Daily Archives: March 10, 2016

** How to Bake Pi by Eugenia Cheng

How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics is a very brave attempt by a bona fide mathematician to explain some of the deeper concepts in math, including formal proofs and finite groups. I did not like the book, for two reasons. One is the puzzling set of recipes that start each chapter, which seem to have very little to do with the actual content of the chapters. Gimmicky. The other is that, for the sake of simplicity, she explains everything without using formal notations, which, as a mathematician, I thought was sometimes incredibly confusing. Still, the book is a brave attempt to prove to the world that there is nothing scary or mysterious about math, and she finds many ingenuous ways to explain difficult concepts such as topology and modulo arithmetic.

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