The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved And Why Numbers Are Like Gossip

The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved And Why Numbers Are Like Gossip

by Keith Devlin

Paperback(First Paperback Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465016198
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 05/01/2001
Edition description: First Paperback Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 275,587
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author

Keith Devlin is the Dean of the School of Social Science at St. Mary's College, Moraga, California, and a Senior Researcher at the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University. He is the author of 22 books, one interactive CD-ROM, and over 65 technical research papers in mathematics. His voice is heard regularly on National Public Radio, on such programs as "Weekend Edition," "Talk of the Nation," "Science Friday," "Sounds Like Science," and "To the Best of Our Knowledge." His previous books include Life by the Numbers, the companion to a PBS series that aired in April and May, 1998; Goodbye Descartes: The End of Logic; and The Language of Mathematics: Making the Invisible Visible.


Palo Alto, California

Date of Birth:

March 16, 1947

Place of Birth:

Hull, England


B.S., King's College, London, 1968; Ph.D., University of Bristol, 1971

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The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved and Why Numbers Are Like Gossip 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
AnnieBM More than 1 year ago
Devlin presents an interesting, well-thought out, and insightful hypothesis about mathematical thinking. Although I would argue with some of the details, there is much to be appreciated in his presentation. I think the hypothesis should be reformulated and investigated by the appropriate disciplines. I was particularly captured by his suggestion that mathematics is like gossip -- and I can agree. This image, this similarity takes mathematical thinking and numbers out of the realm of cold, hard, distant things and makes them approachable friends. I find this idea quite freeing. Recommended for those interested in brain evolution,thinking, mathematics, and for those who think they can't do mathematics -- it's just gossip.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because it was to discuss why some people have a harder time doing math than others. Why do mathematicians find math so easy while the rest of us seem to struggle? While the book doesn't discuss much about an actual math 'gene' it does discuss evolutionary ideas about how humans developed a more complex ability to do mathematics than other species. While some of the reasoning may be pure conjecture, the ideas presented are thoroughly fascinating and well worth the read. Devlin also refers to the development of mathematical ability in children which is equally interesting for parents of young children.