For the love of Maths and Reading

August 30, 2011

I am an improbable maths junkie. I say improbable because, despite topping maths in my first 2 high school years, loving algebra, arithmetic and geometry, as soon as trigonometry entered the classroom I quickly took a slippery slide down to the bottom of the year. But my curiosity and love for maths has never left me. It is a definite in an emotional world of second guessing.  It provides a structure to people’s lives, like religion or poetry yet based on an exact science.

For when I think of it, most children’s first reading experience is a maths book. Starting from a My First Numbers book to Sandra Boynton’s irreverant Doggies: A counting and barking book.

Math Formulas by Flickr user trindade.joao

I do get geeky in my search for a good fiction book that has mathematical elements woven throughout the story, whether it is escaping into the age of Romanticism in Tom Petsinis’ The French Mathematician, exploring maths and motherhood in Sue Woolfe’s Leaning Towards Infinity or grappling with obsessive-compulsive disorder and love in Toni Jordan’s Addition.

I have, through browsing the 510’s of the non-fiction shelves at the library, discovered how Florence Nightingale transformed health care, not by wiping the fevered brows of soldiers, but through her understanding of numbers and statistics in Bernard Cohen’s The Triumph of Numbers. I have read about the world’s first computer programmer, Lord Byron’s daughter Ada Lovelace, I have read  Lewis Carroll in Numberland and John Nash’s Beautiful Mind. I have marvelled at Symmetry in Chaos, wondered about probability with Why do buses come in threes and tried to understand the randomness of The Joy of Pi.

All for my love of maths and reading.



3 Responses to “For the love of Maths and Reading”

  1. CatyJ Says:

    I too enjoyed Maths but oddly took great delight in purposely failing it in Yr11 just so I could drop down to the lowest class…. Why? They did fun stuff like coastal navigation and as a budding sailor in my dad’s little saling dinghy I could think of nothing more wonderful than plotting my course and working out where the hell I was with very little land in sight – I still have a thing for Atlases, maps and navigation and I owe it all to Maths 🙂

  2. I was a maths snob. As I wasn’t doing well in the higher class I chose to not do it at all in Year 12. I might have continued if navigation and sailing had been an option at my school 🙂 Another of my favourite maths (and romance) site is

  3. […] For the Love of Maths and Reading […]

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