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What is the collection?
A collection in the North Sydney Boys High School library with mathematical
themes. Some books may be challenging but that might make them more
interesting for you!
Art and architecture
Puzzles and problems
Science and technology
People who do maths
Society & Culture Mathematics extension
You are free to share, copy, or modify this work for non-commercial
purposes so long as you:
(i) Attribute the source : enzuber
(ii) Share all derived works under a similar CC license.
The NSBHS 𝝅 Collection : 2016 Term 4
Curators: Nordin Zuber, Joy Henderson, Jenny Fenney
Images and some book summaries may be copyright.
This work is licensed Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA.
Look for the purple 𝝅 sticker on the spine.
Falcon Pi image by Alson Lee.
Zombies and Calculus. Colin Adams
How can calculus help you survive the zombie
apocalypse? Colin Adams, humor columnist for the
Mathematical Intelligencer and one of today's most
outlandish and entertaining popular math writers,
demonstrates how in this zombie adventure novel.
Count Like an Egyptian. David Reimer
The mathematics of ancient Egypt was
fundamentally different from our math today. Count
Like an Egyptian provides a fun, hands-on
introduction to the intuitive and often-surprising art
of ancient Egyptian math. A beautifully illustrated
book for lovers of all things Ancient Egyptian
New to the 𝝅 Collection
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.
The classic “make your own adventure” book.
But did you realise it’s a mathematical adventure
through a very twisted graph? As featured in the
YouTube Numberphile episode “400 and Gamebooks”.
Math on Trial Leila Schneps & Coralie Colmez
How numbers get use and abused in the courtroom.
In the wrong hands, maths can be deadly. In the case of
the law, your liberty – and your life (in the USA) – can
depend on the right calculation. True life stores.
In Praise of Simple Physics Paul J Nahin
A masterful look at how basic principles, combined with
clever thinking and fundamental mathematics, lead to
satisfying explanations of an extraordinary range of
natural phenomena, from the path of a football to why
the sky is dark at night.
* For readers with knowledge of elementary differential
and integral calculus
New to the 𝝅 Collection
The Shape of Space Jeffrey R Weeks
What is the universe as a whole shaped like? Does it
curve back on itself? Does it meet itself at the other side
without curving? Is its Flatland analogy a plane, or a
sphere, or a doughnut, or a Klein bottle?
Mindblowing Modular Origami Byriah Loper
Modular origami is the latest craze in paper folding!
These 3D models are created from a number of small
pieces of paper that are easily folded and then fit
together to form a spectacular shape. They range from
paper polyhedra to bristling buckyballs to ornate flower-
Weapons of Math Destruction Cathy O’Neil
We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the
decisions that affect our by mathematical models. But as
Cathy O’Neil reveals, the models being used today are
opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when
they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce
discrimination: If a poor student can’t get a loan because
a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his zip
code), he’s then cut off from the kind of education that
could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues.
Welcome to the dark side of Big Data.
The Mathematics of Love. Hannah Fry
What’s the chance of finding love? What’s the
probability that it will last? How do online dating
algorithms work, exactly? At what point in your
dating life should you settle down?
Hannah was one of the presenters at Maths
The Mismeasure of Man
Stephen Jay Gould
How smart are you? Gould’s brilliant, funny,
engaging prose dissects the motivations behind
those who would judge intelligence, and hence
worth, by cranial size, convolutions, or score on
extremely narrow tests. Updated edition which
responds to the “The Bell Curve” book.
Viewpoints: Mathematical Perspective and
Fractal Geometry in Art
Marc Frantz and Annalisa Crannell
An undergraduate textbook devoted exclusively to
relationships between mathematics and art, Viewpoints
is ideally suited for math-for-liberal-arts courses and
mathematics courses for fine arts majors. Filled with case
studies presented by artists for artists.
L.A Math: Romance, Crime and Mathematics in
the City of Angels James D Stein.
Featuring such glamorous locales as Beverly Hills,
Brentwood, Malibu, and Santa Barbara, the fourteen
short stories in L.A. It’s everything you expect from the
City of Angels—A-listers and wannabes, lovers and
lawyers, heroes and villains – and … mathematics?
Fluke: The Math and Myth of Coincidence
What are the chances? This is the question we ask
ourselves when we encounter the strangest and most
seemingly impossible coincidences, like the woman
who won the lottery four times or the fact that
Lincoln’s dreams foreshadowed his own assassination.
