How should a democracy choose its representatives? How does Covid-19 spread? How do computers teach themselves chess, and why is chess easier for them than analyzing a sentence? What should your kids study in school if they really want to learn to think? All of these are questions about geometry. Seriously!
Jordan Ellenberg reveals the mathematics behind some of the most important scientific, political and philosophical conundrums we face. The word 'geometry', from the Greek, means 'measuring the world'. If anything, geometry doesn't just measure the world, it explains it. Shape shows us how.
This mind-bending book will change how you see the world (Five stars) -- Simon Ings ― Telegraph
Shape is a triumph of mathematical exposition, exposing profound truths - from the nature of distance to the predictability of randomness - as well as profound mistakes - from historical misattributions to Supreme Court justice hardheadedness - with eloquence and hilarious wit. Ellenberg's evident affection for both his subject and his reader makes us feel like the lucky ones who get to hear him hold forth in an intimate setting about his favorite subject, mathematics -- Cathy O'Neil
Ellenberg's skill as a storyteller, combined with a natural ability to spot otherwise obscure connections, enables him to capitalize on geometry as math's gateway drug... A deeply enjoyable and insightful book -- Matt Parker ― New York Times
Ellenberg, in both his arguments and his enthusiasm, is persuasive -- Michael Prodger ― New Statesman
Serious mathematics at its intriguing, transporting best . . . [A] humorous, anecdotally rich dive into numerous mathematical theories ― Kirkus
Unreasonably entertaining... reveals how geometric thinking can allow for everything from fairer American elections to better pandemic planning -- Parul Sehgal ― New York Times
Droopy cheese and the curve of the Earth, the everyday and the cosmic, are beautifully interwoven in the mathematician Jordan Ellenberg's new book Shape -- Derek Thompson ― Atlantic
Almost anyone is likely to enjoy Ellenberg's prose, and mind ― Harvard Magazine
About the Author
Jordan Ellenberg is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin, and the Sunday Times-bestselling author of How Not to Be Wrong, as well as an award-winning novel, The Grasshopper King. He has lectured around the world on his research in number theory, and writes regularly for The New York Times, Washington Post and Wired.