A book from the stand-up mathematician that makes math fun again!
Math is boring, says the mathematician and comedian Matt Parker. Part of the problem may be the way the subject is taught, but it's also true that we all, to a greater or lesser extent, find math difficult and counterintuitive. This counterintuitiveness is actually part of the point, argues Parker: the extraordinary thing about math is that it allows us to access logic and ideas beyond what our brains can instinctively do—through its logical tools we are able to reach beyond our innate abilities and grasp more and more abstract concepts.
In the absorbing and exhilarating Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension, Parker sets out to convince his readers to revisit the very math that put them off the subject as fourteen-year-olds. Starting with the foundations of math familiar from school (numbers, geometry, and algebra), he reveals how it is possible to climb all the way up to the topology and to four-dimensional shapes, and from there to infinity—and slightly beyond.
Both playful and sophisticated, Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension is filled with captivating games and puzzles, a buffet of optional hands-on activities that entices us to take pleasure in math that is normally only available to those studying at a university level. Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension invites us to re-learn much of what we missed in school and, this time, to be utterly enthralled by it.
Delightful Fun and a Great Introduction for the Curious Layman
This is a wonderful introduction into both the usefulness and fun of mathematics and logic.
It is appropriate for anyone who is curious about mathematics — from a bright high school student to those with advanced degrees in engineering or science who did not have formal training in mathematics for math majors.
If you enjoyed any of these titles, you will enjoy this one:
- The Drunkard’s Walk by Leonard Mlodinow (a masterpiece)
- The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver (another masterpiece)
- Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan
- Here’s Looking at Euclid by Alex Bellos
- Euclid’s Window by Leonard Mlodinow
From someone that don't...
Read much or let alone study all that much, this book was both highly insightful and kept me wanting more! Saw it mentioned on vsauce and had to check it out for myself. I would recommend this book to anyone. It's a journey that takes you into your own mind and the perception around you. Infinite stars don't do my experience with this book justice, thank you!
Perfect combination of humor and education
What I love most about this book is that it’s not too serious to the point that you feel like you’re in a lecture, nor is it too casual that it becomes a fictional book. Mat Parker does an excellent job at making math interesting to the reader and uses unconventional methods used in schools and classes to explain concepts and ideas in math. A must read for anybody who has the slightest interest in math.