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Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension

von Matt Parker

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333860,584 (4.11)3
A mathematician and comedian offers games, puzzles, and hands-on activities to help those with a fear of math understand and enjoy the logical tools and abstract concepts of the subject normally only accessible at college-level study. "Math is boring, says the mathematician and comedian Matt Parker. Part of the problem may be the way the subject is taught, but it's also true that we all, to a greater or lesser extent, find math difficult and counterintuitive. This counterintuitiveness is actually part of the point, argues Parker: the extraordinary thing about math is that it allows us to access logic and ideas beyond what our brains can instinctively do--through its logical tools we are able to reach beyond our innate abilities and grasp more and more abstract concepts. In the absorbing and exhilarating Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension, Parker sets out to convince his readers to revisit the very math that put them off the subject as fourteen-year-olds. Starting with the foundations of math familiar from school (numbers, geometry, and algebra), he reveals how it is possible to climb all the way up to the topology and to four-dimensional shapes, and from there to infinity--and slightly beyond. Both playful and sophisticated, Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension is filled with captivating games and puzzles, a buffet of optional hands-on activities that entices us to take pleasure in math that is normally only available to those studying at a university level. Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension invites us to re-learn much of what we missed in school and, this time, to be utterly enthralled by it." -- Publisher's description.… (mehr)
Kürzlich hinzugefügt vonprivate Bibliothek, MASP, snoorlax, Drunken-Otter, sedentarysam, MarijanPrsa, MarshaStanfield, dwbowman, lespotiers
  1. 00
    How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking von Jordan Ellenberg (OscarWilde87)
    OscarWilde87: Both books share that they let you see the fun in mathematics and combine math and humor
  2. 00
    Gödel, Escher, Bach - ein Endloses Geflochtenes Band von Douglas R. Hofstadter (Lorem)
    Lorem: Things in 4D I consider a more accessible version of GEB in its breadth and how it does get to complex topics. If you enjoyed the more complicated parts of 4D, definitely look at GEB and if GEB was a little too much, 4D might remind you why math(s) are never boring… (mehr)
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A brilliant introduction to maths that is simple and fun to read, and participatory enough to fuel an interest in things that can seem foreign. At times it unfortunately falls short, both in the writing, which can become convoluted, and in the concepts, on which I would have enjoyed digging a little deeper within the frame of the book. But overall Parker has written an enjoyable introduction to some complex mathematics that is accessible and interesting. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
Interesting read and well written with plenty of humor. I'm not completely sure it accomplishes all of it's goals--in that I'm not completely convinced that someone that doesn't like math or had terrible math memories would change their mind. But worth the read if one is willing to give math a second chance. ( )
  Skybalon | Mar 19, 2020 |
Being good at math often goes along with being regarded in that certain way by others. Sometimes it might be admiration, more likely people wonder how anyone can be good at math and why anyone would even like it. As a high school math teacher I face this problem on a daily basis, namely when students refuse to do math because 'they will not understand it anyway' and 'will not need it in their lives'. While I can usually encourage my students to do math and solve problems, I am certainly glad that Matt Parker wrote Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension as he is able to paint a very realistic picture of where we use math in our daily lives, where we do not need it and why we (or at least some people) do it just for fun.

The topics touched in the book range from numbers and their make-up, to different systems of counting, to data analysis, to properties of geometrical shapes in several dimensions. Admittedly, thinking about more dimensions than the three we move around in does seem somewhat weird and futile. Yet, it can provide scientific revelations that would otherwise not be possible. What I liked a lot about Matt Parker's book is that you basically do not need any prior understanding of mathematics (although it certainly helps at some points) and that he manages to explain everything in a very understandable way, illustrating everything with examples and making little jokes every once in a while. As a reader you are often asked to try certain things, like cutting out shapes, arranging numbers in a certain order and more of the like. This hands-on approach to math certainly facilitates the understanding of complex problems and makes you see that mathematics can even be fun.

I can recommend this book to anyone (even people with an aversion to math), but if you are interested in mathematics and what you can do with it, this book will be a perfect fit for you. 5 stars. ( )
1 abstimmen OscarWilde87 | Jul 25, 2019 |
Thanks to goodreads and the publisher for my free copy.

When I was a kid, my favourite book ever was the Number Devil. It's where I first learned about Fibonacci numbers, and it had this knack for making math feel magical but totally comprehensible.

Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension has that exact same feeling but for an older audience.

Matt Parker captures the wonder of math, from finding new prime numbers to illustrating how we would look to two-dimensional beings (which is, by the way, not even close to what I expected).

And he does all of this with humour, practical applications, and a great foundation as to the reasoning underlying any of these.

I'm hard-pressed to pick a favourite section, because they were all so interesting. Building a computer out of dominoes? Dimensions, möbius strips, cube cakes?

And you know that Fault in our Stars quote about some infinities being bigger than other infinities? Parker does a really good job of explaining that too.

There were some typos in my copy, including one in an equation, which is obviously to be expected. I received an advance copy that hasn't been through the final edits -- of course there will be errors.

The reason I even bring that up, though, is that it shows how amazing this book is at making math understandable. I haven't taken a bona fide math class in over six years, and my big problem with math in school was always missing my careless little errors. So the fact that I could look at an equation and go, "hey, didn't he say that should be...?" is nothing short of a miracle.

The author presents these complex math concepts in ways that are so easy to understand. He goes into the WHY, not just the HOW, and things just make sense. And when they don't click in my brain -- fourth dimension, I'm looking at you -- then that somehow also... makes sense.

So, on my first read through, I think this book is a fantastic look at various math concepts that makes them accessible in a way I didn't think possible. Now... I'm going to read it again and try more of the activities.

And I can assure you I will never look at pizza in the same way again. ( )
  bucketofrhymes | Dec 13, 2017 |
Matt Parker shares his awe of the 'deeper connectivity of mathematics' with clarity and humor. Humor such as his joke in chapter 11 about using the algorithm method for choosing a life mate. At least I hope it was a joke. (It was, wasn't it?)

I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
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Dedicated to Keith and Nona Pallot, my maternal grandparents, who inspired me to make and teach
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Wikipedia auf Englisch (1)

A mathematician and comedian offers games, puzzles, and hands-on activities to help those with a fear of math understand and enjoy the logical tools and abstract concepts of the subject normally only accessible at college-level study. "Math is boring, says the mathematician and comedian Matt Parker. Part of the problem may be the way the subject is taught, but it's also true that we all, to a greater or lesser extent, find math difficult and counterintuitive. This counterintuitiveness is actually part of the point, argues Parker: the extraordinary thing about math is that it allows us to access logic and ideas beyond what our brains can instinctively do--through its logical tools we are able to reach beyond our innate abilities and grasp more and more abstract concepts. In the absorbing and exhilarating Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension, Parker sets out to convince his readers to revisit the very math that put them off the subject as fourteen-year-olds. Starting with the foundations of math familiar from school (numbers, geometry, and algebra), he reveals how it is possible to climb all the way up to the topology and to four-dimensional shapes, and from there to infinity--and slightly beyond. Both playful and sophisticated, Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension is filled with captivating games and puzzles, a buffet of optional hands-on activities that entices us to take pleasure in math that is normally only available to those studying at a university level. Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension invites us to re-learn much of what we missed in school and, this time, to be utterly enthralled by it." -- Publisher's description.

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510 — Natural sciences and mathematics Mathematics General Mathematics

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Durchschnitt: (4.11)
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