The Joy of x - Steven Strogatz

The Joy of x

By Steven Strogatz

  • Release Date: 2013-10-01
  • Genre: Mathematics
Score: 4
From 85 Ratings


"Delightful . . . easily digestible chapters include plenty of helpful examples and illustrations. You'll never forget the Pythagorean theorem again!"—Scientific American

Many people take math in high school and promptly forget much of it. But math plays a part in all of our lives all of the time, whether we know it or not. In The Joy of x, Steven Strogatz expands on his hit New York Times series to explain the big ideas of math gently and clearly, with wit, insight, and brilliant illustrations.

Whether he is illuminating how often you should flip your mattress to get the maximum lifespan from it, explaining just how Google searches the internet, or determining how many people you should date before settling down, Strogatz shows how math connects to every aspect of life. Discussing pop culture, medicine, law, philosophy, art, and business, Strogatz is the math teacher you wish you’d had. Whether you aced integral calculus or aren’t sure what an integer is, you’ll find profound wisdom and persistent delight in The Joy of x.


  • good stuff but...

    By JoeInJamaica
    i enjoyed reading this, every chapter opened some insightful "angle" on the topic being discussed. But the first and last chapter (on numbers and infinite sets respectively) stopped short, very short, of making the distinction between Algebraic and Transcendental numbers (collectively the irrational numbers) which to me was disappointing. In the first chapter there is simply the mention of irrational numbers, in the last simply the acknowledgement that there are uncountable sets larger than the infinite set of counting numbers (i.e. integers in effect). I wish he'd dug a little deeper into the nature of Transcendental numbers without which there is neither continuity nor any measure to the continuum. Good book though, lots of good stuff and some passages which are quite illuminating, would watch to see if he writes another book of this sort because he seems to know the math, is able to present it in a refreshing way and there's certainly more math to write about.