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  1. 8.3 hrs • 5/5/2015 • Unabridged

    What is math? How exactly does it work? And what do three siblings trying to share a cake have to do with it? In How to Bake Pi, math professor Eugenia Cheng provides an accessible introduction to the logic and beauty of mathematics, powered, unexpectedly, by insights from the kitchen: we learn, for example, how the béchamel in a lasagna can be a lot like the number five and why making a good custard proves that math is easy, but life is hard. Of course, it’s not all about cooking; we’ll also run the New York and Chicago marathons, take a closer look at St. Paul’s Cathedral, pay visits to Cinderella and Lewis Carroll, and even get to the bottom of why we think of a tomato as a vegetable. At the heart of it all is Cheng’s work on category theory, a cutting-edge “mathematics of mathematics,” which is about figuring out how math works. This is not the math of our high school classes: seen through category theory, mathematics becomes less about numbers and formulas and more about how we know, believe, and understand anything, including whether our brother took too much cake. Many of us think that math is hard, but, as Cheng makes clear, math is actually designed to make difficult things easier. Combined with her infectious enthusiasm for cooking and a true zest for life, Cheng’s perspective on math becomes this singular book: a funny, lively, and clear journey through a vast territory no popular book on math has explored before. How to Bake Pi offers a whole new way to think about a field all of us think we know; it will both dazzle the constant reader of popular mathematics and amuse and enlighten even the most hardened math-phobe. So, what is math? Let’s look for the answer in the kitchen.

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    How to Bake Pi

    8.3 hrs • 5/5/15 • Unabridged
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  2. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    13.5 hrs • 6/3/2014 • Unabridged

    In How Not to Be Wrong, a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands. The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is. Math is not confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it. Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s 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? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer? How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replication crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God. Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.

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    How Not to Be Wrong

    13.5 hrs • 6/3/14 • Unabridged
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  3. 0 reviews 0 5 3 3 out of 5 stars 3/5
    15.4 hrs • 1/7/2014 • Unabridged

    The ideas of one of the most original cosmologists at work today—accessible, anecdotal, animated by the author’s wit and passion—which will fascinate fans of Brian Greene, Roger Penrose, and Ray Kurzweil Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present, and future, and through the physics, astronomy, and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind-boggling theories (his website gives a flavor of how they might boggle the mind), but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist. Fascinating from first to last—here is a book for the full science-reading spectrum.

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    Our Mathematical Universe

    15.4 hrs • 1/7/14 • Unabridged
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  4. 4.9 hrs • 1/1/2014

    William Goldbloom Bloch is a respected professor of mathematics at Wheaton College. This intriguing lecture series, Mathematics Is Power, delves into both the history of mathematics and its impact on people’s everyday lives from a non-mathematician’s perspective. Bloch first examines the history of mathematics and age-old questions pertaining to logic, truth, and paradoxes. Moving on to a discussion of how mathematics impacts the modern world, Bloch also explores abstract permutations such as game theory, cryptography, and voting theory.

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  5. 9.3 hrs • 7/30/2013 • Unabridged

    Thinking in Numbers is the book that Daniel Tammet, bestselling author and mathematical savant, was born to write. In Tammet’s world, numbers are beautiful and mathematics illuminates our lives and minds. Using anecdotes, everyday examples, and ruminations on history, literature, and more, Tammet allows us to share his unique insights and delight in the way numbers, fractions, and equations underpin all our lives. Inspired by the complexity of snowflakes, Anne Boleyn’s eleven fingers, or his many siblings, Tammet explores questions such as why time seems to speed up as we age, whether there is such a thing as an average person, and how we can make sense of those we love. Thinking in Numbers will change the way you think about math and fire your imagination to see the world with fresh eyes.

