’s - content.   This is a truly awesome book for all ages.

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contact blog author Shana Donohue: shanadonohue@gmail.com

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