But, when we look at coincidences mathematically, the
odds are a lot better than any of us would have
How Not to Be Wrong
Maths is a science of not being wrong, hammered out
by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with
the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the
true meaning of information we take for granted: How
early should you get to the airport? What does “public
opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have
shorter children? And how likely are you, really, to
A Field Guide to Lies
Daniel J Levitin
We are bombarded with more information each day
than our brains can process—especially in election
season. It's raining bad data, half-truths, and even
outright lies. New York Times bestselling author Daniel
J. Levitin shows how to recognize misleading
announcements, statistics, graphs, and written reports
revealing the ways lying weasels can use them.
Prime Numbers and the Riemann Hypothesis
Barry Mazur and William Stein
This book has received rave reviews as an outstanding
presentation of the theory of prime numbers.
* May require some calculus to fully understand the
Oscar E Fernandez
A very different type of calculus textbook.
Some new books for Year 11 & 12 students
An Imaginary Tale – the Story of −𝟏
Everything you every wanted to know about complex
numbers. A classic book on the subject.
* This is a seriously challenging, but rewarding book for
someone who already has the fundamentals of complex
numbers. The teachers in the Maths Faculty have been
scouring this book for nice exam question ideas…..
Fifty Challenging Problems in Probability with
Can you solve the problem of "The Unfair Subway"?
Marvin gets off work at random times between 3 and 5
p.m. His mother lives uptown, his girlfriend downtown.
He takes the first subway that comes in either direction
and eats dinner with the one he is delivered to. His
mother complains that he never comes to see her, but he
says she has a 50-50 chance. He has had dinner with her
twice in the last 20 working days. Explain.
The Mathematical Ideas
That Animate Great Magic Tricks Diaconis Persi
“The book is packed with fantastic card tricks that will
surely dazzle friends and family (with enough practice),
but goes beyond this by explaining the mathematics
behind the tricks.
Mathematics, Magic and Mystery Martin Gardner
Why do card tricks work? How can magicians do
astonishing feats of mathematics mentally? Why do
stage "mind-reading" tricks work? As a rule, we simply
accept these tricks and "magic" without recognizing that
they are really demonstrations of strict laws based on
probability, sets, number theory, topology, and other
branches of mathematics.
The Perfect Bet Adam Kucharski
There is one thing about gambling that everyone knows:
the house always wins. Lotteries are set up to guarantee
profits, to the state. A craps game is a sure thing, but
only if you own the table. Sometimes, however, everyone
is wrong. For the past 500 years, gamblers—led by
mathematicians and scientists—have been trying to
figure out how to turn the tables on the house and pull
the rug out from under Lady Luck.
Secrets of Mental Math Arthur Benjamin
Get ready to amaze your friends—and yourself—with
incredible calculations you never thought you could
master, as renowned “mathemagician” Arthur Benjamin
shares his techniques for lightning-quick calculations and
amazing number tricks. This book will teach you to do
math in your head faster than you ever thought possible,
dramatically improve your memory for numbers.
For the mathemagician
Three new programming books
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage:
The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer
A rollicking alternate reality manga-style book in which
Lovelace and Babbage build the Difference Engine and
then use it to build runaway economic models, battle
the scourge of spelling errors, explore the wilder realms
of mathematics, and, of course, fight crime. A
wonderfully whimsical, utterly unusual book.
Doing Math with Python Amit Saha
Python – the ultimate beginner’s guide
Python Crash Course – a hands on project based
introduction to programming
For the aspiring computer programmer
NEW Science Fiction
The Three-Body Problem
The Dark Forest
Beijing police ask nanotech engineer Wang Miao to infiltrate a secretive cabal
of scientists after a spate of inexplicable suicides. Wang's investigation will
lead him to a mysterious online game and immerse him in a virtual world ruled
by the intractable and unpredictable interaction of its three suns. This is the
Three-Body Problem and it is the key to everything: the key to the scientists'
deaths, the key to a conspiracy that spans light-years and the key to the
extinction-level threat humanity now faces Award winning new science fiction
from China. A ‘first contact’ story, with several mathematical themes woven in
Quaternia Tom Petsinis
Fourteen-year old Ivan is mathematically gifted and
obsessed with gaming. Excelling in online war
games, he falls behind in his studies, withdraws from
family and friends, and is manipulative in satisfying
his obsession. Ivan embarks on a quest for the
secret of Quaternia, a virtual world where
mathematical ideas come alive.
The Cold Equations Tom Godwin
A pilot is on an emergency mission to a planet whose
colony is doomed if he doesn't get there. He has just
enough fuel to reach the planet - then he finds he has a
stowaway, a young girl wanting to be with her brother on
the colony. If the pilot jettisons her through the airlock,
the ship will barely make it to a landing on the planet. If
he does not, the ship will crash and both of them as well
as the colony will die. What will he do?
