## An Anthology of 500 Years of Popular Mathematics Writing

Despite what we may sometimes imagine, popular mathematics writing didn’t begin with Martin Gardner. In fact, it has a rich tradition stretching back hundreds of years. This entertaining and enlightening anthology – the first of its kind – gathers nearly one hundred fascinating selections from the past 500 years of popular math writing, bringing to life a little-known side of math history. Ranging from the late fifteenth to the late twentieth century, and drawing from books, newspapers, magazines, and websites, *A Wealth of Numbers* includes recreational, classroom, and work mathematics; mathematical histories and biographies; accounts of higher mathematics; explanations of mathematical instruments; discussions of how math should be taught and learned; reflections on the place of math in the world; and math in fiction and humor.

Featuring many tricks, games, problems, and puzzles, as well as much history and trivia, the selections include a sixteenth-century guide to making a horizontal sundial; ‘Newton for the Ladies’ (1739); Leonhard Euler on the idea of velocity (1760); ‘Mathematical Toys’ (1785); a poetic version of the rule of three (1792); ‘Lotteries and Mountebanks’ (1801); Lewis Carroll on the game of logic (1887); ‘Maps and Mazes’ (1892); ‘Einstein’s Real Achievement’ (1921); ‘Riddles in Mathematics’ (1945); ‘New Math for Parents’ (1966); and ‘PC Astronomy’ (1997). Organized by thematic chapters, each selection is placed in context by a brief introduction.

A unique window into the hidden history of popular mathematics, *A Wealth of Numbers* will provide many hours of fun and learning to anyone who loves popular mathematics and science.

### Reviews

‘[F]or the enthusiast for the history of popular maths writing this is a must-have book.’ Brian Clegg, *Popular Science*

‘In *A Wealth of Numbers*, we have the end product of what must have been a lot of challenging research. … This book works well for random browsing as well as for sustained reading; purely recreational essays and puzzle problems are well-mixed with more serious topics such as an article explaining Cantor’s diagonalization proof and “Cubic equations for the practical man.” There’s something in here for everyone, and it’s a great contribution to the mathematics literature to have it all in one place.’ Mark Bollman, *MAA Reviews*

### Endorsement

‘This accessible and inviting anthology shows how entertaining it can be to think about mathematics. The selection, organization, and commentaries result in a unique book that is equal to far more than the sum of its parts.’ Paul C. Pasles, author of *Benjamin Franklin’s Numbers*