A Quick History of Math
From Counting Cavemen to Computers
by Clive Gifford
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 06 Apr 2021 | Archive Date 29 Apr 2021
Quarto Publishing Group – Wide Eyed Editions, Wide Eyed Editions
You will discover: How to count on your fingers (there are more ways than you might think!)Why we have 60 seconds in a minute (hint: it’s to do with the ancient Babylonians)How to count like an Egyptian (using hieroglyphs)Why it’s hip to be square using square numbersA Pythagorean party trickThe naked truth of Archimedes’ bath time mathematicsHow to do matha-magic with magic squares…and much more. In chronological order from pre-history to present day, this is the story of maths itself. It’s 43,000 years of human mathematical endeavor squeezed into one book for your reading pleasure. Illustrated with funny cartoons and packed with fascinating facts, you’ll be laughing and learning how to be a better mathematician.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 24 members
A Quick History of Math by Clive Gifford provides a simplified overview of the discovery/invention of math and its advancement and evolution throughout human history. This book is incredibly informative, but easy to understand. It starts with first discovery/invention of basic concepts from 43,000 BCE to present day to the possible future of math. It covers many different concepts and cultures all over the world, interesting anecdotes, and a timeline of discoveries/inventions. Each page features vibrant, fun illustrations and would be best for children in later elementary school and middle school. Even adults will find this incredibly informative! Thank you Quarto Publishing Group – Wide Eyed Editions and NetGalley for providing this ARC.
Maths and humour – not two words you would hear in the same sentence. So when you have a book that presents an interesting history of mathematics in a humorous way, that book deserves special attention. This book covers the entire development of math in all its forms. How did math become the math we know today? Starting from simple counting to digits to theorems to concepts to complex calculations to the future plausible theories, the book takes its step by step on an insightful journey into mathematics. The best part? It accomplishes this task with a whole lot of humour. The illustrations are hilarious and help in keeping the fun element alive till the very end. This book will be wonderful for anyone who is scared of maths or wants to know the purpose of maths or understand the impact it has had on modern lives. I had great fun reading this book and would recommend it wholeheartedly. Thank you, NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group, for the Advanced Review Copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is great. The author combines humour and fun illustrations with detailed descriptions of maths throughout history. The book is really accessible but does not sacrifice explanation of difficult concepts for this. I thought this would be a book to dip in and out of but it really is so engaging that I found I just kept reading. This will be a great book to have in the classroom to help with explaining concepts but will also appeal to some who just enjoy maths and finding out more about it.
A very very funny book. Both kids and adults will enjoy it, Hopefully it gets more kids involved in math as well as having fun wiht math and fun at math. So much history of amth covered through centuries and diffrent civilizations to modern day. Lots of fun on each page.
Welcome to the world of Maths Can Be Fun! See counting through early ages using fingers, runes, the abacus, and the Greeks who really moved things along using square roots and all. Which gave rise to Geometry, Algebra, Trig, and into the mysteries of Calculus. There are even things to learn from the Maya, Arabs, Chinese, India, Fibonacci sequence (the Golden Code of all nature), and the workings of computers thanks to people like Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage in the 19th century! With humor, terrific illustrations, and practical demonstrations of mysterious things, this is a great book for middle grades to retired great-grandmas. Love it! Great gift for the local library or even your school! I requested and received a free temporary ebook from Quarto Publishing Group – Wide Eyed Editions via NetGalley. Thank you!
I like the process approach to math used in this book. While describing some of the major concepts in mathematics discovered in many times and cultures, the book emphasizes the math discoverers and their personal motivations through clever cartoons. Humorous and informative, this is not meant to be a stand alone math text but to offer a new perspective in the intriguing history of ideas. Fun stuff.
This book was great, so interesting and informative. The pictures were funny and engaging. I really enjoy Wide Eyed books and would love to buy this for my kids when they are older!
This was really fascinating! As someone who loves math and numbers, but isn’t a history buff, this contained a lot of information that I didn’t already know and some I did (and probably some I knew at one point). Very cool way to get kids who like history interested in math or vice versa.
What a rad book! A Quick History of Math is a deep-dive into the history of numbers and some of the many uses for them. It’s a fascinating read—even for students like myself who never did well in math class, but who are interested in where numbers come from and what we can do with them. (Did I mention the book is hilarious? IT IS! It’s packed with puns and colorful illustrations.) Get ready to time-travel around the world and learn how numbers really add up!