The Rithmatist Brandon Sanderson
Young student Joel is fascinated by the magic of
Rithmatics, but few have the gift and he is not one of
them. Undaunted, Joel persuades Professor Fitch to
teach him about this geometric magic. For although Joel
can't infuse his protective lines and circles with power,
or bring his chalk-drawn creatures to life, he can really
understand how it works. However, a daunting test lies
ahead, when someone starts kidnapping top Rithmatic
students at his school, Armedius Academy.
Jurassic Park Michael Crichton
Seen the film? Now read the book and discover a
thought provoking and interesting theme about fractals
and chaos theory that didn’t make it to the film version.
Wizards, Aliens and Starships: Physics and Maths in
Fantasy and Science Fiction. Charles L. Adler
From teleportation and space elevators to alien contact and
interstellar travel, science fiction and fantasy writers have
come up with brilliant and innovative ideas. Yet how
plausible are these ideas? Wizards, Aliens, and Starships
delves into the most extraordinary details in science fiction
and fantasy--such as time warps, shape changing, rocket
launches, and illumination by floating candle--and shows
readers the physics and math behind the phenomena.
The Algebraist. Ian M. Banks
Outstanding over-the-top ‘space-opera’ style science
fiction from a Hugo Award Winner. Not really much
mathematics in here, but the title gives us an excuse
to put it in the Pi Collection. Once you have read one
in this series, you’ll want to read all ten books.
Cryptonomicon. Neal Stephenson
A classic cyberpunk novel from the master (he also
wrote “Snow Crash”) rich in mathematical alternate
The Foundation Novels Isaac Asimov
What if human society could be explained by mathematics?
What if a (very complicated) equation could predict the future?
What if all went terribly wrong?
Foundation and Empire
Mr Zuber: “My all time favourite book when I was a 13 year old nerd”.
The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy series Douglas Adams
‘Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-
bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the
chemist, but that's just peanuts to space ‘ A comic adventure through time and
space. Science fiction humour filled with hilarious jokes which are even funnier
for the mathematically aware. Look out for wonderfully ridiculous logic of the
Improbability Drive, and of course – the “answer to the meaning of life” is ….
Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Life, the Universe and Everything
So Long and Thanks for the Fish
Of Time and Stars Arthur C. Clarke
A collection of classic short stories by one of the masters of
science fiction. Including the amazing “Nine Billion Names of
God” and the story that formed the basis of the greatest
science fiction ever made “2001: A Space Odyssey”.
Don’t be deceived the tatty looking old cover – this book is
Fantasia Mathematica Clifton Fadiman
A classic collection of mathematical stories, essays and
anecdotes. Selections include writing by Aldous Huxley,
Martin Gardner, H.G. Wells, George Gamow, G.H. Hardy,
Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke.
Stories of Your Life and Others Ted Chiang
What if we discovered that the fundamentals of
mathematics were arbitrary and inconsistent? What if we
could divide by zero? What if exposure to an alien language
forever changed our perception of time? Terrific new
science fiction short stories.
Factoring Humanity Robert J. Sawyer
In the near future, a signal is detected coming from the
Alpha Centauri system. Heather Davis has devoted her
career to deciphering the message.When Heather
achieves a breakthrough, the message reveals a startling
new technology that rips the barriers of space and time,
holding the promise of a new stage of human evolution.
Contact Carl Sagan
At first it seemed impossible - a radio signal that came not
from Earth but from far beyond the nearest stars. But then
the signal was translated, and what had been impossible
became terrifying. For the signal contains the information
to build a Machine that can travel to the stars. A Machine
that can take a human to meet those that sent the
message. They are eager to meet us: they have been
watching and waiting for a long time.
Little Brother Cory Doctorow
Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but
he figures he already knows how the system works–and
how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways
of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his
high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.
The Oxford Murders Guillermo Martinez
Two mathematicians must join forces to stop a serial killer in
this spellbinding international bestseller. It begins on a
summer day in Oxford, when a young Argentine graduate
student finds his landlady - an elderly woman who helped
crack the Enigma Code during World War II - murdered in
The Three Body Problem : A Cambridge Mystery
Cambridge, 1888. Miss Vanessa Duncan is a young
schoolmistress recently arrived from the countryside. But
everything changes when a Fellow of Mathematics, Mr. Akers,
is found dead in his room from a violent blow to the head.
Vanessa learns of Sir Isaac Newton’s yet unsolved ‘n-body
problem’, which Mr. Akers might have been trying to solve to
win the prestigious prize.
Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel
of Mathematical Obsession Apostolos Doxiadis.
