Peculiar Deaths of Famous Mathematicians

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"Ioanna Georgiou is a liar. And her illustrator, Asuka Young, is a liar too...all part of the fun of ...this lovely book...reading it was..most pleasurable." Read George Matthews' full review in the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications magazine.  

Getting and keeping teens interest in mathematics is vital to their future. But how, when there are so many dreary textbooks and repetitive curriculum requirements? Covering everything that they need to know is about all a school can do.

What approach would work, when there are million other things for them to do?

Ioanna Georgiou and Asuka Young have come up with a novel approach that is based on stories from history – with a twist! Peculiar Deaths combines short stories about key mathematicians from the past and how they died, with details of the mathematical advances that they made. But one of the deaths is made up – but which one?

  • Can Beans Kill You? - Pythagoras 
  • Death by Square Root - Hippasus 
  • You should not be Disturbing my Circles! - Archimedes
  • What? A Woman Mathematician? Die! - Hypatia
  • A bit of Gambling Killed No-one, Ever - Gerolamo Cardano 
  • A Very Rich Way to Die - Tycho Brahe 
  • Death by Time Calculation - Abraham De Moivre 
  • Just a Bit Too Young - Evariste Galois 
  • At the Mental Asylum - Andre Bloch 
  • Self-imposed Starvation and other Difficulties - Kurt Gödel

Funny and enjoyable stories, with visual puzzles throughout

A great way to learn about mathematics of the past, and for students age 13 and over to enjoy learning and understand key concepts. Perfect for libraries, clubs and as prizes too.

It’s tough to keep children reading about mathematics, especially those who are not already motivated. Tarquin has over 50 years experience of making mathematics fun for young and old. This book is an excellent addition to our list.

    For an younger age group see also Mathematical Adventures by the same team. 

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    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