My little one is absolutely obsessed with numberblocks at the moment. He wakes up and falls asleep dreaming of mathematics. This is why whenever I see a book dedicated to children who enjoy this noble subject and want to know as much as possible about it, I am happy as a parent and an educator. The book gives an overview of how the humanity discovered the basic concepts we use every day. From counting systems ( I've always been fascinated by the ancient Inca quipus) and the importance of zero to geometry, Pi and irrational numbers, this entertaining history of mathematics explores different time periods and different civilizations. I really appreciated the clear layout and fun illustrations. Sometimes children's non-fiction books appear too busy and sadly lose their young readers by cramming too many facts in one page. The book would make a fantastic addtion to an elementary (or even middle grade) school library or any home with an inquisitive child who loves a good joke. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Most people never really think about the why's and the history behind mathematical concepts and ideas... which is such a pity, because this book shows how fascinating maths is! I love how it breaks down the history of math- from geometrical concepts, counting, numbers, and different operations- into manageable pieces for kids to grasp. The illustrations (and bits of comic) is so fun, too. I would definitely recommend this book to my students. Received the ARC from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
A colorful and interesting peek into the world and history of mathematics. It has numbers, shapes, theorems and scientists who created them. A wonderful artwork accompanies bubbly captions. It is quick read and has clear art and captions. A very good book. I learnt a lot of series and interesting numbers. A really good book for kids who are studying maths in their school.
Excellent children’s nonfiction. One of the biggest strengths I saw in this book was the modern design/illustrations. They’re colorful but not too “busy” or distracting. They come alongside facts about mathematical history, which makes math interesting to me 😂 oops... yes, I’m not a mathematical person, but I did enjoy reading about the history and figureheads who were. I really liked the designs and illustrations, they give a crisp feel that make this worth the money for a classroom or library.
When we think about mathematics, a lot of numbers and equations come to mind. We never see or think about mathematics like the rest of the subjects we study in school. We rarely wonder about its history or origin. A Quick History of Math tells us precisely about the history of mathematics and its evolution over the centuries across different cultures. The text is short, simple and written in a close tone, very funny and with very eloquent images. It begins with the first accounts that were noted on the bone of a Lebombo, going through the first time that zero was used to this day and the different applications that mathematics has in all spheres. With A Quick History of Math we can learn aspects of mathematics that are not usually taught in school. We learn about its multiple applications and importance, but all from a more dynamic perspective. I think this book is so well created that it can appeal to all kinds of audiences, even if it’s meant for children and whether or not they like math.
My Thoughts As an engineer and a former math tutor, I had to read this book! Here are my pros and cons for A Quick History of Math: Pros 1. This book is FUNNY! I absolutely loved how it took a subject that a lot of people struggle with and not only made it understandable, but made it funny, too! 2. Most of the math information is broken down with simple explanations and fantastic illustrations. Some of it gets a little complex, but if a reader is interested enough, the basic concepts are clearly described. 3. The illustrations, by Michael Young, range from technical and useful to ridiculous and hilarious! 4. Have I mentioned the book is funny? 😊 5. The book covers concepts from caveman math (notches on bones for counting) all the way to future math concepts and possibilities. 6. The back of the book contains a timeline of math discoveries, a short section about consequences of math mistakes, some mental math challenges (with an answer key), and a glossary! I love it when technical children’s books include a glossary! 7. This book is written for ages 8 to 12 years old, but honestly, it should just say 8 and up. This book is so well-done, that I think anyone with even a passing interest in math or history would enjoy it. Cons None. Summary Are you going to become a skilled mathematician after reading this book? No. Are you going to learn something about math or math history and laugh while you are learning? Absolutely YES! I love that books like this exist for kids today and I honestly believe every teacher should have this in their classroom! Thank you NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Wide Eyed Editions for a free eARC of this book, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
I purchased this book for my collection because there is so little like this for kids, and yet kids who like math, chess, robotics, etc etc will be super in to the subject matter as well as the graphics.
This was a really fun book and I definitely feel that I learned a lot about the history of math. My favorite subject in high school was math and it was so interesting to how and why humans used different math techniques.
Maybe because I have found a passion for mathematics education in recent months, I found this to be a very pleasant read. I love learning about the history behind how mathematical concepts came to be, especially because it isn't the type of math or history I would have learned from school normally. A fun read for mathematicians of all ages.
A Quick History of Math is perfect for making math fun for kids. It blends education with humor in a creative way. The illustrations are amusing to top it all off. I cannot recommend this enough for classrooms and libraries all over.
Do you love maths? Are you always curious to know how the subject came to lime light? This is the perfect book for all those who are fascinating with numbers, equations and calculations. A knowledge Bank of mathematical facts and deductive reasoning. A complete and fascinating read providing quite an experience.