The Number Mysteries by Marcus du Sautoy

The number mysteries

This is a book about math. I am not quite sure how to review it given my ineptitude in this subject.

In recent years, I’ve made more of an effort to read more math(s) and science books. My background is purely in the social sciences, and to be honest, I once failed high school math and almost failed math at least two other times too. The math and I are not best mates, but I know many people have this issue. I have quick arithmetic skills all things considered, but anything beyond basic calculation including graphing, statistics, algebra, calculus, etc is very difficult to impossible for me. I also did not do very well in Chemistry, Biology, or Economics (which I was required to take in undergrad). I never took physics though at least three of my close friends have Physics degrees.

I have a lot of respect for maths and the hard sciences. I am interested in them, but even reading these books, I find it hard to retain the information especially with physics and maths.

In this book, I understood some of it because the author tries to put it in layman’s terms.There are lots of interesting things in it about primes, shapes, randomness, codes, games, etc. I understood some of the facts, but when it got to the hard numbers and equations, it really felt the information goes in one ear and then out the other.

Does the book showcase the fun that is maths? Sure, but I still find it difficult to understand all the concepts in it. To be honest, the longer I read the book, the harder it was for me to understand as I grew more and more impatient with finishing it. My physics friend who tutors students in A Level maths recommended this book to me, but did admit that some of the stuff towards the end is a bit complicated. Though most of the book is intended for people unfamiliar with the subject.

I would recommend it though, but I don’t think I can fully appreciate it like some people.

No idea when I started this book. Finished reading March 16th, 2012.

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