The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity

( 15 )

Overview

"Delightful . . . easily digestible chapters include plenty of helpful examples and illustrations. You'll never forget the Pythagorean theorem again!"—Scientific American

Many people take math in high school and promptly forget much of it. But math plays a part in all of our lives all of the time, whether we know it or not. In The Joy of x, Steven Strogatz expands on his hit New York Times series to explain the big ideas of math gently and ...

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The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity

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Overview

"Delightful . . . easily digestible chapters include plenty of helpful examples and illustrations. You'll never forget the Pythagorean theorem again!"—Scientific American

Many people take math in high school and promptly forget much of it. But math plays a part in all of our lives all of the time, whether we know it or not. In The Joy of x, Steven Strogatz expands on his hit New York Times series to explain the big ideas of math gently and clearly, with wit, insight, and brilliant illustrations.

Whether he is illuminating how often you should flip your mattress to get the maximum lifespan from it, explaining just how Google searches the internet, or determining how many people you should date before settling down, Strogatz shows how math connects to every aspect of life. Discussing pop culture, medicine, law, philosophy, art, and business, Strogatz is the math teacher you wish you’d had. Whether you aced integral calculus or aren’t sure what an integer is, you’ll find profound wisdom and persistent delight in The Joy of x.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In 2010, a 15-part New York Times series by award-winning Cornell professor Steven Strogatz (The Calculus of Friendship; Synch) convinced millions of readers that mathematics actually can be interesting and relevant to their everyday lives. This much-requested follow-up not only gathers all those treasured pieces; it supplements them with essays that connect math with a plethora of technical, theoretical, and practical subjects. The Joy of X is proof positive that a mathematician renowned for his studies of synchronization in dynamical systems can also write for a wider general audience. (P.S. Strogatz's NYT columns have been praised as "must reads for entrepreneurs and executives who grasp that mathematics is now the lingua franca of serious business analysis.")

From the Publisher
Amazon Best Books of 2012: Science and Math

"A delightful exploration of the beauty and fun of mathematics, in the best tradition of Lewis Carroll, George Gamow, and Martin Gardner. The Joy of x will entertain you, amaze you, and make you smarter."
— Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works and The Language Instinct

"Steven Strogatz should do for math what Julia Child did for cookery. He shows that this stuff really matters, and he shows that it can nourish us."
— James Gleick, author of The Information and Chaos

"Steve Strogatz may be the only person alive with the skill to pied piper me into the murky abyss of set theory. I literally learned something on every page, despite my innumerate brain. This is a fantastic book, conveyed with clarity, technical mastery and infectious joy."
— Jad Abumrad, host of Radiolab

"This joyous book will remind you just how beautiful and mesmerizing math can be. Steve Strogatz is the teacher we all wish we had."
— Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein

"I loved this beautiful book from the first page. With his unique ingenuity and affable charm, Strogatz disassembles mathematics as a subject, both feared and revered, and reassembles it as a world, both accessible and magical. The Joy of x is, well, a joy."
— Janna Levin, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Barnard College, Columbia University, and author of How the Universe Got Its Spots and A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines

"Amazingly, mathematicians can see patterns in the universe that the rest of us are usually blind to. With clarity and dry wit, The Joy of x opens a window onto this hidden world with its landscapes of beauty and wonder."
— Alan Alda

"This book is, simply put, fantastic. It introduces the reader to the underlying concepts of mathematics — presenting reasons for its unfamiliar language and explaining conceptual frameworks that do in fact make understanding complex problems easier. In a world where mathematics is essential but, largely, poorly understood, Steve Strogatz’s teaching skills and deft writing style are an important contribution."
— Lisa Randall, Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science, Harvard University, and author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven's Door

"Strogatz’s graceful prose is perfectly pitched for a popular math book: authoritative without being patronizing, friendly without being whimsical, and always clear and accessible. His x marks the spot – and hits it."
— Alex Bellos, author of Here's Looking at Euclid

"Strogatz has discovered a magical function that transforms ‘math’ into ‘joy,’ page after wonderful page. He takes everything that ever mystified you about math and makes it better than clear — he makes it wondrous, delicious, and amazing."
— Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Stumbling on Happiness

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780544105850
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 94,279
  • Product dimensions: 5.35 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

STEVEN STROGATZ is a professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University. A renowned teacher and one of the world’s most highly cited mathematicians, he has been a frequent guest on National Public Radio’s RadioLab . He is the author of Sync and The Calculus of Friendship , the story of his thirty-year correspondence with his high school math teacher.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 21, 2012

    I bought this to read on my NOOK, but was unhappy with the way e

    I bought this to read on my NOOK, but was unhappy with the way equations were displayed (it IS a math book). It seemed that they tried to left-justify equations but sent them about 1/2 inch off the edge of the display. From the context I could usually figure out what was missing, but it was annoying.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    Bad formatting renders ebook useless.

    As has been said by the first two reviewers, the ebook version of this puts the math examples partially off the screen, rendering them illegible.

    One star, untill someone fixes the formatting problem that the math examples have. I've notified the publisher (but got no response). I've called B&N customer service but was told it could take 3 weeks or such to be remedied.

    This is the first ebook that I ever paid for. Not a good experience, B&N.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    Not formatted correctly.

    Example equations not formatted properly and fall off the edge of the page. Changed font size and turned publisher defalts on and off, still not good. Why doesn't anyone do quality check. Could be good but pretty worthless if you can't follow the examples.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Poor Nook Editing

    I am very disappointed. I bought the version for the Nook at only a $3 discount from the paper version even though there is no cost for printing, shipping, storing, or clearing out remaindered copies. And what did I get for that? Many of the illustrations are too small to be easily understood on the Nook, and some of the mathematical symbols in the text translate to a '?' in a grey box because the Nook doesn't understand them, rendering the accompanying text meaningless unless you are already in the know. I don't think they did any editing or formatting for the digital version at all. The book itself is wonderful but I wish I paid the extra $3. And I am sure that, if I had, the profit margin on the sale would have been significantly less.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    I think it is sad that this book is getting poor reviews because

    I think it is sad that this book is getting poor reviews because of technological issues with the Nook. Hopefully these issues reflect how valuable an actual BOOK really is and how pathetically reliant our society is on technology.
    Go out and buy this book! Steven Strogatz is an incredible mathematician with a unique gift for taking the cold hard facts of mathematics and showing his students and readers just how beautiful the world of math really is. Whether you are a student, a lover of numbers, or even hated math in high school, you will love this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    Format or Die

    I really want to read this book but at $14.85 I'll wait until the formattimg has been corrected.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Format issues?

    I'm eager to read this; the sample is quite inviting. But what is the status of the reported format issues?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2012

    I enjoyed this book as an overview of mathematics - where it cam

    I enjoyed this book as an overview of mathematics - where it came from, how it is used (often in ways I had not recognized), and why I should care. I bought it to have as a reference and share with others.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2013

    I read the book from front to back and it is worth the read. Try

    I read the book from front to back and it is worth the read. Try it for yourself and take it for a spin at your local library! You'll be glad to add it to your book collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2013

    I would like to purchase this book for my Nook, but was put-off

    I would like to purchase this book for my Nook, but was put-off by the comments on formatting. As soon as the formatting is corrected I would purchase it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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