Petros Papachristos devotes the early part of his life trying
to prove one of the greatest mathematical challenges of all
time: Goldbach's Conjecture, the deceptively simple claim
that every even number greater than two is the sum of two
primes. Decades later, his ambitious young nephew drives
the defeated mathematician back into the hunt to prove
Goldbach's Conjecture. . . but at the cost of the old man's
sanity, and perhaps even his life.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Christopher does not like strangers or the colours yellow or
brown or being touched. On the other hand, he knows all
the countries in the world and their capital cities and every
prime number up to 7507. When Christopher decides to find
out who killed the neighbour's dog, his mystery story
becomes more complicated than he could have ever
Chasing Vermeer Blue Balliet
When a book of unexplainable occurrences brings Petra &
Calder together, strange things start to happen: seemingly
unrelated events connect, an eccentric old woman seeks
their company, an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears.
Before they know it, the two find themselves at the centre
of an international art scandal.
Pythagorean Crimes Tefcros Michaelides
Athens, 1929. Stefanos Kantartzis is found murdered, and
Michael Igerinos, his best friend of 30 years, is being
questioned by the police as the last person to see him
alive. Could the solution to a mathematical problem could
inspire such passion, so intense and perilous, as to drive
someone to murder?
The Weaver Fish Robert Edeson
Cambridge linguist Edvard Tøssentern, presumed dead,
reappears after a balloon crash. When he staggers in from a
remote swamp, gravely ill and swollen beyond recognition,
his colleagues at the research station are overjoyed. But
Edvard’s discovery about a rare giant bird throws them all
into the path of an international crime ring. The Weaver
Fish is a gripping adventure story set on the island nation of
Ferendes in the South China Sea.
The Parrot’s Theorem Denis Guedj
Mr. Ruche, a Parisian bookseller, receives a bequest from a
long lost friend in the Amazon of a vast library of math
books, which propels him into a great exploration of the
story of mathematics. Meanwhile Max, whose family lives
with Mr. Ruche, takes in a voluble parrot who will discuss
math with anyone. When Mr. Ruche learns of his friend's
mysterious death in a Brazilian rainforest, he decides that
with the parrot's help he will use these books to teach Max
and his brother and sister the mysteries mathematics.
Basketball Analytics: Objective and efficient
strategies for understanding how teams win
Beating the odds: the hidden mathematics of
Robert Eastaway & John Haigh
The Physics of Basketball
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Moneyball is a quest for the secret of success in
baseball. Following the low-budget Oakland Athletics,
their larger-than-life general manger, Billy Beane, and
the strange brotherhood of amateur baseball
enthusiasts, Michael Lewis has written not only "the
single most influential baseball book ever" (Rob
Neyer, Slate) but also what "may be the best book ever
written on business" (Weekly Standard).
Science and technology
Seventeen equations that changed the world
From Newton's Law of Gravity to the Black-Scholes
model used by bankers to predict the markets,
equations, are everywhere - and they are fundamental
to everyday life.
What if? Randall Munroe
Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical
Questions is a non-fiction book by Randall Munroe in
which he answers hypothetical science questions sent to
him by readers of his webcomic, xkcd.
Dynamics of Dinosaurs & Other Extinct Giants
R McNeill Alexandar
An astounding small book applying mathematical
thinking and simple reasoning which resulted in
Alexander proposing the controversial idea that many
dinosaurs were warm blooded.
A must-read for anyone interested in dinosaurs and
will certainly feature in a “Working Mathematically”
exam question one day.
Einstein: His Life and Universe
An outstanding biography – and an eye opener just how
important mathematical reasoning was to the
development of Einstein’s work. Highly recommended.
Parallel Worlds : A Journey Through Creation,
Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the
Cosmos Michio Kaku
A dizzying ride to explore black holes and time machines,
multidimensional space and the possibility that parallel
universes may lay alongside our own.
The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and
the Battle over General Relativity
Pedro G. Ferreira
Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is possibly
the most perfect intellectual achievement in modern
physics. From the moment Einstein first proposed the
theory in 1915, it was received with enthusiasm yet also
with tremendous resistance, and for the following ninety
years was the source of a series of feuds, vendettas,
ideological battles and international collaborations
featuring a colourful cast of characters.
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics Carlo Rivelli
'Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the
ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the
beauty of the world. And it's breathtaking‘
These seven short lessons guide us, with simplicity and
clarity, through the scientific revolution that shook
physics in the twentieth century. In this mind-bending
Chaos : making a new science
A popular introduction to Chaos Theory, one of the most
significant waves of scientific knowledge in our time.
From Edward Lorenz's discovery of the Butterfly Effect to
Benoit Mandelbrot's concept of fractals, which created a
new geometry of nature, Gleick makes the story of chaos
theory not only fascinating but also accessible to
beginners, and opens our eyes to a surprising new view
of the universe.
