How to Bake Pi - An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics

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  • United States
  • English

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What is math? And how exactly does it work? In How
to Bake Pi, math professor Eugenia Cheng provides an
accessible introduction to the logic of mathematics—
sprinkled throughout with recipes for everything from
crispy duck to cornbread—that illustrates to the general
reader the beauty of math. Rather than dwell on the math
of our high school classes, with formulas to memorize
and confusing symbols to decipher, Cheng takes us into a
world of abstract mathematics, showing us how math can
be so much more than we ever thought possible.
Cheng is an expert on category theory, a cutting-edge
subject that is all about figuring out how math works, a
kind of mathematics of mathematics. In How to Bake Pi,
Cheng starts with the basic question “What is math?” to
explain concepts like abstraction, generalization, and
idealization. By going back to the logical foundation of the
math we all know (and may or may not love), she shows
that math is actually designed to make difficult things
easier. From there, she introduces us to category theory,
explaining how it works to organize and simplify the
whole discipline of mathematics. The result is a book that
combines some of the most satisfying features of popular
math books—the thrill of truly understanding things that
may or may not have been confounding in high school—
while still looking long and hard into unexplored territory.
Through lively writing and easy-to-follow explanations,
How to Bake Pi takes even the most hardened math-phobe
on a journey to the cutting edge of mathematical research.
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