Books about Mathematics
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TitleAuthorLink if possibleA description/recommendationWho is it forWho are you?
Raising Achievement in Secondary MathematicsAnne Watson A real challenge to the view that children in bottom sets cannot think mathematically. Passionately committed to social justice and to doing mathematics. Some excellent examples of good teaching described hre.Teachers and mathematics educators at all
Mathematics as a constructive activity: learners generating examples. Anne Watson and John MasonFascinating account with many examples of the key role of examples in teaching mathematics, and how to support pupils in developing their ownTeachers and mathematics educators at all
Uncle petros and the goldbach conjectureApostolos Doxiadis the author of Logicomix a great tale of one man's search for a proof of the Goldbach Conjecture. Although fictional it is a great story which weaves a narrative around many great historical figures in mathematics. Teachers, and students who are interested in taking their studies further. @garrodmusto
LogicomixApostolos Doxiadis stunning graphical novel which explores the search for mathematical truth from the early foundations of mathematics to the work of Bertrand Russell. A great way to explore mathematics and philosophy with students.Teachers, and students who are hoping to study maths at A level or higher. I have also used this book to work with A level History and Philosophy/RS students to explore the nature of mathematical thought. @garrodmusto
Bad ScienceBen Goldacre bit like John Allen Paulos. Looks at how we should think about statistics carefully. Case studies include looking at homeopathy, speed cameras and food supplements. Worth reading for the chapter on Gillian McKeith alone. Maths Studies students, or in fact anyone, who wants to know why statistics matters.
Alvin's Secret CodeClifford B. Hicks. children's fiction about codes, ciphers, and buried treasure. Got me hooked on codes as a kid!Kids into secret codes, perhaps 4th-8th graders and math teachers of all ages.Hilary Aguirre
The Math BookClifford Pickover milestones in the history of mathematics. With some stunning images. Worth getting for the images alone, and the hairy ball theorem!Teachers and students either hoping to study A level or currently doing so. I have used images in class and also some of the examples it contains to inspire students. @garrodmusto
The State of the World AtlasDan Smith showing some frightening and relevant statistics about the world we live in. There is a new edition due in 2013 From my experience everyone enjoys flicking through this book and it can be a great duscusion starter to ask related questions. It has also isnpsired some good project work.Jim Noble @teachmaths (twitter ID)
1089 and all thatDavid Acheson journey into mathematical thinkingGCSE and above (including teachers)
Information is beautifulDavid McCandless it in 888ii88iiiiiii8iiiiiiMore infographics on all sorts of topics. A very inetersting book which begs lots of questions As above reallyJim Noble @teachmaths (twitter ID)
The Parrot's TheoremDenis Guedj exploration of the story of maths, from brilliant Greek thinkers, such as Archimedes and Pythagoras, to the modern-day genius FermatTeachers, but with passages to be read to pupils, or to inspire KS4/5 pupils to think more holistically about mathematical themesYvonne Zhang
FlatlandEdwin A Abbot is one of the very few novels about math and philosophy that can appeal to almost any layperson. Published in 1880, this short fantasy takes us to a completely flat world of two physical dimensions where all the inhabitants are geometric shapes, and who think the planar world of length and width that they know is all there is. But one inhabitant discovers the existence of a third physical dimension, enabling him to finally grasp the concept of a fourth dimension. Watching our Flatland narrator, we begin to get an idea of the limitations of our own assumptions about reality, and we start to learn how to think about the confusing problem of higher dimensions.People interested in geometry, higher dimensions, and a fiction story grounded in mathematics. The book is easy to read but stretches your perceptions of our world through the story of a character in a 2 dimensional world who dares to consider 3 dimensions. The book helps the reader to conceptualize the 4th dimension and higher dimensional understanding. I have considered using excerpts from the book in a middle or high school classroom because of how easy it is to read and understand.@MissHixonMath
