The World of Mathematics

The Maths Book of the Future

Philipp Legner, mathigon.org

No subject in school is as hated as mathematics, and even adults seem to be proud to have been bad at maths. Therefore many teachers and educators are trying to find new ways to make mathematics interesting and exciting.

This is not necessary: Mathematics is intrinsically interesting. Unfortunately all you learn about the at school are the boring parts – arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry… And with the arrival of calculators and computers, many of these things are becoming superfluous.

The World of Mathematics wants to show what mathematics is really all about. We have chosen 30 of the most interesting and most fascinating topics in advanced mathematics, and explained them in a way that is accessible to children and the general public.

One could ask whether all of this is actually useful in real life. And no – many of the topics don’t have any applications. But neither do Shakespeare or Mozart, and they are worth studying because of their beauty and because they are a central part of our culture.

On the other hand many parts of mathematics are crucially important in daily life, and no other subject has changed our world as much as mathematics. Whether computers or the internet, satellites or music recording, all these things are based on mathematical ideas, and many of them were initially thought to have no application at all.

Submitted by ghosthamlet on Oct. 4, 2012, 1:20 a.m.
Flag book for abuse