Full apologies for doing this about a week late - please see excuses in Book Group Discussion Point.
Usual request: please buy this book through one of our links, which will help enable us to keep afloat.
Now perhaps Fiona1984 can start explaining what it all means.
A brilliant exploration of the beauty and power of mathematics Ian Stewart has carved out of a niche for himself as by far the leading populariser of maths in this country in a series of successful books. The Magical Maze is structured on the image of a maze representing the network of connected mathematical ideas that have proved sopowerful and effective in the understanding the natural world. Expanding from Stewart's 1997 Royal Institution Christmas lecture, it covers topics such as numbers, probablity, game theory, patterns and oscillators, as well as knots, computability, chaos and other topics chosen to communicate the intellectual excitement and beauty of mathematics as a subject.
And I have been defeated! (At least, mythologically, I am in good company).
Having struggled through algebra, geometry, etc., in school and gone on to battle statistics and quantitative analysis at uni, and having SWORN that I would never put myself through all that again after barely escaping with my sanity (and a passing grade), I must admit that I, like Megustaleer, longed to believe that a bit of time and space (and maturity) would have made me more 'attuned' to maths. NOT!!
While some of this book has been a bit coherent, I find the whole thing too painful to continue. Call me a wimp! But I can't stand it any more and, to put it in Yank-speech, 'I'm outta here!'
I'm posting this poll but I think I can predict the outcome before the results are in! (the chapter on probability helped with that)
Did anyone actually get to the end of this?
I managed the first 4 chapters which I thought was pretty good but I'm afraid it was to much work to be enjoyable.
What did everyone else think?