The Spirit of Mathematics : Algebra and all that
What makes mathematics so special? Whether you have anxious memories of the subject from school, or solve quadratic equations for fun, David Acheson's book will make you look at mathematics afresh. Following on from his previous bestsellers, The Calculus Story and The Wonder Book of Geometry, here Acheson highlights the power of algebra, combining it with arithmetic and geometry to capture the spirit of mathematics. This short book encompasses an astonishing array of ideas and concepts, from number tricks andmagic squares to infinite series and imaginary numbers.
Acheson's enthusiasm is infectious, and, as ever, a sense of quirkiness and fun pervades the book. But it also seeks to crystallize what is special about mathematics: the delight of discovery; the importance of proof; and the joy of contemplating an elegant solution. Using only the simplest of materials, it conjures up the depth and the magic of the subject.