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The Grapes of Math

The Grapes of Math

How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life

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From the bestselling author of Here’s Looking at Euclid, a dazzling new book that turns even the most complex math into a brilliantly entertaining narrative.

From triangles, rotations and power laws, to cones, curves and the dreaded calculus, Alex takes you on a journey of mathematical discovery with his signature wit and limitless enthusiasm. He sifts through over 30,000 survey submissions to uncover the world’s favourite number, and meets a mathematician who looks for universes in his garage. He attends the World Mathematical Congress in India, and visits the engineer who designed the first roller-coaster loop.

Get hooked on math as Alex delves deep into humankind’s turbulent relationship with numbers, and reveals how they have shaped the world we live in.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451640090 | 
  • June 2014
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And the world's favorite number is…

Alex Bellos, bestselling author of forthcoming book Grapes of Math, reveals the results of his global survey about everyone's favorite number.

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The Grapes of Math CHAPTER ONE Every Number Tells a Story
Jerry Newport asked me to pick a four-digit number.

“2761,” I said.

“That’s 11 × 251,” he replied, reciting the numbers in one continuous, unhesitant flow.

“2762. That’s 2 × 1381.

“2763. That’s 3 × 3 × 307.

“2764. That’s 2 × 2 × 691.”

Jerry is a retired taxi driver from Tucson, Arizona, with Asperger’s... see more

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