Mathematics the Truth
An interesting book that begins with an error on its cover makes this reader doubt the usefulness of the book. First of all, the error - the author’s name, as best I can tell, is spelled wrong. Now, this does not define the entire book, but does make one want to read it carefully.
I did find the book of interest. It is written to a beginning master’s level mathematician. It might be handled by a well-equipped calculus student with a bit of exposure to differential equations, ultimately the focus seems to be helping the student jumping into his final years of training to see the parallels between mathematics and the physical world. The author firmly that this connection to the physical world should become the real motivation for studying mathematics:
Currently mathematics is taught like Latin, without motivation, restricted to the period from Euclid in the BC to the Renaissance. Those few proceeding to university mathematics and mathematical physics are re-educated without the benefit of previous orientation while the rest are abandoned to popularisations. This is not right …
The author attempts to weave mathematics with these physical concepts that either underlay or that are supported by the mathematical truths. The book, obviously, does not a cover entire field of math or physics, but enough parallels are drawn to aid the student or teacher to take these initial thoughts further.
I do wish the book included a bit more documentation, allowing the student to continue his or own self-study of the topics presented. Too much material is presented as “common knowledge” that might be so to the fully trained mathematician, but not to the student making progress through the field. That being said, the book is readable - provided the student has a basic understanding of the mathematics. However, once the reader reaches the point where his mathematics training has progressed, a set of good math texts will be needed to fill in some of the gaps.
Physicists and mathematicians would do well to find ways to add this book to their courses as a supplementary text. Those already in the field will find the book to be of help understanding the contribution each has made to their respective fields.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.