Download PDF Realm of Numbers, by Isaac Asimov
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Realm of Numbers, by Isaac Asimov
Download PDF Realm of Numbers, by Isaac Asimov
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Realm of Numbers
- Sales Rank: #1428489 in Books
- Brand: Houghton Mifflin (T)
- Published on: 1959-06
- Ingredients: Example Ingredients
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Binding: Hardcover
- 230 pages
- Great product!
Most helpful customer reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful.
What comes after one?
By Judy K. Polhemus
“The number sense is not confined to the human race.” This is the first sentence in “Realm of Numbers,” written by Isaac Asimov.
He goes on to explain that animals can recognize the differences in numbers (I think as a kind of encouragement to those humans who have problems dealing with numbers and mathematics or are clearly math phobes like me.)
Even a math phobe is able to recognize patterns of numbers on the faces of playing cards. As another example of pattern recognition, he gives the situation of Mr. Caveman peering into the cave to check on his two children. However, as the pattern increases, he needs some way to communicate this and so creates names for numbers.
Mr. Caveman has a rack of stone axes–four to be exact, but the pattern shows one is missing. He goes to his neighbor and asks if he borrowed one. Just this simple mathematical problem shows us the necessity of naming numbers.
Now Mr. Caveman must move beyond counting on his fingers to creating and using an abacus. However, Mr. Caveman has Dr. Isaac Asimov to explain the maneuvers to him.
Here are some of the chapter titles to give an idea of Asimov’s Big Brain in action:
*Nothing–and Less than Nothing
*By-Passing Addition (make sure you read this line correctly!!)
*The Shape of Numbers (why is he including erotica?–just kidding to see if you are paying attention!)
*Digging for Roots
*The Very Large and Very Small
*Endlessness (what math seems to have to me!)
In the 1950’s this book must have been a best seller because my copy is from the 8th printing. Wow!
Honestly, anyone who opens this book to get some help will enter the “Realm of Numbers” where “a clear, imaginative approach to mathematics” can be as easy as 1-2-3. If anything is unclear in this review, blame it on math, not the reviewer.
Note: Any biographical sketch about Dr. Asimov will state that he was a prolific writer who wrote in nine of the ten Dewey Decimal categories. This is my third Asimov review. The first book belonged to the world of science (Dewey 500s) in that it was a book of science terms. The second book is about the meanings of map names and places and their etymologies (Dewey 400s or 900s). This book is about making the use of numbers easier–another 500s category.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
By Amazon Customer
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
Great math book for laymen
By Robert W. Bly
If you like math but are not a mathematician, you will most likely enjoy this book as I did. In numerous essays, Asimov has mentioned that while he loved math, his abilities in mathematics were modest, not equal to his mastery of the sciences. But he wanted to write engagingly on math just as he wrote engagingly on chemistry, biology, and physics, and he succeeded. How? By not going above his head but treating more elementary math topics in a novel, entertaining, and clear way. I loved this book. My younger son, a math minor in college, would find it too elementary and unchallenging.
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