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# Category Archives: books

## Bertrand Russell’s summing up

Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy is one of my favourite books. It’s a great overview of two and a half millennia of philosophy, and he is unafraid to criticise when he feels it necessary. But I had forgotten how … Continue reading

## Farewells

This has been a week of farewells from Queen Mary, after 28 years; certainly for me the end of an era. A leaving party First, on Monday, we had a leaving party, for four of us: apart from me there … Continue reading

## Books, books

A reminder that, if you are in London this Friday (13 December), come by my office between 1pm and 4pm. As part of moving out, I am giving away more than half of the books I have collected over the … Continue reading

## Hardy on blogging

Having had to dig out G. H. Hardy’s A Mathematician’s Apology to look up what he had to say about the number 153, it was inevitable that I would re-read it, and wonder what attitude Hardy would have taken to mathematics blogging. … Continue reading

Posted in books, exposition, the Web
Tagged A Mathematician's Apology, G. H. Hardy, maths blogs, Ramanujan, Terry Tao, Tim Gowers
1 Comment

## Exploring University Mathematics

This week, a book called Exploring University Mathematics, 1 rose to the top of the pile on my bookshelf. Now there is no shortage of books which do what the title of this one promises, for non-mathematicians, or school pupils … Continue reading

Posted in books, history
Tagged Bedford College, Fibonacci numbers, isoperimetric problem, machine learning, sets and functions
4 Comments

## Solutions

The word “solutions” is much overused, even misused, now. When I see a van with “Cleaning solutions” on the side, I imagine it full of containers of ammonia or soapy water, while “Printing solutions” can only mean ink … But … Continue reading

Posted in books, teaching
Tagged Cambridge University Press, codes, Dan Hughes, designs, exercises, graphs, Higman-Sims, Jack van Lint, MUBs, quaternary codes, Westfield College
1 Comment

## Combinatorics Ancient and Modern

Towards the end of 2011, I posted a paper on the arXiv with the title “Aftermath”. A correspondent wondered if this was a Borgesian game, the final chapter to a nonexistent book. Happily, it was not so. Combinatorics Ancient and … Continue reading

Posted in books
Tagged block designs, graph theory, history of mathematics, Latin squares, partitions
1 Comment

## A history of Merton College

The book A History of Merton College, by G. H. Martin and J. R. L. Highfield, was published by Oxford University Press in 1997. I have had a copy for some time but, to my shame, have only just read it. Roger Highfield was a … Continue reading

## Kilvington’s Sophismata

The last chapter of Mathematical Structures was about how to spot false proofs. Of course, I am not the first to do this. A curious chain (I may tell about this later) led me to The Sophismata of Richard Kilvington. … Continue reading

Posted in books, history
Tagged Aristotle, Merton mathematicians, Richard Kilvinton, sophismata, Thomas Aquinas
6 Comments