FlatlandEdwin A Abbott short novel exploring a 2-dimensional world, and exploring how someone from such a world would perceive 3 dimensionsTeachers and students. Challenges philosophical outlook in maths and life in
e: The Story of a NumberEli Maor,derivations and mathematical connections.Teachers (especially those teaching A-Level or IB) and students over 16.@DanielPearcy
The Number Devil: A Mathematical AdventureHans Magnus Enzensberger's story book about a boy who doesn't like maths at school but learns to love is in his dreams. It is quite long, with chapters on a range of different mathematical ideas, Anyone who doesn't like maths because they think it's all about being good at arithmetic
Modern MathematiciansHarry Henderson Profiles provides current, thorough coverage of some of the most significant figures in history with 13 mathematicians who have revolutionized modern thought and technology.Students and teachers will enjoy the book, this book is great for students doing research projects on modern mathematicians. The book is older, but still has some great mathematicians.Trever Reeh: @treverreeh
Letters to a young mathematicianIan Stewart as a series of letters by a professor to a niece going to college. Covers philosophical and practical questions concerning "Math" and the learning of it. Perfect for able mathematicians aged 17 upwards, particularly if they are soon to enter or have already entered university reading Maths. @RobertChaney
A hoard of mathematical treasuresIan Stewart book to dip into to inspire students. Lots of odd and arcane facts to bring the subject alive!A great read for students and teachers alike, KS3 and above@garrodmusto
Proofs and RefutationsImre Lakatos book that takes the form of a conversation between a teacher and pupils as they consider Eulers Theorem (V-E+F=2). But it goes deeply into the methodology and philosophy of mathematics as they make conjectures, provide refutations, and move towards proofs. It mirrors what can go on in the classroom. Teachers of Mathematics, both classroom and those in training. Those carrying out research about mathematics education and especially proof. @timstirrup
How Surfaces Intersect in spaceJ. Scott Carter introduction to some of the ideas in topology.Students, teachers, lay people.Scott Carter
An Excursion in Diagrammatic Algebra: Turning a Sphere from Red to BlueJ. Scott Carter classical sphere eversion is created by means of movie moves. The singularities and the stages of the eversion are presented as explicitly as possible.Mathematician, topologists, mathematical artists, students who want to gain a flavor of that which is mathematics.Scott Carter
The Classical and Quantum 6j symbolsJ. Scott Carter, Daniel Flath, Masahico Saito diagrammatic approach to representations of classical and quantum sl(2)Mathematics graduate students, physicists, topologistsScott Carter
Knotted Surfaces and Their DiagramsJ. Scott Carter, Masahico Saito introduction to the theory of knotted surfaces from the point of view of diagrams and movies Mathematics graduate students, topologistsScott Carter
Surfaces in 4-spaceJ. Scott Carter, Seiichi Kamada, Masahico Saito sequel to Knotted Surfaces and Their Diagrams. More details are presented and the quandle cocycle invariants are defined.Mathematics graduate students, topologists.Scott Carter
The elephant in the classroomJo Boaler the disparity between real world maths and the maths children often do in classrooms. An inspirational read to help you rethink how you teach maths in schools. Focusses on problem-based learning and rich tasks amongst other things.. Teachers and maths subject leaders at primary or secondary level @nic_coverdale
A Mathemetician reads the newspaperJohn Allen Paulos book goes through different news articles highlighting the role of understanding or (misunderstanding) mathematics in understanding the news.A great read all round forteachers, students and parents a like, but great for dipping in and out of. I have read aloud from this in class and it has inspired some activies as well. Jim Noble @teachmaths
InnumeracyJohn Allen Paulos illiteracy and its consequences - the title says it all Jim Noble @teachmaths
Math CurseJon Scieszka and Lane Smith's book about a child who sees everything as a math problem.Perfect for all ages. One of my math education professors read it to us in college. I've used it with my elementary school students. It's got great pictures to go along with the story.Jennifer Pitney
