The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity

The Joy of X  by Steven Strogatz is a series of essays that explore the seemingly limitless span and beauty of mathematics underlying so much of our universe.   Strogatz’ exploration begins by considering the counting of the Sesame Street characters and extends to the unique and inviting applications of trigonometry, limits, and fractals.  But don’t let that scare you. His examples yield insights into the way mathematics influences politics, art, and nature. And, of course, he explores the way science and technology rely so heavily on mathematics as well.

The author takes a delightful approach by using concrete examples in order to illustrate an abstract concept that even the inexperienced and the less mathematically inclined can understand. A reader with a mathematical background will respond to Strogartz examples with such reactions of “I never thought of it like that!” or “I didn’t know that!”

Even if you’re not a math educator, you will find the material enlightening and enjoyable.

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