The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science,
Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us
Noson S. Yanofsky
Many books explain what is known about the universe.
This book investigates what cannot be known. In The Outer
Limits of Reason, Noson Yanofsky considers what cannot
be predicted, described, or known, and what will never be
understood. He discusses the limitations of computers,
physics, logic, and our own thought processes.
Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth
Apostolos Doxiadis , Christos H. Papadimitriou
This exceptional graphic novel recounts the odyssey of
philosopher Bertrand Russell. In his search for absolute
truth, Russell crosses paths with legendary thinkers like
Gottlob Frege, David Hilbert, and Kurt Gödel, and finds a
passionate student in the great Ludwig Wittgenstein. But
his most ambitious goal, to establish unshakable logical
foundations of mathematics, continues to loom before
A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel
While taking a class on infinity at Stanford in the late 1980s,
Ravi Kapoor discovers that he is confronting the same
mathematical and philosophical dilemmas that his
mathematician grandfather had faced many decades earlier--
and that had landed him in jail. As grandfather and grandson
struggle with the question of whether there can ever be
absolute certainty in mathematics or life, they are forced to
reconsider their fundamental beliefs and choices.
A favourite for students from Year 7 to Year 12.
So popular we bought a second copy.
A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines
Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems sent shivers through
Vienna’s intellectual circles and directly challenged Ludwig
Wittgenstein’s dominant philosophy. Alan Turing’s
mathematical genius helped him break the Nazi Enigma
Code during WWII. Though they never met, their lives
strangely mirrored one another—both were brilliant, and
both met with tragic ends. Here, a mysterious narrator
intertwines these parallel lives into a double helix of genius
and anguish, wonderfully capturing not only two radiant,
fragile minds but also the zeitgeist of the era.
Godel, Esher, Bach: an eternal golden braid
The classic book about art, mathematics, philosophy,
music and artificial intelligence. A challenging book to
read, but one to savour.
Art and architecture
Mathematical Excursions to the World's Great
Buildings Alexander J. Hahn
An eye-opening tour of the mathematics behind some of
the world's most spectacular buildings. Beautifully
illustrated, the book explores the milestones in
elementary mathematics that enliven the understanding
of these buildings and combines this with an in-depth look
at their aesthetics, history, and structure.
Islamic Geometric Patterns Eric Broug
A high quality exploration of Islamic geometric
Masters of deception : Escher, Dali & the
artists of optical illusion Al Seckel
Pavement chalk artist : the three-dimensional
drawings of Julian Beever
Mind-blowing anamorphic projections! Could you draw
these type of images? A book by the artist, for artists.
A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep
Does the universe embody beautiful ideas? Artists as
well as scientists throughout history have pondered
this “beautiful question.” Wilczek’s groundbreaking
work in quantum physics was inspired by his intuition
to look for a deeper order of beauty in nature.
Gorgeously illustrated, A Beautiful Question is a mind-
shifting book that braids the age-old quest for beauty
and the age-old quest for truth into a thrilling
synthesis. It is a dazzling and important work from one
of our best thinkers, whose humour and infectious
sense of wonder animate every page.
Viewpoints: Mathematical Perspective and
Fractal Geometry in Art
Marc Frantz and Annalisa Crannell
An undergraduate textbook devoted exclusively to
relationships between mathematics and art,
Viewpoints is ideally suited for math-for-liberal-arts
courses and mathematics courses for fine arts
majors. Filled with case studies presented by artists
Society & Culture
The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics
Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century
At a summer tea party in Cambridge, England, a guest
states that tea poured into milk tastes different from
milk poured into tea. Her notion is shouted down by the
scientific minds of the group. But one man, Ronald
Fisher, proposes to scientifically test the hypothesis.
The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and
Code-breaking Simon Singh
An story of puzzles, codes, languages and riddles that
reveals the continual pursuit to disguise and uncover,
and to work out the secret languages of others. The
betrayal of Mary Queen of Scots and the cracking of the
enigma code that helped the Allies in World War II are
major episodes in a continuing history of cryptography.
Outliers Malcolm Gladwell
What makes high-achievers different? Gladwell explores
the effects of culture, family, generation, and the
idiosyncratic experiences of upbringing. Along the way
he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it
takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good
at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock
Longitude Dava Sobel
The ‘longitude problem’ was the thorniest scientific
dilemma of the 18th century. Lacking the ability to
measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great
ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon
as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives, and the
increasing fortunes of nations, hung on a resolution.
The Numbers Behind Numb3rs Keith Devlin
Using the popular CBS prime-time TV crime series Numb3rs as
a springboard, Keith Devlin and Gary Lorden (the principal
math advisor to Numb3rs) explain real-life mathematical
techniques used by the FBI and other law enforcement
agencies to catch and convict criminals.
