22 March 2011

Infinite Ascent

I've just finished reading Infinite Ascent: a Short History of Mathematics by David Berlinski, which was a present from my stepson. I've always been a bit of a maths geek (no kidding), but maths history was something I knew little about until I read this book, and even now I've finished it I can't really remember - all the names and theorems have turned into a big mush in my head - but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Berlinski's dazzling metaphors and colourful turns of phrase made what could have been a dry subject thoroughly enthralling, and I learned some new words: recuse, probative and (my favourite) rebarbative ("objectionable or unpleasant"). Recommended.