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The Grapes of Math

The Grapes of Math

How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life

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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List Price $25.99
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Video

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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Read an Excerpt

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

Articles About This Book

Ulysses

Posted on 250 Words

Posted by Sam McNerney

"Power laws… imply that disasters much worse than what society has experienced in the recent past are entirely possible, if infrequent."

About the Author

Alex Bellos
Photograph © Michael Duerinckx

Alex Bellos

Alex Bellos has a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Oxford University. Curator-in-residence at the Science Museum and the Guardian’s math blogger, he has worked in London and Rio de Janeiro, where he was the paper's unusually numerate foreign correspondent. In 2002 he wrote Futebol, a critically acclaimed book about Brazilian football, and in 2006 he ghostwrote Pelé's autobiography, which was a number one bestseller. Here’s Looking at Euclid was shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize and was a Sunday Times bestseller for more than four months.

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