The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets
You may have watched hundreds of episodes of The Simpsons
without ever realizing that cleverly embedded in many plots
are subtle references to mathematics, ranging from well-known
equations to cutting-edge theorems and conjectures.
The Tiger That Isn’t
Andrew Dilnot & Michael Blastland
Politicians and journalists use numbers all the time to
bamboozle us. By using a few really simple principles one can
quickly see when maths, statistics and numbers are being
abused to play tricks - or create policies - which can waste
millions of pounds.
Inequality and the 1%
Inequality is more than just economics, it is the culture that
divides and makes social mobility almost impossible. Leading
geographer Danny Dorling goes in pursuit of the latest
research into how the lives and ideas of the 1% impact on the
Measuring the World
Late in the eighteenth century, two young Germans set out
to measure the world. One of them, the aristocratic
naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, negotiates jungles,
voyages down the Orinoco River, tastes poisons, climbs the
highest mountain known to man, counts head lice, and
explores and measures every cave and hill he comes
across. The other, the reclusive and barely socialized
mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, can prove that space
is curved without leaving his home.
Seduced by Logic
Newton's Principia changed forever humanity's
understanding of its place in the universe. But it was
feisty French aristocratic Émilie du Châtelet who played
a key role in bring Newton's revolutionary opus to a
Continental audience. Emilie personified the exciting mix
of science, literature, politics and philosophy that
defined the Enlightenment. A century later, Mary
Somerville taught herself mathematics and rose from
genteel poverty to become a world authority on
Newtonian physics. Mary and Émilie bring to life a
defining period in science and politics, revealing the
intimate links between the unfolding Newtonian
revolution and the origins of intellectual and political
The Great Arc
A vivid description of one of the most ambitious scientific
projects in the 19th century: the measurement of the
Himalayas and the mapping of the Indian subcontinent by
William Lambton and George Everest. It faced horrendous
technical difficulties, jungles, tigers, and mountains and
took over 50 years. But the scientific results were
commensurate, including the discovery of the world’s
highest peaks and a new calculation of the curvature of the
“Must-read” books for the well-read economics student
Do not arrive at university without having at least looked at these books!
If you can make time to read these by the end of Year 11, you will have
outstanding material and ideas for your essays.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street Burton Malkiel.
The book that popularised the concept of Index Funds. A
mathematical perspective on financial markets, with a
good discussion on randomness and the misuse of
statistics to mislead investors.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century Thomas Piketty.
Arguably the most talked about economics book in the last
twenty years, generating much controversy. A very
weighty tome, full of challenging ideas and rich in
mathematics. Even if you only read the first few chapters,
you will get benefit.
The Black Swan Nassim Taleb
A black swan is an event, positive or negative, that is deemed
improbable yet causes massive consequences. In this
groundbreaking and prophetic book, Taleb shows in a playful
way that Black Swan events explain almost everything about
our world, and yet we - especially the experts - are blind to
them. This second edition updated with content about the
Global Financial Crisis.
Freakonomics Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner
A collection of articles written by Levitt, an expert who has
already gained a reputation for applying economic theory to
diverse subjects not usually covered by "traditional"
economists. Seriously good fun.
Mr Zuber says: A must read for anyone interested
in investing or in how financial markets work.
Double Entry Jane Gleeson-White
How the merchants of Venice created modern finance.
Who would have thought a book about accounting
would be so fascinating? A must read for anyone
interested in money, Renaissance Italy, the lives of the
great artists and the history of mathematics
A History of Interest Rate Sydney Homer
A readable account of interest rate trends and
lending practices spanning over four millennia of
economic history. Filled with in-depth insights and
illustrative charts and tables, it places the rates and
corresponding credit forms in context by summarizing
the political and economic events and financial
customs of particular times and places.
People who do maths
Born on a Blue Day
'I was born on 31 January 1979 - a Wednesday. I know it was a
Wednesday, because the date is blue in my mind and
Wednesdays are always blue, like the number nine or the
sound of loud voices arguing.‘ Daniel Tammet sees numbers as
shapes, colours, textures and motions, and can learn to speak
a language fluently from scratch in three days. He also has a
compulsive need for order and routine. He eats exactly 45
grams of porridge for breakfast and cannot leave the house
without counting the number of items of clothing he's
wearing. If he gets stressed or unhappy he closes his eyes and
Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality
What if you had to take an art class in which you were only
taught how to paint a fence? What if you were never shown
the paintings of van Gogh and Picasso, weren’t even told they
existed? Alas, this is how math is taught, and so for most of us
it becomes the intellectual equivalent of watching paint dry.