Bats on ParadeKathi Appelt book about perfect squaresPerfect for all ages. It's a great book that I got through Scholastic for my son without realizing that it was a math book. The animals march in the parade in perfect squares.Jennifer Pitney
Math on TrialLeile Schneps, Coralie Colmez book that I can't reccomend from personal experience, but a quick look at some of the stories in here suggests it would be ideal for getting to grips with conditional probability For anyone teaching probability, anyone interested in applications of statistics, or anyone trying to get to grips with conditional
Euclid's WindowLeonard Mlodinow Euclid's Window Leonard Mlodinow brilliantly and delightfully leads us on a journey through five revolutions in geometry, from the Greek concept of parallel lines to the latest notions of hyperspace.Works well with students in Geometry, gives lots of background information, with short chapters it is an easy read for students. Book features advanced mathematics and physics the last half of the book.@treverreeh
Naming InfinityLoren Graham the core of this book is the contest between French and Russian mathematicians who sought new answers to one of the oldest puzzles in math: the nature of infinity. Book is great with tons of information about the history of infinity and how it came to be. Most mathematics of the time is focused on Europe and this focuses on the Russian history of mathematics. Teachers would like this for their classroom.@treverreeh
Finding MoonshineM. DuSautoy Great adventure story in maths, the search for an atlas containing all possible symmetry groups. A great story well written and accessible.Sixth form students, enrichment for KS4 students and definitely teachers.@garrodmusto
The Man Who CountedMalba Tahan to get a copy, but well worth it. The adventures of an arabic mathematician and the mathematical problems he encountersTeachers who want to have the pleasure of reading to their class, stopping at an opportune moment to leave them with a cliffhanger of a conundrum to solve. A really charming
The Equation that Couldn't be SolvedMario Livio do Bach's compositions, Rubik's Cube, the way we choose our mates, and the physics of subatomic particles have in common? All are governed by the laws of symmetry.New teachers, it shows insight to many different types of symmetry and advanced mathematics. It would be good for higher level mathematics students or gifted students as well.@treverreeh
InfographicaMartin and Simon Toseland showing stats about our world.Students find this book very appealing and it has prompted discussions between families about data sourcing, accuracy and inequality. That is great news!@liketeaching
Mathematical Puzzles and DiversionsMartin Gardner on a range of mathematical ideas and puzzles40 years ago my new maths teacher brought a copy into school and I've never been the same since.
Hexaflexagons, Probability Paradoxes and the Tower of HanoiMartin Gardner is the first of fifteen volumes of Gardner's puzzles, games and articles. I remember reading an old library copy at school and when I rediscovered them recently I couldn't believe I hadn't bought myself a copy earlier. I have got the first three now and they are all brilliant, I bought the first one in Birmingham, I had arrived at lunchtime and had some time to kill before meeting friends at about 5. I was going to see a bit of the city but after getting this I ended up sat in a coffee shop with a pencil and notepad for about two hours and did nothing else with my afternoon. My family know that I am hoping for the next volume at each birthday and Christmas till I have the full set. Buy this
Transforming Primary MathematicsMike Askew pedagogy. Summed up by the bit of the blurb: "What is good mathematics teaching? What is mathematics teaching good for? Who is mathematics teaching for?". An engaging and interesting read with plenty of valuable insights.Teachers, experienced or trainees. CPD providers. Anyone interested in maths pedagogy.Adil Jaffer @adil_3
Getting the Buggers to add upMike Ollerton book gives many creative ideas on how to provide tasks with a low threshold, high ceiling.
The author's personal reflections on mathematics teaching are very interesting and inspirational too.
Anyone wishing to teach mathematics at any
The Feltron ReportNicholas Felton which chart/document/datavis the everyday life of Nichlos Felton. Available biennially as a printed report in limited amounts. I've kept up with the last 4 and they are stunning.Teachers/students interested in visual representations/comparisons of data and number. Design enthusiasts.Adil Jaffer @adil_3#ERROR!
