School’s out! Time to put down your abacus and kick your feet up. But just because there are more iced teas with little umbrellas in your near future doesn’t mean you have to give up on your brain. What you need is a little light reading material that will make you laugh and learn at the same time. Here are three excellent picks for mathematical merriment…
What better author to kick off our summer fun list than a comedian? Standup comedian, mathematician, one third of Festival of the Spoken Nerd, and author of Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension Matt Parker explores a litany of glitches, near misses, and mathematical mishaps involving the internet, big data, elections, street signs, lotteries, and the Roman Empire, uncovering the bizarre ways math trips us up, and what this reveals about its essential place in our world.
Enjoy this video (for the UK edition of the book):
Prime Suspects is a graphic novel that takes you on a voyage of forensic discovery, exploring some of the most fundamental ideas in mathematics. Travel with Detective von Neumann as he leaves no clue unturned, from shepherds’ huts in the Pyrenees to secret societies in the cafés of Paris, from the hidden codes in the music of the stones to the grisly discoveries in Finite Fields. Tremble at the ferocity of the believers in deep and rigid abstraction. Feel the frustration―and the excitement―of our young heroine, Emmy Germain, as she blazes a trail for women in mathematical research and learns from Professor Gauss, the greatest forensic detective of them all.
The Cartoon Introduction to Calculus by Yoram Bauman, Ph.D. (ill Grady Klein)
The award-winning illustrator Grady Klein has teamed up once again with the world’s only stand-up economist, Yoram Bauman, Ph.D., to take on the daunting subject of calculus. A supplement to traditional textbooks, The Cartoon Introduction to Calculus focuses on the big ideas rather than all the formulas you have to memorize.
Read this amusing conversation between the authors.