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Published: 25.04.2021

## Popular Science Books & Texts for the Non-specialist

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Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. What is math? How exactly does it work? And what do three siblings trying to share a cake have to do with it? This is not the math of our high school classes: mathematics, Cheng shows us, is less about numbers and formulas and more about how we know, believe, and understand anything, including whether our brother took too much cake.

Lively, funny, and clear, How to Bake Pi will dazzle the initiated while amusing and enlightening even the most hardened math-phobe. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about How to Bake Pi , please sign up. Anyone have a review to add? Is it really straight forward?

How are her jokes? Marissameyerfan Her jokes are really funny, and the math is explained so well that my 7th grader could understand it. We didn't try the recipes either. This might sound dumb but Is this a cookbook???? Gabriela No, not really but it has interesting analogies between baking and math and there's some recipes. See all 3 questions about How to Bake Pi…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order.

Popular maths books are the most difficult to make interesting to those beyond the hard core readers who are happy to spend their time on mathematical puzzles and diversions, and the reason this book gets four stars despite a couple of problems is that is one of the most original and insightful books on the nature of mathematics for the general reader that I've ever seen. Rather than simply throw mathematical puzzles and diversions at us, or weird and wonderful numbers, Eugenia Cheng takes us on Popular maths books are the most difficult to make interesting to those beyond the hard core readers who are happy to spend their time on mathematical puzzles and diversions, and the reason this book gets four stars despite a couple of problems is that is one of the most original and insightful books on the nature of mathematics for the general reader that I've ever seen.

Rather than simply throw mathematical puzzles and diversions at us, or weird and wonderful numbers, Eugenia Cheng takes us on something close to a journey through the mathematical mind, introducing us first to abstraction, then through the processes of mathematics, the way it generalises and the essential foundations of axioms.

This is all as an introduction to the second half the the book on Cheng's speciality, category theory, which will I suspect be as unfamiliar to most non-mathematicians as it was to me. So in terms of what it sets out to do and what, to some degree, it achieves it is absolutely brilliant.

Cheng writes in a light, engaging fashion and really pushes the envelope on the way that you can explore mathematics. I can't totally ignore the issues. The lesser one is that as a gimmick, each section begins with a recipe which is then used to illustrate a mathematical point though also to talk about food - I found this a touch condescending and very irritating, though some readers will probably like it.

The bigger problem is that the author isn't great at structuring a book. The first chapter particularly is all over the place, and she has a tendency to use concepts before they are explained. This is particularly true of category theory, which never really gets a clear, approachable definition, but rather is feinted at to begin with, and then introduced as example after example, which without a structure explaining just what it does is quite difficult to put together as a total picture of a discipline.

So, flawed it certainly is, but that doesn't get in the way of it being an unusually interesting attempt at doing something far more significant than most popular mathematics books do.

I've always felt that pure maths was uncomfortably abstract and arbitrary, coming up with rules that have no obvious justification. This is the first book of read where it's possible to get a sense of, 'Hey, that kind of makes sense' - which surely is an impressive achievement. If you can look past the gimmicky aspect and the occasionally confusing structure you are in for a treat. View 2 comments. May 27, John rated it really liked it Shelves: cookery , mathematics , logic.

Lots of helpful examples of concepts, mostly through food and baking. It is a book about mathematics that uses recipes for illumination. The book has one major failing: it lacks a further reading section. It would be great if such a knowledgeable author could have provided a sign post on where to go next to learn more Category Theory.

If it had an annotated further reading section it would have been perfect. Feb 16, Mark rated it really liked it. How to Bake Pi by Eugenia Cheng is a fascinating look at mathematics from an atypical perspective. In this work Eugenia shows how math is far larger, varied, and more encompassing than merely solving equations. She introduces each of her chapters with a "recipe" involving real food as an analogy to illustrate the points she makes.

In the early part of the book Eugenia describes how many people find math difficult and drop away at different stages. For some, arithmetic is hard. For other algebra How to Bake Pi by Eugenia Cheng is a fascinating look at mathematics from an atypical perspective.

For other algebra or geometry is where they drop away. For some it might be trigonometry. For others calculus. And so on. In my own personal experience, I found that I could not get past the plateau of calculus. Starting with calculus and going further into advance mathematics, problem-solving and finding the "right" answer is no longer the goal. My belief was that math was about solving problems, and so calculus increasingly made little sense in my mind.

