Mathematics by Jan Gullberg


This extraordinary work takes the reader on a long and fascinating journey--from the dual invention of numbers and language, through the major realms of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus, to the final destination of differential equations, with excursions into mathematical logic, set theory, topology, fractals, probability, and assorted other mathematical byways. The book is unique among popular books on mathematics in com...

Details Mathematics

Release DateMar 17th, 1997
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
GenreScience, Mathematics, Nonfiction, History, Reference

Reviews Mathematics

  • Peter
    NumerationThere is infinite beauty in mathematics and numbers! When I say infinite, I immediately think about Pi and how it extends to infinite decimal places. When I say beauty, I think about how numbers can translate to graphical images with curves, straight lines and multiple dimensions, each with unique relationships and transformations. Picture the very precise yet artistic language of symbols and formatting, especially the Greek alphabet an...
  • Matthew Richards
    Not the book I was expecting. I assumed this would be a history of mathematics from the birth of numbers, organized chronologically and showing how concepts built over time worldwide. Instead it was organized by subject/field. This approach has its own virtues, as you have to know about algebra and geometry before moving on to integral calculus, for example, but it has the disadvantage of not showing how several branches of mathematics were devel...
  • Robert
    This is how math should be taught. A top down approach as opposed to rote, with a lot of interesting history and random information to keep it interesting.. it's "why is this interesting / worthwhile and how does it fit in" vs "memorize this or fail."If you've ever wanted to get further into the math world for its own sake but find it difficult to get going, this is a great place to start.
  • Rick
    It took me the better part of a year to read Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers, and at times I found it rather challenging. I suspect that I have greater than average interest in mathematics, and I did manage to make it at least through college calculus, but that didn’t always help me much. Part of my problem may have been that, for every concept, Gullberg presents the most general and abstract case, so even things I thought I understood w...
  • Owltime
    One would never completely finish such a volume; rather, (s)he would peruse the pages carefully and quietly, with a pencil in the hand, getting lost in the glimpse of the huge discipline of mathematics that the author has so generously bestowed. It is also quite amazing that the author's occupation was a practitioner of surgery.
  • Todd N
    I bought this on a whim at Bookbuyers in Mountain View and only read a few parts of it. I'm marking it as read since I gave it to my daughter's math teacher to help her class with their projects on math in ancient civilizations.This is a very quirky and personal book on math written by a doctor (I think) who has always been interested in mathematics. It's part history, part reference, part cartoons.Every time I cracked the book open, there was so...
  • Dave
    A compendium of mathematical ideas, stories and history. A great book for those interested in recreational mathematics, basic facts about a wide range of concepts in math or inveterate browsers.
  • Hemhek Song
    More of a reference
  • Arlene S
    Some interesting historical information and math categories. Perhaps useful as a reference work.
  • Alleykat
    I enjoyed it however, I think that I would prefer something that prioritizes conceptual progression a bit more over temporal progression. Understanding the latter is extremely useful but, right now I'm seeking the former.
  • Gavin Leech
    Disarming, unpretentious, funny, deep.
  • William Schram
    Excellent tome on general mathematics from counting all the way to differential equations. Contains examples galore. If you aren't satisfied after all of this, it contains an extensive bibliography for further reading. The book also contains an index to help find things in the text.Along with the mathematics, it covers some history of the particular subject being done, with the important people who brought forth the developments necessary and the...
  • Maureen H.
    I forget where I learned of this book but I thought it would be interesting and probably challenging to see how much of my math I remembered. I didn't find the history portion of the book to be of much interest but the explanation of each concept was thorough and well explained. As I searched and read certain topics I realized I have forgotten much. As I struggled to remember things I received an email from the Kahn Academy with some refresher pr...
  • Bern
    Bought an almost brand new copy of this book spontenously in early 2014 and then forgot about it(probably because the cover looked nice).Only rediscovered it again a few days ago whilst tidying up my book collection and the joy!!This is a rich source of mathematical history and formulas for both maths and non maths enthusiasts alike.Based on other reviews I would have to agree it serves very well as a good reference point as it can take time to d...
  • Yofish
    Looooong. 1000 pages. Didn't get to the end before library wanted it back. Mostly an attempt to explain math (ALL of math) to a layman. Some good things in it, but a little dated, and waaaaay too much. Not much attempt to go beyond the basics, but that's OK.
  • Rodney Wallace
    Great history of how numbers, math and different cultures grew together.
  • The C
    One of the best references I have found.
  • Max
    For someone who loves stories, this is an excellent (and thorough) introduction to mathematics and the stories behind its creation. Reading it re-ignited my interest in math.
  • Melissa Wojcik
    If you ever want a better relationship with Math, here is the ultimate guide.
  • Nicolle
    I've marked this book as read though the truth is that it is an ongoing read which will take years. I think it is a great encyclopedia like book on maths.
  • Victoria
    Difficult, and fast.