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    Thinking in Numbers

    9.3 hrs • 7/30/13 • Unabridged
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  6. 10.2 hrs • 5/14/2013 • Unabridged

    Throughout history, thinkers from mathematicians to theologians have pondered the mysterious relationship between numbers and the nature of reality. In this fascinating book, Mario Livio tells the tale of a number at the heart of that mystery: phi, or 1.6180339887…This curious mathematical relationship, widely known as “The Golden Ratio,” was discovered by Euclid more than two thousand years ago because of its crucial role in the construction of the pentagram, to which magical properties had been attributed. Since then it has shown a propensity to appear in the most astonishing variety of places, from mollusk shells, sunflower florets, and rose petals to the shape of the galaxy. Psychological studies have investigated whether the Golden Ratio is the most aesthetically pleasing proportion extant, and it has been asserted that the creators of the Pyramids and the Parthenon employed it. It is believed to feature in works of art from Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to Salvador Dali’s The Sacrament of the Last Supper, and poets and composers have used it in their works. It has even been found to be connected to the behavior of the stock market! The Golden Ratio is a captivating journey through art and architecture, botany and biology, physics and mathematics. It tells the human story of numerous phi-fixated individuals, including the followers of Pythagoras who believed that this proportion revealed the hand of God; astronomer Johannes Kepler, who saw phi as the greatest treasure of geometry; such Renaissance thinkers as mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa; and such masters of the modern world as Goethe, Cezanne, Bartok, and physicist Roger Penrose. Wherever his quest for the meaning of phi takes him, Mario Livio reveals the world as a place where order, beauty, and eternal mystery will always coexist.

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    The Golden Ratio

    10.2 hrs • 5/14/13 • Unabridged
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  7. 3.5 hrs • 7/16/2002 • Unabridged

    No number has captured the attention and imagination of people throughout the ages as much as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is infinite and, in The Joy of Pi, it proves to be infinitely intriguing. With incisive historical insight and a refreshing sense of humor, David Blatner explores the many facets of pi and humankind’s fascination with it—from the ancient Egyptians and Archimedes to Leonardo da Vinci and the modern-day Chudnovsky brothers, who have calculated pi to eight billion digits with a homemade supercomputer. The Joy of Pi is a book of many parts. Breezy narratives recount the history of pi and the quirky stories of those obsessed with it. Sidebars document fascinating pi trivia (including a segment from the O. J. Simpson trial). Dozens of snippets and factoids reveal pi’s remarkable impact over the centuries. Mnemonic devices teach how to memorize pi to many hundreds of digits (or more, if you’re so inclined). Pi-inspired cartoons, poems, limericks, and jokes offer delightfully “square” pi humor. And, to satisfy even the most exacting of number jocks, the first one million digits of pi appear throughout the book. A tribute to all things pi, The Joy of Pi is sure to foster a newfound affection and respect for the big number with the funny little symbol.

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    The Joy of Pi

    3.5 hrs • 7/16/02 • Unabridged
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  8. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    6.8 hrs • 3/19/2002 • Unabridged

    E=mc2 was born in 1905, the brainchild of Albert Einstein. In this lucid and brilliant book, one of the best popularizers of science illuminates one of science’s most complex concepts. Ranging widely from exit signs in theatres to the future fate of the earth, from smoke detectors to black holes and the structure of the atom, David Bodanis delivers a scintillating and colorful account of the real meaning of E=mc2.

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    E=mc2

    6.8 hrs • 3/19/02 • Unabridged
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  9. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    5.4 hrs • 9/4/2001 • Abridged

    From the end of the nineteenth century until his death, one of history’s most brilliant mathematicians languished in an asylum. The Mystery of the Aleph tells the story of Georg Cantor (1845–1918), a Russian-born German who created set theory, the concept of infinite numbers, and the continuum hypothesis, which challenged the very foundations of mathematics. His ideas brought expected denunciation from established corners, called a “corruptor of youth” not only for his work in mathematics, but for his larger attempts to meld spirituality and science.

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    Mystery of the Aleph

    5.4 hrs • 9/4/01 • Abridged
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