Syth Registered User

Here's an idea.
Everyone put down good maths (as in popular science no textbooks) that you would recommend for other people to read.

Syth Registered User

Well How to Lie with Statistics tells you how you can use statistics to say anything. Basically how you can say what is technically correct but completly misleading. If you think someone is pulling the wool over your eyes with statistics this book'll tell you how to spot them. But it's like 50 years old, so you mite have problems getting it.

Also 'Reckoning with Risk' by Gerd Gigerenzer is good. See here.


"the universal history of numbers" by Georges Ifrah. it's a pretty cool read, more of a history book than a math book, but it's pretty interesting.

ecksor Puppy Shotgun

"Innumeracy" by John Allen Paulos is a good examination of how a poor grasp of simple mathematical ideas by the general public lead to scams and general pseudo science.

"Once upon a number", also by John Allen Paulos explains the relationship between statistics and anecdotes and shows how and why relying on just one or the other leads to false conclusions of different kinds.

(Btw, his absolute best book isn't a maths book, it's a philosophy book called "I think, therefore I laugh").

For a pop science introduction to various areas of pure mathematics then "From here to infinity" by Ian Stewart is a good read and I'd recommend it to anyone who's interested.

"The man who loved only numbers" by Paul Hoffman is an entertaining account of the life of eccentric Paul Erdos.

I also enjoyed reading "Dr. Riemann's Zeros" by Karl Sabbagh which is about the search for the solution to the Riemann hypothesis, and in particular focuses on Louis De Branges, quite an interesting character ...

Currently reading "Godel: A life of logic" which is interesting, but I like most biographys.

silverside Registered User

'A Beautiful Mind' the biography of John Nash.

'Chaos' by James Gleick.

dod Registered User

Euclid, The Elements, one of the most outstanding maths books in history

Archimedes, The Sand Reckoner, his proposition on how issues raised by very large numbers were dealt with in c.250 BC

Copernicus, De revolutionibus (1543)

Ptolemy, Almagest
Ptolemy, Planetary Hypotheses

and, of course

Newton, Principia

dudara Administrator

Both of Simon Singhs books are excellent. "Fermat's Last Theorem" and "The Code Book".

Someone else also recommended "The Man Who Loved Only Numbers", a biography of Paul Erdos, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Tree Moderator

Originally posted by silverside

'Chaos' by James Gleick.

thats a brill book,

would also recommend ian stewarts what shape is a snowflake

The book of nothing is a good read too, by jd barrow

smiles purplized
ecksor Puppy Shotgun

As opposed to the 'popular science' slant of the other thread. Basically books aimed at students or mathematicians that especially well covered a topic or illuminated a subject for you in a very nice way.

To start with, I found Introductory Mathematics: Analysis and Algebra to be a very readable (and humourous) introduction and overview of many of the basic ideas of pure mathematics and well worth reading before digging into those areas in more detail.

dod Registered User

A maths(ish) book that I love, great if you have any interest in econometrics itself or even a detailed interest in applied statistics. Keep it close by for regular reading! Introduction to Econometrics (Maddala). I really genuinely recommend this book for anyone with even a fleeting interest in Applied economics, statistics or Econometrics itself. Delightful stuff.

Syth Registered User

Flatterland by Ian Steward is very good. Humourous and explains funky maths that you mightn't learn anywhere else.

charlieroot Registered User

Vector Calculus - Marsden and Thromba.

Complex Analysis - Lang.

Primes of the form x^n+dy^n=p - Cox. (tough going but very good).

Number Fields - Daniel A Marcus (Unfortunately out of print).

Concrete Mathematics - Not sure of the author and I haven't read it but I've been told its pretty good.


DMT Registered User

Originally posted by Syth
Well How to Lie with Statistics tells you how you can use statistics to say anything..... But it's like 50 years old, so you mite have problems getting it.

Can be got at

ecksor Puppy Shotgun

I just realised that I left out "A Mathematician's Apology", by G.H Hardy, written just before he died and after he had stopped producing original mathematical work, he defends his choice of work and explains his motivations as a mathematician. A short little book (the version I have has a foreward by C.P. Snow that's about as long as the book itself, it's 50 pages long ... )

Just finished reading "The Music of the Primes: Why an unsolved problem in mathematics matters" by Marcus du Sautoy. Obviously it covers similar things to the book I mentioned above by Sabbagh, but I found it more engrossing. He uses the analogies of musical notes of the primes and the metaphorical instruments which create them frequently as he gives a historical account of the various mathematicians who have made major contributions to the search, tries to explain those contributions, and puts them into the context of how mathematics in general was evolving as time went on. I think du Sautoy is probably the most infectiously enthusiastic writer of science matters I've come across since Feynman. I immediately signed up for a course in complex analysis

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