Book: The Story of Mathematics / Anne Rooney

This book was on sale for 4 bucks at Borders when I had some time to kill. To my surprise, I read the whole thing. I have a terrible time keeping historical timelines in my head, but I love the perspective it gives (while I’m reading, anyway). I learn a few surprising things, like the fact that the first programmer, Ada Lovelace, wrote code in 1843 based on a Charles Babbage difference engine that was never built. She was the daughter of Lord Byron, and was sent to London College in mathematics as prevention for potential madness inherited from her father. There are a few other quick references to odd behavior among mathematicians, good narrative presentation, and a reference to Lakoff and Nuñez on the final page. If the book is guilty of any bias, it could probably be effectively analyzed based on the use of the word “proper” throughout the text.

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