Tag Archives: science

Book Review: 17 Equations that Changed the World

3 Jan

17 Equations that Changed the World by Ian Stewart 2012


My previous book review of Cosmic Numbers, The Numbers that Define Our Universe by James D Stein 2011… declared it “fantastic.”

I did not reread it immediately, because my young friend (recent Mechanical Engineering graduate) had also loaned me 17 Equations that Changed the World.  Going from numbers to equations is an order of magnitude (or more) level of difficulty.  Each chapter could be a book it self.  Ian Stewart does an amazing job putting the mathematical developments into historical context with an engaging narrative to pull the readers along.

The last three chapters were new territory for me with subjects of information theory, chaos theory and the Black-Scholes equation used by the financial services industry.  Wow!  I have questions…not for my readers…but as an inquiring mind.

Again, this book is a great recommendation for students young and old(er) interested in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math).  I added a new page to this website with a STEM reading list.

BTW I asked Glenda where she got this book…thinking it was required reading with course work…No….how fun is this?  She found it at Shakespeare and Company Kilometer Zero, a bookstore in PARIS!

Book Review: Cosmic Numbers by JD Stein

28 Nov



Previous book reviews included a book with an author having my maiden name as well as a book with a photograph of my niece on the cover.  This recommendation is a challenge.  Stein explains the universe with numbers and why.

A new friend who is also a recent Mechanical Engineering graduate and world traveler loaned me Cosmic Numbers.  I studied physics, chemistry, thermodynamics and differential equations completing my engineering degree…in the last millennium.  Differential equations:  my least favorite subject.  Cosmic Numbers is fantastic!  I plan to reread it and go deeper.   To engage us with his passion for science and why it matters to us, Stein wisely includes personal stories with biographical stories of the scientists credited with the discoveries.  Check out page 147.  Stein includes a theory on why James Bond is also known as 007…

Do you know a young person interested in STEM?  Stein describes how twelve scientists came to their conclusions as well as building on the work of others.  Consider recommending this book to inspire interest in STEM.