Sunday, June 29, 2014


For my "skimpression” I went through Euler: The Master of Us All.  I found this book to be much like the other book that I read for this class Journey Through Genius.  I say this due to the fact that this book focuses not just on the mathematics itself, but focuses also on the history and culture surrounding the situation.  Obviously this book is focused just on Euler, mentioning other pertinent mathematicians as necessary, while my first book addressed many different mathematicians and theorems.  I really liked that this book outlined the culture, history, and context of Euler because it helps to better explain the revolutionary nature of his mathematical discoveries.   On the other hand of the equation, pun definitely intended, this book does a really great job of explaining the results that Euler came up with along with the theories and culture and history and context.  The book doesn’t just skim through the results either.  I really value that this book goes to great depths to actually explain the reasoning behind the consequences of each part of the proofs and results.  For instance, there is an explanation of a proof that involves eggs and omelets.  There is nothing that helps me to understand concepts better than analogies and this book gives those exact type of descriptions.   Overall this book does a great job of explaining, so to speak, the man, the place, the history, the results of Euler. 

As far as my recommendations for this book, I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in mathematics.  A person who loves not only the pure math itself, but someone who values the history behind a matter.  That is, someone who wants to know not just what a car does, but who made it and how they did it, given the economical climate of the time.  This person would want to know what type of gravel caused someone to fall on their bike.  Was it crunchy? Was it big enough to roll? Also, on a more serious/not so serious note.  I think that this book would be great for anyone who learns from analogies, or comparing new information to known information in a way that is plain and simple.  This book does a great job of explaining things in a way, and outlining how Euler thought, in a way that is incredibly understandable for this type of person.  

The one critique I would give for this book is not so much a critique of the way it was written or of the content, but rather is a recommendation for readers.  This book is not necessarily something that, at least I, would sit and just read right through.  It is a book that, while offering a lot of quality information, also requires a lot of close attention and studying, if you will.  So my one beef with this book is that there is too much good information for one sitting...which sounds pretty ridiculous, actually, but shapes the way one reads the book. 

In conclusion, I would say that this is a great, informative read that displays the information in a coherent, understandable, and exciting way.  Definitely would like to see this book in more classrooms! 

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