Mathematics for the curious, for the imagination or just to pass the time with puzzles, Professor Peter Higgins has all areas of popular maths covered in a way that everyone can understand.
Mathematics for the Curious
Maths for the Curious was the first of Professor Peter's popular maths books, which has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic. It explains all aspects of mathematics and shows it to be full of surprises.
When do the hands of a clock coincide? How likely is it that two children in the same class will share a birthday? Should you play Roulette or the Lottery? How do we calculate the volume of a doughnut? Why does the android Data in Star Trek lose at poker? What is Fibonacci's Rabbit Problem? Many things in the world have a mathematical side to them, as revealed by the puzzles and questions in this book. It is written for anyone who is curious about mathematics and would like a simple and entertaining account of what it can do.
Alegbra: A Very Short Introduction
Algebra marked the beginning of modern mathematics, moving it beyond arithmetic, which involves calculations featuring given numbers, to problems where some quantities are unknown. Now, it stands as a pillar of mathematics, underpinning the quantitative sciences, both social and physical.
This Very Short Introduction explains algebra from scratch. Over the course of ten logical chapters, Higgins offers a step by step approach for readers keen on developing their understanding of algebra. Using theory and example, he renews the reader's aquaintance with school mathematics, before taking them progressively further and deeper into the subject.
Mathematics for the Imagination
Mathematics for the Imagination is more geometrical in flavour and provides an accessible and entertaining investigation into mathematical problems in the world around us. From world navigation, family trees, and calendars to patterns, tessellations, and number tricks, this informative and fun book helps you to understand the maths of space. Also available in other languages including, as usual, Italian.
Numbers - A Very Short Introduction
This is the personal favourite of Professor Peter. There are many 5* reviews but here is one from Amazon USA which is a little different:
Two things I really like about this book.1. Physical Size - Just guessing off the top of my head, this book is probably about 5 inches wide, by seven inches tall. Plus, it's only about 120 pages long so it's pretty thin and the binding is flexible.2. Content - This book covers a diverse range of toppings and never stays on one thing long enough to get boring.Those two attributes combined, mean that it's small enough to fit in a pocket comfortably, and interesting enough to take out of that pocket and read. Plus, the book is written at the level of a layman. It's perfect for a middle schooler, or someone who wants a quick entertaining read. I'll probably be buying more books from this series in the future.
Nets, Puzzles and Postmen
Available in both hardback and paperback, this is Professor Peter's most acclaimed book, with the Deputy Prime Minister claiming to have read it. Again it is undergoing a number of translations including into Portuguese (Brazil) and of course Italian under the title of 'La matematica dei social network' it won, in 2013, the Peano Peano Prize for the best book about mathematics published in Italian.
This is a great introduction to graph theory, the branch of mathematics that deals with networks, ... Peter Higgins has succeeded in writing a book that can be read at three levels. First, the reader may just want to know about the basic riddles of networks. If he wants to know a bit more about the mathematics involved, he can read the explanations that follow the riddle (or he may jump to the next one). In depth mathematics at freshman levels is provided in a separate chapter at the back of the book. Given that graph theory is not the subject of many a popular science book, Mr. Higgins has set a high standard.
Techniques of Semigroup Theory
This is a research monograph on Professor Peter's field of expertise - an adults only technical account and certainly not a popular mathematics book. It is nonetheless well written as according to one of the founders of the subject, Professor Gordon Preston:
`The author has a light touch and an enviable clarity. The argument moves fast but is always easy to read and the author's enthusiasm for the subject is infectious.'