The Joy of X fails to inspire joy

The Joy of X: A Guided Tour Of Math, from One to Infinity by Steven Strogatz can be a useful tool for confusing a person more on the subject of math. It’s basically a math teacher in the form of a book. I couldn’t help but feel that I was in a math class trying hard not to doze off during the lecture while reading the first few chapters that dealt with simple things such as one plus one equals two.

The first few chapters start with elementary math and from there they slowly move on to algebra, geometry and so on until you reach calculus. It isn’t meant to replace a math class, it just tries to make math easier to understand.

The book is meant to be easy to read, and includes little stories about the author and his encounters with math throughout his life. He includes word problems that his uncle had told him as a child, and mentions little blurbs that appear in other math related books.

There’s no story to be told, which is predictable in a book about math. Even with the author trying his best to simplify things, I was left more confused than enlightened.

I know I am not a mathematician and in buying this book I was hoping to further understand the complexities of calculus, but I find myself as confused as I was before. Nothing mentioned in the book is anything a good math professor can’t teach you.

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