Choice

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

In his latest effort, Pickover, a prolific mathematics and science writer/journalist, examines 250 great moments in mathematics, each of which is described on a single page and accompanied (on the facing page) by a typically gorgeous photograph or piece of computer-generated art/mathematics. Each of the essays can be easily read by an individual with little background in mathematics. However, some readers, even professional mathematicians, may not be left with a complete understanding of a topic without following up on the references. The work is more historical than tutorial; this is part of what makes it so accessible. The events detailed include those that would make the list of every mathematician, as well as highlights from the world of recreational mathematics, including recognition of prominent popularizers such as Martin Gardner and the television program Numb3rs. Recent results connected with the key items are provided in the mini-essays, so the reader will see mathematics as a living subject. The pages may be read in any order and are cross-indexed for convenience. Most importantly, Pickover's love of mathematics shines through the text and images, and it is likely that the reader will catch at least some of his enthusiasm. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. C. Bauer York College of Pennsylvania