The first is pi, the number, and our history struggling with its baffling qualities. The second is fascism and, more broadly, ignorance. Beckmann holds pi like a mirror up to humanity and sees stunning genius and highly confident idiots and thugs. The last line of the book notes that there are more of the latter than the former. The joining of these two topics makes this book really fun to read.
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Shelves: popular-science The fact that it was written in adds a little bit of out-of-date flavor that makes "A History of Pi" a lot more amusing than it otherwise might have been. First of all, its not really a history of pi. Its more like a history of mathematics in general.
But even there, its far too anecdotal to serve as any real history lesson. Beckmann jumps and skips from one era to another giving you the lowdown on a random sampling The fact that it was written in adds a little bit of out-of-date flavor that makes "A History of Pi" a lot more amusing than it otherwise might have been.
Beckmann jumps and skips from one era to another giving you the lowdown on a random sampling of famous mathemeticians. Secondly, Beckmann does absolutely nothing to make pi seem like the awesomly inpenetratable number that it is. In that single chapter, Preston did a fascinating job of pulling you into the bizarre world of pi, and made me understand why a mathemetician could get lost in all those infinite, endless numbers.
Petr Beckmann never really attempts to get into the philosophical implications of pi, and that left me a little wanting. To his credit, he does include a helpful tip in his introduction: "The reader who find the mathematics too difficult in some places is urged to do what the mathemeticians will do when he finds it too trivial: Skip it.
Among these little problems, however, arises the " Factor". They made for some odd juxtapositions that brought a smile to my face every time they came up.
Biography[ edit ] In , when Beckmann was 14, his family fled their home in Prague, Czechoslovakia to escape the Nazis. From to , he served in a Czech squadron of the Royal Air Force. He received a B. He defected to the United States in and became a Professor later, Emeritus of electrical engineering at the University of Colorado.
A history of [pi symbol] (pi)
A History of Pi