Mathematical Adventures

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Format: Book

Mathematical Adventures is a beautiful, lively journey through history that puts the mathematics we do at school in context. Elegantly illustrated and sparingly written, it is suitable for anybody over 10. 

To see inside click here

Readers – and their parents and teachers – will see the origins of the techniques and tasks that they do as part of the curriculum. What often is presented out of context, suddenly will have context. 

Mathematics, like everything else, needs rooting in everyday life, in the excitement of discoveries past, in cultural shifts and past achievements. Taught without that context, there is a danger of the “why-do-we-study-this” question turning students off. Readers of this wonderful book will never be in such danger. Even better, in the later chapters the book opens reader’s minds to the wider wonderful world of mathematics.

This book aspires to give a glimpse into how things started and evolved, and how mathematics can help us from simple measurements to navigating ourselves using mathematically simplified tube maps.

The stories come up roughly in a chronological order and the accompanying activities (some easier and some more challenging ones) aim to get you engaged with what was happening at a given time. There are answers and explanations about all tasks in the end of the book.


  • Ancient Mathematics
  • Hellenistic Mathematics
  • The Egyptians and their Contemporaries
  • Greek Mathematics
  • Hindu-Arabic Mathematics
  • Renaissance Mathematics
  • Early Modern Mathematics
  • Modern Mathematics

For an older age group see also Peculiar Deaths of Famous Mathematicians by the same team. 

Written by Ioanna Georgiou

Ioanna (possible pronunciation Yo-Anna) is a mathematics educator who finds story telling a fascinating way to communicate mathematical ideas from the times they were emerging. Turning to stories of the past, with lively characters full of resilience and determination gives a rather comprehensive glimpse of what maths has been doing for us possibly ever since early humans started counting. Ioanna has been using these ideas in her teaching, masterclasses and workshops. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, a Chartered Mathematics Teacher and of course author of “Mathematical Adventures!

She subsequently conducted research in Teaching Mathematics through History and Culture and earned an MPhil in Education. Her special interest around the use of history and cultural practices in the mathematics teaching continued and she has been delivering masterclasses and workshops on stories from mathematics for the Royal Institution of Great Britain and also independently. This is her attempt to put some of the stories in a book and hopefully get lots of people excited about how mathematics has been changing over the years.

Illustrated by Asuka Young

Asuka (pronounced As-ka) is an illustrator practicing in the field of cartoons and Comic book art, fascinated by the impact and clarity that imagery can provide to a story. She graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University in 2018 with a 1st honours degree in BA Applied Art. She then worked as the illustrator for Ioanna's previous book: ‘Mathematical Adventures!’, and has artistically contributed to the marketing promotion of various other events. Asuka is thrilled to be able to bring Ioanna’s passion for maths and her mathematical stories to life using lively and fun characters.

Format: Book