The Man Who Loved Only NumbersPaul Hoffman on a National Magazine Award-winning article, this masterful biography of Hungarian-born Paul Erdos is both a vivid portrait of an eccentric genius and a layman's guide to some of this century's most startling mathematical discoveries.It is a great book that discusses the history behind the mathematicians of the time. It is a wonderful read and shows the life style of one true great mathematician and their life. This book is great for students and teachers of the like.@treverreeh
A Mathematicians LamentPaul Lockhart/Keith Devlin lovely rant about what mathematics education should be and is not! Couldn't put it down.Agree, disagree or somewhere in the middle I would recommend this to all maths teachers and anyone who has an opinion on what maths education should be.Jim Noble @teachmaths (twitter ID)
An Imaginary Tale: The Story of a Number iPaul Nahin,derivations and mathematical connections.Teachers (especially those teaching Further Mathematics or Higher Level IB) and students over 16.@DanielPearcy
The Mathematical ExperiencePhilip Davis, Reuben Hersh reading as I started my Teacher Training back in the mid 1980s. Now updated. Where I first heard about Lakatos (see above). "It includes mathematical issues, but also questions from the philosophy of mathematics, the psychology of mathematical discovery, the history of mathematics, and biographies of mathematicians, in short, a book about the mathematical experience broadly considered"those interested in the history and philosophy of mathematics - so any teachers and prospective teachers. A level students could also use this quite easily if they are interested in learning more about mathematics, not just 'how it is done'. @timstirrup
Why do buses come in threes?Rob EastawayEbayA look at Maths in 'everyday' life Students and teachers. Gives good examples of things that can be incorporated into lessons. Dave Gale @reflectivemaths
Facts are SacredSimon Rogers have to confess to not having read the book but I have enjoyed playing around on teh Guardians datablog and so interested to see what they have in here Anyone interested in getting to grips with the data behind the news
The Code BookSimon Singh longer chapter series of the history of Cryptography. Very interesting for students to see the history of where these codes come from.Teachers and students. Could be different problems for different age groups, but it is fun for all level of
Fermat's Last TheoremSimon Singh
Adapting and Extending Secondary Mathematics Activities: New Tasks FOr Old Stephanie Prestage and Pat PerksGreat account of how to transform mundane mathematical exercises from a textbook or exam paper into more interesting and challenging tasksTeachers and mathematics educators at all
The Joy of XSteven Strogatz world-class mathematician and regular contributor to the New York Times hosts a delightful tour of the greatest ideas of math, revealing how it connects to literature, philosophy, law, medicine, art, business, even pop culture in ways we never imagined.Students and teachers alike would love this book, with real world scenarios of problems and it takes a guided tour of mathematics that everyone can enjoy.@treverreeh
Designing and Using Mathematical TasksSue Johnston-Wilder and John MasonExcellent book for anyone who wants to teach mathematics as something other than a set of exam techniques. Lots of mathematical challenges to think about along the way.Teachers and mathematics educators at all
Fundamental Constructs in Mathematics EducationSusan Johnston-Wilder and John MasonExcellent account of most of the key thinking in mathematics education.Anyone reflecting on mathematics education at a deep
The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical CatTheoni Pappas little introductions to concepts to get students thinking. Fractals, rational numbers, fibonacci sequence all sorts.Interesting snippets to stretch KS3 students,
MATHEMATICS: A Very Short IntroductionTimothy Gowers good, but not overly technical, introduction to some interesting higher-level mathematical ideasTop-set GCSE and A-level pupils. Goes through lots of topics so something is bound to interest them. Small enough not to be intimidating@liketeaching
Game TheoryWebb game theoretical book from a mathematics point of viewTeachers and students at University levelVincent Knight:
The Moscow Puzzles: 359 Mathematical RecreationsBoris Kordemsky excellent collection of mathematical puzzles and diversionsTeachers, students, parents@wilderlab
How to Lie with StatisticsDarrell Huff a classic. Should be read in conjunction with Paulos books - which cover similar themes (honestly!).Universal appeal but of particular interest to mathematics and science students reading and displaying data (and to politicians?)
