The world of maths can seem mind-boggling, irrelevant and, let's face it, boring. This groundbreaking book reclaims maths from the geeks.
Mathematical ideas underpin just about everything in our lives: from the surprising geometry of the 50p piece to how probability can help you win in any casino. In search of weird and wonderful mathematical phenomena, Alex Bellos travels across the globe and meets the world's fastest mental calculators in Germany and a startlingly numerate chimpanzee in Japan. Packed with fascinating, eye-opening anecdotes, Alex's Adventures in Numberland is an exhilarating cocktail of history, reportage and mathematical proofs that will leave you awestruck.
From triangles, rotations and power laws, to fractals, cones and curves, bestselling author Alex Bellos takes you on a journey of mathematical discovery with his signature wit, engaging stories and limitless enthusiasm. As he narrates a series of eye-opening encounters with lively personalities all over the world, Alex demonstrates how numbers have come to be our friends, are fascinating and extremely accessible, and how they have changed our world.
He turns even the dreaded calculus into an easy-to-grasp mathematical exposition, and sifts through over 30,000 survey submissions to reveal the world's favourite number. In Germany, he meets the engineer who designed the first roller-coaster loop, whilst in India he joins the world's highly numerate community at the International Congress of Mathematicians. He explores the wonders behind the Game of Life program, and explains mathematical logic, growth and negative numbers. Stateside, he hangs out with a private detective in Oregon and meets the mathematician who looks for universes from his garage in Illinois.
Read this captivating book, and you won't realise that you're learning about complex concepts. Alex will get you hooked on maths as he delves deep into humankind's turbulent relationship with numbers, and proves just how much fun we can have with them.
The Brazilian football team is one of the wonders of the modern world and legendary names like Pelé, Garrincha and Ronaldo inspire awe in football-lovers everywhere. But in Latin America's largest country, football also symbolises racial harmony, the madness of love and the flamboyance of youth - it's a sport that expresses the identity of a nation.
This edition of a book that is now a modern classic, updated to coincide with the 2014 World Cup, explores what makes Brazil the 'football country' it is. From the Amazonian jungle to the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Alex Bellos weaves a golden-yellow tapestry of stories of great names, great teams and great matches. Mixing fact with local legend, history and myth, in Futebol he uncovers what makes football the Brazilian way of life.