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The Math Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained Hardcover – Illustrated, September 3, 2019

4.7 out of 5 stars 839 ratings

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From the Publisher

big ideas big ideas big ideas big ideas big ideas big ideas
The Math Book The Philosophy Book The Mythology Book The Economics Books The Ecology Book The Physics Book
Books in the series This book examines the math behind world economies, secret spies, and modern technology. Explore the history of philosophy and find out how theories from over 2,000 years ago are still relevant to our modern lives. Classic myths retold and explained, from early creation beliefs to classical hero narratives. An essential guide to more than 100 of the big ideas in economic theory and practice. This guide is an essential introduction to the environment, ecosystems, and climate change. Examine the history and wider developments in areas such as quantum, nuclear, and particle physics and much more.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DK was founded in London in 1974 and is now the world leading illustrated reference publisher and a member of the Penguin Random House division of Bertelsmann. DK publishes highly visual, photographic non-fiction for adults and children. DK produces content for consumers in over 100 countries and over 60 languages, with offices in the UK, India, US, Germany, China, Canada, Spain and Australia.

DK's aim is to inspire, educate and entertain readers of all ages, and everything DK publishes, whether print or digital, embodies the unique DK design approach. DK brings unrivalled clarity to a wide range of topics, with a unique combination of words and pictures, put together to spectacular effect. We have a reputation for innovation in design for both print and digital products.

Our adult range spans travel, including the award-winning DK Eyewitness Travel Guides, history, science, nature, sport, gardening, cookery and parenting. 

DK’s extensive children’s list showcases a fantastic store of information for children, toddlers and babies. DK covers everything from animals and the human body, to homework help and craft activities, together with an impressive list of licensing titles, including the best-selling LEGO® books.

DK acts as the parent company for Alpha Books, publisher of the Idiot's Guides series.

https://www.dk.com/

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ DK; Illustrated edition (September 3, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1465480242
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1465480248
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.65 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8 x 1 x 9.44 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 839 ratings

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We believe in the power of discovery. That's why we create books for everyone that explore ideas and nurture curiosity about the world we live in.

From first words to the Big Bang, from the wonders of nature to city adventures, you will find expert knowledge, hours of fun and endless inspiration in the pages of our books.

www.dk.com

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
839 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2019
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still great content but book construction quality is really low. No dust jacket.
By Amazon Customer on September 5, 2019
CONTENT REVIEW UPDATE!!!
So I've had a couple of days to read a few chapters and I have to say that the content is just great! I love both math and philosophy and this book certainly takes a walk on that very journey of discovery!

It has fascinating histories throughout the book as well as graphics to represent concepts (like why positive numbers have two square roots, or how doubling quickly increases exponentially). This is certainly a cornerstone of these books and "The Math Book" certainly keeps delivering in this aspect.

Of the chapters I've read, I feel like the contributors do a good job of providing historical facts and references along with contrasting ideas at the time (if any of relevance appear). The chapters feel balanced this way. I also really appreciated reading about how a new discovery was perceived by the peoples of its time which was not often in a positive manner.

The contents of this book are really great and although the construction leaves MUCH to be desired, I feel like the contents are still an amazing addition to this series.

I've updated the review score and taken away 1 star due to the obviously poor construction. I feel like 3 stars is too low because people that like Math would enjoy this book even in tatters, on the other hand 4 stars feels too high to support such an unexpected quality dip (in construction, not contents).
Finally I settled on 4 stars because I feel the content is amazing. 3.5 is where I would have voted.

I want you to be aware of the construction quality but also know that if you do decide to purchase this, that the contents will still be amazing and although it may fall apart over time, if you can find some glue to keep it together you'll still enjoy each chapter as the small history/math/philosophy lesson that it brings.

THE REST OF THIS REVIEW is not about the contents but instead it is about the quality of construction.

I've been a buyer of this series since the beginning and the quality has always been superb. At least the last two volumes ("Ecology Book" and "The Feminism Book") have shown a reduction in paper thickness. Considering that these books tend to stay right at 352 pages, it is easy to tell the difference.

- The first quality dip is the lack of a dust jacket. Yes this is purely cosmetic but all the other books have one and this is the first volume that came without it. As a pre-order customer, it was unexpected and disappointing.

- The second is the hard cover itself. All previous books have a glossy finish and this is the first one that is matte. Yes, this is also purely cosmetic but it just keeps the quality low. Yet another visual difference when compared to all previous books.

- Third, the binding, I'm actually concerned for the longevity of this book. Please follow along with the pictures. The Math book (black cover) is compared to The Psychology book (red cover).

--First picture shows the signatures (that's those little books made up of typically 8 pages) are quite a bit loose, this is most likely due to the fact that the spine itself does not have a tight glue binding but just a glue strip. Please also notice how the book lays when it is opened half way and notice how the spine is bent at almost a right angle. This sharp angle is not good on the life of the spine.

