Want to get a book on mathematics that you can cherish? A history of mathematics has many – but I of course recommend my books first and foremost! 

 

A New Year’s Present from a Mathematician

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Published by Chapman & Hall (CRC Press) just in time for winter holidays, 2019

I wrote this book in 2019 – its main purpose is to enchant, inspire, and present images of mathematics and mathematicians.  

A New Year’s Present from a Mathematician is an exciting book dedicated to two questions: What is it that mathematicians do? And who gets to be called a ‘mathematician’ and why?

This book seeks to answer these questions through a series of stories ranging from the beginning of modern mathematics through to the 20th century, but not in a usual, chronological manner. The author weaves her story around major questions concerning nature of mathematics, and links mathematicians by the substance of their ideas and the historical and personal context in which they were developed.

Ideal as a gift for anyone with an interest in mathematics, this book gives a powerful insight into mathematical concepts in an easy-to-read-and-digest manner, without trivializing their nature. The attention given to engaging examples, framed within a poetic narrative structure, means that this book can be enjoyed by almost anyone, regardless of their level of mathematical education.

You can order this book from many bookshops – and from the publisher’s website (click on the image above to order). 

 

 

Mathematicians and their Gods

 

Mathematicians and their Gods, published by Oxford University Press, 2015.

In 2015 I collaborated with a colleague from Northern Ireland, Mark McCartney, and we edited a book on the links between mathematics and theology. It’s now a very well regarded volume with contributions from the leading scholars on the subject from around the world. Mathematicians and Their Gods was published by the Oxford University Press and is available to be ordered from the OUP website (click on image to order). 

To open a newspaper or turn on the television it would appear that science and religion are polar opposites – mutually exclusive bedfellows competing for hearts and minds. There is little indication of the rich interaction between religion and science throughout history, much of which continues today. From ancient to modern times, mathematicians have played a key role in this interaction. 

This is a book on the relationship between mathematics and religious beliefs. It aims to show that, throughout scientific history, mathematics has been used to make sense of the ‘big’ questions of life, and that religious beliefs sometimes drove mathematicians to mathematics to help them make sense of the world. 

Containing contributions from a wide array of scholars in the fields of philosophy, history of science and history of mathematics, this book shows that the intersection between mathematics and theism is rich in both culture and character. Chapters cover a fascinating range of topics including the Sect of the Pythagoreans, Newton’s views on the apocalypse, Charles Dodgson’s Anglican faith and Gödel’s proof of the existence of God.