How to Bake π: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics
by Eugenia Cheng
Basic Books, 2015 (($27.50))
“The world of math is more weird and wonderful than some people want to tell you,” writes Cheng, a mathematician at the University of Sheffield in England. Invoking plenty of examples from cooking and baking, as well as other everyday-life situations such as calculating a taxi fare, searching for love through online dating services and training for a marathon, she explains abstract mathematical ideas—including topology and logic—in understandable ways. Cheng's specialty is category theory, which she describes as “the mathematics of mathematics”—a way to organize and understand the many rules and processes that govern math. Her lively, accessible book demonstrates how important and intriguing such a pursuit can be.