It’s a sad truth that math has the reputation of being “difficult.” Part of the problem is that many of us simply don’t speak the language. To a mathematician, an equation is a compact, efficient way to put across a relationship that would be far less comprehensible in words. But to many of us, the merest sign of an x, y, or symbol is an impenetrable mess that our eyes bounce off. This book provides an engaging overview of what math is and what it can do, without having to solve simultaneous equations or prove geometric theorems, far more of us might get the point of it. It is divided into four chapters, each covering a major developmental route in the topic, from Arithmetic & Numbers to Geometry and from Algebra & Calculus to Applied Mathematics.
Brian Clegg read Natural Sciences, focusing on experimental physics, at Cambridge University. He has written for numerous publications including Nature, the Times, the Wall Street Journal, and has lectured at Oxford and Cambridge universities and the Royal Institution. He is editor of the book review site www.popularscience.co.uk, and his publications include A Brief History of Infinity and How to Build a Time Machine.