In Love and Math, renowned mathematician Edward Frenkel
reveals a side of math we’ve never seen, suffused with all the
beauty and elegance of a work of art.
David Flannery & Sarah Flannery
In January 1999, Sarah Flannery, a sports-loving teenager from
Blarney in County Cork, Ireland, was awarded Ireland's Young
Scientist of the Year for her extraordinary research and
discoveries in Internet cryptography. Just sixteen, she was a
mathematician with an international reputation. This is her
Finding Moonshine: A Mathematician’s Journey
Through Symmetry Marcus Du Sautoy
This book combines a personal insight into the mind of a
working mathematician with the story of one of the
biggest adventures in mathematics: the search for
The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius
Ramanujan Robert Kanigel
In 1913, a young unschooled Indian clerk wrote a letter
to G H Hardy, begging the preeminent English
mathematician's opinion on several ideas he had about
numbers. Realizing the letter was the work of a genius,
Hardy arranged for Srinivasa Ramanujan to come to
England. Thus began one of the most improbable and
productive collaborations ever chronicled.
Genius at Play
The story of the remarkable Steven Conway. Inventor of
the Game of Life and Sprouts. As seen on Numberphile.
The Housekeeper and the Professor (Fiction)
He is a brilliant maths professor with a peculiar
problem - ever since a traumatic head injury seventeen
years ago, he has lived with only eighty minutes of
short-term memory. She is a sensitive but astute young
housekeeper who is entrusted to take care of him.
Each morning, as the Professor and the Housekeeper
are reintroduced to one another, a strange, beautiful
relationship blossoms between them.
Letters to a Young Mathematician
Mathematician Ian Stewart tells readers what he wishes
he had known when he was a student. He takes up
subjects ranging from the philosophical to the practical-
what mathematics is and why it's worth doing, the
relationship between logic and proof, the role of beauty
in mathematical thinking, the future of mathematics,
how to deal with the peculiarities of the mathematical
community, and many others.
Struck by genius : how a brain injury made me a
Jason Padgett & Maureen Ann Seaberg
The Man Who Only Loved Numbers: The Story of
Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical
A Numerate Life John Allen Paulos
An award-winning insight into the life of a
Puzzles and problems
The Moscow Puzzles: 359 Mathematical
Recreations Boris A. Kordemsky
The best and most popular puzzle book ever
published in the Soviet Union. Lavishly illustrated with
over 400 clear diagrams and amusing sketches.
The Colossal Book of Short Puzzles and
Problems Martin Gardner
For more than twenty-five years, Martin Gardner
was Scientific American's renowned provocateur of
popular math. Loyal readers would savour the wit and
elegance of his explorations in physics, probability,
topology, and chess, among others. Grouped by
subject and arrayed from easiest to hardest, the
puzzles gathered here have been selected by Gardner
for their illuminating; and often bewildering; solutions
Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities
Professor Stewart’s Hoard of Mathematical Treasures
Professor Stewart’s Casebook of Mathematical Mysteries
Mathematics extension and enrichment𝒆𝒊𝝅
Coincidences, Chaos and that Math Jazz
Edward B Burger & Michael Starbird
Probability shows that surprising coincidences such as the
amazing parallels between the Lincoln and Kennedy
assassinations are sure to happen. These and other foreign
and familiar mysteries are all explained with great humour
and clarity in this irreverent, entertaining and readable
Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension
Starting with the foundations of math from school
(numbers, geometry, and algebra), Parker reveals how it is
possible to climb all the way up to topology and to four-
dimensional shapes, and from there to infinity―and slightly
beyond. Filled with captivating games and puzzles, hands-
on activities that explore mathematics normally only
available to those studying at a university level.
How to think like a Mathematician
A Companion to Undergraduate Mathematics. Dr Kevin
Houston. Looking for a head start in your undergraduate
degree in mathematics? This friendly companion will ease
your transition to real mathematical thinking.
Mr Zuber says: Highly recommended for students
planning on studying mathematics at University.
Many good ideas for Year 12 Extension students
wanting to write better proofs.
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884
satirical novella by the Edwin Abbott. What would it be live
as a triangle 2D world? And what if you had visions of a 3D
world beyond? A rich, imaginative book with a satirical
Alex's Adventures in Numberland Alex Bellos
Alex meets the world's fastest mental calculators in
Germany and a startlingly numerate chimpanzee in
Japan. an exhilarating cocktail of history, reportage and
mathematical proofs that will leave you awestruck.
Adam Spencer’s Big Book of Numbers
Why do people get freaked out by Friday the 13th?
Where does a ‘dozen’ come from? Who was Erno Rubik?
