Sunday, April 15, 2007

Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz by Burger and Starbird

As a certified Mathophobe, it was a little upsetting to me when I came up with an idea for a brilliant, earth-shattering novel based on, what else, mathematical principles. Since I know less about Math than I do about books under 100 pages, I tried to find the simplest primer on complex mathmatics I could. I believe I've succeeded. Most of the concepts in this book were explained in a simple enough way for even me to understand, although, as both Carlton and Chris can attest, not simple enough for me to actually explain.

The book touches on some very interesting topics, such as probability (What do mathematics say about your chances of winning the lottery?), to chaos theory (Can your calculator be trusted?), to the relationship between pineapples and Debussy. There are also chapters on alternate dimensions, and topics such as imaginary numbers are touched upon at points.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book, and one of the topics, the Golden Ratio, is something I'm hoping to study a little more in depth. In a nutshell, this book won't turn you into Steven Hawking, but at least it will make you a little less like Homer Simpson.


Christopher said...

Dimensions. That's how it works.

Carlton said...

All of the world can be explained by one simple mathematical principle: multiply by the reciprocal.

Nathan said...

Burger and Starbird sounds more like a shitty, hippie, folk band than a pair of intelligent math scholars.