--Second picture shows the Psychology book (an early volume in this collection) opened on top of the Math book. Notice the glue visible all along the signatures (right at the spine) and notice how flat the spine is. Yes the book doesn't open as flat but this is great for a long lasting spine.

--Third picture shows the thickness of the Math book (left) vs. Psychology book (right). Both 352 pages but very different page thickness. Again, the last couple of volumes have also had their page thickness reduced but at least the spine and binding were still of higher quality.

--Fourth picture shows the spines side-by-side

--Fifth picture shows the thickness measured. It's hard to tell from the picture but the pages alone (not including the covers) are 3/4" thick for the Math book and 7/8" for the Psychology book (on even denominators: 6/8" vs 7/8") that thickness really matters when pages need to last a long time.

--Sixth picture shows the number of pages. The Math book has an Acknowledgment page without the number on the top left but I'm showing the page 350 just behind it, making the page number at 352 while the Psychology book ends right at page 352 as shown.

--Seventh picture shows the stitches used in the Psychology book: count 6 stitches!! Nice and tight along the page height.

--Eight picture shows the stitches used in the Math book, a bit harder to see but there are only 5 stitches. The page height is the same so this means fewer stitches spread farther out, giving less strength to the binding itself

--Ninth and final picture shows the lack of glue from the spine of the Math book (on top) vs a thick glue binding on the Psychology book (bottom).

For the price paid for this book, I'd say that the quality change is baffling. I'm certainly hoping that quality resumes in future volumes.

PUBLISHER: if you're reading this, when you cut quality so explicitly (and really blatantly), you make a wonderful product into a much cheaper version of itself.

THINKING ABOUT COLLECTING THIS SERIES?: beware of construction quality. That's what this review is about. If you like the series, just be aware that not all volumes hold the same construction standards and this book in particular may not last as long as the previous books.

A personal disappointment: The low construction quality on this volume was really hurtful. I love these books and I'm so disappointed with the quality of this volume. The contents of these books has always been great, why cheapen the product with such poor materials and construction?
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Reviewed in the United States on January 9, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great general overview of mathematical history & concepts.
By Peggy on January 9, 2020
This is a good book for what it is - an overview and short synopsis of many areas of mathematical discoveries and concepts. The book is separated into major time periods (ancient & classical periods, Middle Ages, Renaissance, modern mathematics, etc). No concept or mathematician are discussed in much detail, as this book is very general. This book is very easy to read and interesting. I recommend this book. Please mark if you find my review helpful. Thank you so much!
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61 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2019
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1.0 out of 5 stars No dust jacket
By bdnchr on September 4, 2019
What I hoped would be my favorite in this great series instead stands out as poor quality without a dust jacket. I am assuming this means more profits? I personally wont continue buying this series if details lile this are left out and Physics is the first book Im not going to pre order. Fingers crossed....
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Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2020
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3.0 out of 5 stars Missing content in Kindle edition
By Dennis C M Lo on February 11, 2020
I purchased the Kindle edition of the book. I enjoy the book very much but notice an issue: The section "Apollonius of Perga" of chapter "A Geometrical Tour de Force - Conic Sections" ends in the midst of a sentence (see attached screenshot). Not sure it is a bug of Kindle app or a mistake when converting into digital format.
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30 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on April 2, 2021
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4 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2019
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11 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2019
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Top reviews from other countries

Rabey
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not Maths simply explianed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 9, 2020
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18 people found this helpful
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Jetage
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book for teaching important principles
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 31, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book for teaching important principles
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 31, 2021
With a strong Physics and Engineering background everything gets REALLY complex and mathematical very quickly when trying to explain some of the concepts. What this style of books does is remind you of some of the basic principles without maths, allowing me to talk to my kids about the things in science that I'm passionate about.

Some of the topics are a little skimmed over, but to be fair they still explain the importance of the ideas. We have the Physics, Technology, and Maths books. All a great style, easily accessible and my 11YO daughter can happily browse without help as the writing style is perfect for her Harry Potter level lexicon.

Across the 3 books we have, some highlights:

Maths: Fourier analysis (weak explanation but conveys the message well), Group theory and the rubix cube, number theory and development.

Technology: Central Heating systems, Helicopters, Lasers, The Internet, Locks, hydraulics

Physics: Quantum field theory (written SO well), nuclear power and bombs, Relatviity

As I said, some incredibly important topics that permeate or lives but kids never get access too until they're grown ups. These books help provide the context for amazing scientific and mathematical discoveries. Stay with me here, but I believe that scientific fields have now advanced so far into areas completely inaccessible to the lay person that a sense of distrust and knowledge elitism has overwhelmed the amazing work our human society is doing. So what these books do amazingly well is help to bridge this gap, and help any reader to feel like the topics are more inclusive to them. And this is what great writing and education is all about. (Sorry, rant over).
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10 people found this helpful
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Crazy Cat lady
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2019
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6 people found this helpful
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Aramachia
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2019
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wheelies3
5.0 out of 5 stars How to learn maths
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 28, 2019
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3 people found this helpful
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