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This book is indeed a joy to read. There were many “aha” moments, some of which are :

  • Google’s Page rank explained using a simple Markov chain example. Demonstrates the power of linear algebra.
  • Thinking about conditional probability in terms of frequencies is more intuitive and less confusing than the usual Bayes formula.
  • Power Law is the new Normal Distribution of the world.They are everywhere.
  • Log scale verbalized brilliantly :Markings on the axis differ by the same factor than same absolute number.
  • Div, Grad and Curl in Maxwell’s equations.
  • Differential equation to understand a love affair. In the same context, Newton’s three body problem has no closed form solution. May be that’s the reason why love triangle movies always seem to work, for there is always some novelty that audience can expect.
  • To explain Euler’s constant, an example with some equation is usually the standard choice. But the author does it in style when he says “e arises when something changes through the cumulative effects of tiny events.”
  • Usage of Goldilocks Principle in many places in the book.
  • Stair case analogy to explain Fundamental theorem of Calculus.
  • Zero antiderivative property of slopes and peaks verbalized as : Things always change slow at the top or bottom.
  • “Sine qua non” – word used to cutely explain the ubiquitous sine curve, the nature’s building block .
  • Cone’s hidden role in the manifestation of parabola, ellipse and hyperbola .
  • Solving a quadratic equation visually.
  • Exploring Connections between “Using Newton Raphson to solve an equation with multiple roots” , Chaos theory and fractals. Truly amazing!
  • Why Hindu Arabic system of numbering flourished while others fell astray? The unsung background hero of the story is the “Zero”.
  • Gibbs Phenomenon and the way it unpleasantly crops up in digital photographs and MRI scans.
  • Connection between “How to effectively use Mattress”  and group theory.
  • Mention of Mobius Strip with a link to this brilliant visual narrative.

The book begins with  natural numbers that made counting and tallying easy. It ends with with the subject of infinity where everything is on a slippery ground. In this journey from natural numbers to infinity, the book explores various subfields of mathematics.

This book is a pleasure to read as the author connects some basic math stuff with everyday life, in a way that I will never forget.

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