And how do you become a master at Sudoku? 100 bite-
Thinking in Numbers Daniel Tammet.
From the mathematician who wrote “Born on a Blue Day”
– an insight into his world of mathematics.
Fermat’s Last Theorem Simon Singh
Fermat’s Last Theorem was the most notorious unsolved
mathematical problem, a puzzle whose basics most
children could grasp but whose solution eluded the
greatest minds in the world.
The Joy of x Steven Strogatz
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. Highly recommended.
The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th
Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
Hans Magnus Enzensberger.
In twelve dreams, Robert, a boy who hates math, meets a
Number Devil, who leads him to discover the amazing
world of numbers.
The Grapes of Math: How Life Reflects
Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life Alex Bellos
1089 and all that David Acheson
Packed with puzzles and illustrated by world famous
cartoonists, this is one of the most readable and
imaginative books on mathematics ever written.
The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics
The Penguin dictionary of curious and
interesting numbers David Wells
How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical
Method G. Polya & John H. Conway.
The seminal work on problem solving strategies.
A Mathematician's Lament: How School Cheats
Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative
Art Form Paul Lockhart
A controversial essay which provoked spirited debate
among educators and parents. Recommended!
Measurement Paul Lockhart
Rediscover the joy and beauty of geometric thinking. A
mathematical poem. A treasure trove of a book – Mr
Zuber’s favourite book of 2014. Highly recommended.
The Colossal Book of Mathematics Martin Gardner
A collection of Gardner's most popular pieces from his
legendary "Mathematical Games" column, which ran in
Scientific American for twenty-five years. A book to dip
into over time or take on a desert island!
Introducing Fractals: A Graphic Guide
A manga style exploration of Fractal Geometry
Finding Zero Amir D. Aczel
Where do the numbers we use today, the so-called Hindu-
Arabic numerals, come from? A grand quest into India,
Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and ultimately into the wilds of
The Mathematical Traveller : Exploring the
Grand History of Numbers
The Number Mysteries Marcus du Sautoy
A short, lively book on five mathematical problems that
just refuse be solved.
What Is Mathematics? An Elementary Approach to
Ideas and Methods (2nd Edition) Courant, Robbins and
A classic, recently updated.
Here’s Looking at Euclid Alex Bellos
Uncover fascinating stories of mathematical achievement,
from the breakthroughs of Euclid, the greatest
mathematician of all time, to the creations of the Zen
master of origami
The mathematical recreations of Lewis Carroll.
The Manga guide to Calculus
Solving mathematics problems: a personal
perspective Terence Tao. A clearly presented text leads
the reader through solving mathematical problems at the
Mathematical Olympiad level. Assuming only a basic level of
mathematics, for students of 14 years and above.
Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data
Charles Wheelan. How can we catch schools that cheat on
standardized tests? How does Netflix know which movies
you’ll like? What is causing the rising incidence of autism?.
A brief history of Infinity Brian Clegg
Exploring the infinite is a journey into paradox. Here is a
quantity that turns arithmetic on its head, making it feasible
that 1 = 0. Here is a concept that enables us to cram as
many extra guests as we like into an already full hotel. Most
bizarrely of all, it is quite easy to show that there must be
something bigger than infinity - when it surely should be
the biggest thing that could possibly be.
Mathematics MINUS Fear Lawrence Potter
Mathematics of Life Ian Stewart
A new partnership of biologists and mathematicians is
picking apart the hidden complexity of animals and plants
to throw fresh light on the behaviour of entire organisms,
how they interact and how changes in biological diversity
affect the planet's ecological balance..
Cogwheels of the Mind A W F Edwards
A beautifully illustrated guide to the history and
application of Venn Diagrams. Written by “Edwards” of
the “Edwards-Venn diagrams” fame. A work of art,
worth looking at just for the pretty pictures.
The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved: How
Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language
The story behind the mathematicians who developed
Group Theory – a language to describe symmetry.
Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the
Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics
In 1859, Bernhard Riemann, a little-known thirty-two
year old mathematician, made a hypothesis titled “On
the Number of Prime Numbers Less Than a Given
Quantity.” Today, after 150 years of careful research and
exhaustive study, the Riemann Hyphothesis remains
unsolved, with a one-million-dollar prize earmarked for
the first person to conquer it.
Teaching Secondary School Mathematics
Merryln Goos et al.
Interested in becoming a mathematics teacher? Or
wonder how and why your teaching the way they do?
What do you think of these books?
Are there any you would highly recommend?
Or any you think we should remove from the collection?
Please give your feedback to your mathematics teacher or
to Mrs Henderson in the library.
Or: Visit www.goodreads.com and add your reviews and
comments to the “The Pi Collection” list.