Perhaps if I had known what this book describes about math, I may have had a chance to get past the wall of calculus. The first part of the book discusses abstractions and generalizations as one of the key goals of math. The second part of the book discusses Eugenia's field of specialty: Category Theory, and how the purpose of this meta-math or math of math is to simply math. The final chapter brings all the earlier pages together as Eugenia summarizes the knowledge and makes a case to have her readers come away with the belief that math isn't hard.

She does so by applying in her literary work the principles she discusses in this very chapter: she uses her discussions to bridge the knowledge and belief through understanding. So in the end I find that her math "principles" apply to not just math, but to cooking and to writing.

What is contained in this book is probably of most interest to someone familiar with high school math and onward. Many of the examples given assume a basic knowledge of algebra and geometry. Eugenia alludes to math education a number of times in her book. Although this is not a book about math education, I believe that the reader can discover a vision for math education that she would like her readers to leave with. I think that this book will be an interesting and helpful volume for aspiring teachers and math educators, from elementary through high school and even into higher ed.

Jan 26, Yodamom rated it really liked it Shelves: netgalley. Math, bleh. I struggled to get through this. I read it in small increments and almost got excited about math from her level of enthusiasm. I suffer from math trauma and hoped this book could be a possible redo for my math spirit. I was lost in the system at school finishing only what was required forced on me to graduate. I bake an thought the connection would bring out the light bulbs in my head. The author did a good job of tying in the recipes with a mathematical concept.

I could see some o Math, bleh. Basically I had flashing glimpse of brilliance, several times. I would have done well with a teacher who brought some of these ideas to life in a classroom. It felt like she was leaning towards a teaching method that would take students to a new level of understanding.

I hope so.

## category theory

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cakes, custard. +category theory. Easy recipes for understanding complex mathematics. EUGENIA CHENG. PROFILE BOOKS.

## The Aperiodical

Most people imagine maths is something like a slow cooker: very useful, but pretty limited in what it can do. Maths, though, isn't just a tool for solving a specific problem - and it's definitely not something to be afraid of. Whether you're a maths glutton or have forgotten how long division works or never really knew in the first place , the chances are you've missed what really makes maths exciting. From simple numeracy to category theory 'the mathematics of mathematics' , Cheng takes us through the joys of the mathematical world.

Maths, though, isn't just a tool for solving a specific problem - and it's definitely not something to be afraid of. Whether you're a maths glutton or have forgotten how long division works or never really knew in the first place , the chances are you've missed what really makes maths exciting. Calling on a baker's dozen of entertaining, puzzling examples and mathematically illuminating culinary analogies - including chocolate brownies, iterated Battenberg cakes, sandwich sandwiches, Yorkshire puddings and Mbius bagels - brilliant young academic and mathematical crusader Eugenia Cheng is here to tell us why we should all love maths.

### Eugenia Cheng

One approach to mathematics is to regard it as comprising three aspects: algebra - the manipulation of symbols, geometry - dealing with shape and position, and logic - making arguments. Conceptual mathematics, or category theory, combines all of these. It's about the structure of arguments, and deals with algebra geometrically. Category theory lies at the heart of a revolution in how pure mathematicians do research. It forms a foundation via topology for physics, chemistry and medicine, and is the basis for the design and verification of complex software systems.

Category Theory. A single pdf of all the slides, unannoted, but with hyperlinks, is here. Solution notes for the excerises will be posted on the Moodle site. Details of the arrangements for these sessions are on the Moodle site. See the syllabus for the recommended reading list. The following is the classic text on category theory and is definitely worth looking at if you are feeling mathematically mature:.

Cakes, Custard and Category Theory: Easy Recipes for Understanding Complex Maths by Eugenia Cheng review in London Math. Soc. Newsletter ().

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Thank you so much for pointing that out. I was having trouble finding the category theory book but finding the Pi one by the same author everywhere! Interesting - thanks for posting. Will grab a copy of that. I seem to collect mathematics books.

Eugenia Loh-Gene Cheng is a British mathematician and concert pianist. Her mathematical interests include higher-dimensional category theory , and as a pianist she specialises in lieder and art song. Cheng was born in Hampshire , England. She moved to Sussex at the age of one. Cheng attended Roedean School.

Work fast with our official CLI. Learn more. If nothing happens, download GitHub Desktop and try again. If nothing happens, download Xcode and try again. If nothing happens, download the GitHub extension for Visual Studio and try again. Finding a path to enlightenment in Programming Language Theory can be a tough one, particularly for programming pracitioners who didn't learn it at school.

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