Mathematics Handbook for Science and EngineeringLennart Rade and Bertil Westergren reference bookLate high school and well into university
Godel, Escher, BachDouglas Hofstadter Hofstadter’s book is concerned directly with the nature of “maps” or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of a formal system of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence. Gödel Escher and Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much moreHigh school and
The Big Questions: MathematicsTony Crilly Crilly answers the 20 key questions: What is maths for? Where do numbers come from? Why are primes the atoms of maths? What are the strangest numbers? Are imaginary numbers real? How big is infinity? Where do parallel lines meet? What is the maths of the universe? Are statistics lies? Can maths guarantee riches? Is there a formula for everything? Why are three dimensions not enough? Can a butterfly's wings really cause a hurricane? Can we create an unbreakable code? Is maths beauty? Can maths predict the future? What shape is the universe? What is symmetry? Is maths true? Is there anything left to solve?Students from 14 years upwards and teachers (although perhaps not enough depth)@Richard_Wade((
100+ Ideas for teaching mathematicsMike Ollerton little ideas for secondary maths teachersMaths teachers new and experienced@Richard_Wade
17 Equations that changed the worldIan Stewart Pythagoras's th and logs to chaos theory Stewart tells us about 17 extraodinary equationsStudents and teachers alike.@Richard_Wade
The Norm ChroniclesMichael Blastland and David Spieglehalter and and Numbers about Danger - Folow the link to the left to get the idea. Its better than I can do here. i am hopeful that this is one I can encourage my students to read. I am thinking I might read alod from it to some clases! Students and teachers alike.@teachmaths Jim Noble
The Tiger that Isn'tMichael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot to have finally got this one. Another book that helps people think about the numbers and mathematics around us in more depthStudents and teachers alike.@teachmaths Jim Noble
You are a mathematicianDavid Wellsisb 0471180777A wise and witty introduction to the joy of numbersStudents and teachersMurray Lmshed
The secret life of numbersGeorge G SzpiroISBN 0-30909658-850 easy pieces on how mathematicians work and thinkStudents and teachersMurray Lamshed
How the Other Half Thinks: Adventures in Mathematical ReasoningSherman SteinISBN 0071407987 (ISBN13: 9780071407984)`This book is written so that most can understand it.!`humansdubious method
To Mock a Mockingbird and Other Logic PuzzlesRaymond Smullyan"birds"dubious method
The prince of mathematicsMBW TentISBN 978-1-55881-268-8A charming read. A fictional story about (guess who)Stuibale for students an easy readmurray Lamshed
The calculus: A generic approachO. ToephitzISBN 978-0-226-80668-6 University of Chicago PressIf reading this does not change your approach to calulus teaching you are inhuman!!Teachers/better studentsmurray Lamshed
A Mathematicians LamentPaul LockheartSBN 998-1-434197-17-7I agree with what he write about I would like to see how we would implement it Teachers- it is vary readablemurray Lamshed
The mathematical career of Pierre DE FermatM S MahoneyISBN 0-691-08666-7Fermat was far more important than his theorem. Why is it not called the Fermat/cartesian plane?TeachersMurray Lamshed
The Chicken from MinskYuri Chernyak problem solving. Had this for 20 years, and top end students love it. I often give it to Oxbridge candidates. Great title as well!Olympiad students/TeachersAdrian Sparrow @ibmathsdotcom
The Simpsons and Their Mathematical SecretsSimon Singh at all the hidden maths jokes in the SimponsTeachers and students at University levelAdrian Sparrow @ibmathsdotcom
Think of a NumberJohnny Ball book with some simple ideasKey Stage 3 (11-14) studentsAdrian Sparrow @ibmathsdotcom
Ball of confusionJohnny Ball teasersGreat for all levels of students.Adrian Sparrow @ibmathsdotcom
Fifty Challenging Problems in Probability with SolutionsFrederick Mosteller probability problemsGreat for all levels of students.Adrian Sparrow @ibmathsdotcom
How Not to be Wrong The Power of Mathematical Thinking Jordan EllenbergA book I impulsively bought at the Airport before my 12 hour glight over......stunning examples of Math in common usage from medicine, finance, poker, winning the lotteryrequires basic mathematical literacy, but not a PhD
Mathematics Formative Assessment, Volume 1: 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and LearningPage D. Keeley (Author), Cheryl Rose Tobey (Author) great for math specific quick and easy formatives that can be easily implementedMath teachers- really good for secondary matAlexis Celestin
Mathematical MindsetsJo Boaler Mindsets provides practical strategies and activities to help teachers and parents show all children, even those who are convinced that they are bad at math, that they can enjoy and succeed in math.Teachers and parentsEva Tarrasón
Get it Together: Math problems for GroupsTim Erikson problem solving challenges for students. The book includes many challenges across a broad range of mathematical areas.Students Year 4 - 12, but some tasks could be used with Years 2 &