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5 Fantastic Mathematics Books Recommended By NCTM President Linda M. Gojak

Mathematics is often perceived as a daunting subject, a realm of complex equations and abstract concepts.

However, the world of mathematics is much more than that. It's a field filled with wonder, creativity, and practicality.

Linda M. Gojak, the President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), understands this well.

She has curated a list of five seriously fantastic mathematics books that can transform the way you view and engage with mathematics.

These books not only make math accessible but also bring its beauty and relevance to life.

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post features Amazon affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links.

In "The Calculus Diaries," Jennifer Ouellette takes the intimidating world of calculus and makes it accessible, relatable, and even fun. Through engaging storytelling and real-life examples, Ouellette shows how calculus plays a crucial role in everyday life. From optimizing your diet to gaining an edge in Vegas, she demonstrates how calculus is a powerful tool that can be used by anyone, regardless of their mathematical background.

“I think scientists have a valid point when they bemoan the fact that it's socially acceptable in our culture to be utterly ignorant of math, whereas it is a shameful thing to be illiterate.”― Jennifer Ouellette, The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

Harold R. Jacobs' "Mathematics: A Human Endeavor" is a timeless classic that transcends traditional math textbooks. This book explores mathematics as a deeply human and cultural endeavor, delving into its historical and societal context. Jacobs emphasizes the role of mathematics in shaping civilization, making it a captivating read for those seeking a broader perspective on the subject.

While "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle is primarily known as a science fiction novel, it cleverly incorporates complex mathematical concepts into its narrative. The concept of a tesseract, a four-dimensional shape, becomes a central element in the story, introducing readers to the mind-bending world of higher dimensions. This novel seamlessly blends mathematics with imagination, making it a unique and engaging read.

“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. - Mrs. Whatsit”― Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

In "The Joy of x," Steven Strogatz takes readers on a comprehensive and engaging tour of mathematics, starting from the basics and progressing to more advanced topics. Strogatz's clear and accessible writing style makes even complex mathematical ideas understandable. He connects mathematics to real-world applications and everyday experiences, demonstrating the relevance and beauty of the subject.

“Looking at numbers as groups of rocks may seem unusual, but actually it's as old as math itself. The word "calculate" reflects that legacy -- it comes from the Latin word calculus, meaning a pebble used for counting. To enjoy working with numbers you don't have to be Einstein (German for "one stone"), but it might help to have rocks in your head.”― Steven H. Strogatz, The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity

Alex Bellos's "Here’s Looking at Euclid" is a captivating exploration of mathematics across cultures and throughout history. From counting ants to exploring the mathematics of games of chance, Bellos showcases the incredible diversity and universality of mathematical concepts. This book takes readers on a global journey, revealing the beauty and wonder of numbers and their impact on our world.


If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my math book lists on my blog-

These five mathematics books recommended by NCTM President Linda M. Gojak offer a diverse and captivating range of perspectives on the subject.

Whether you're seeking practical applications, historical context, imaginative storytelling, or a comprehensive tour of mathematical concepts, these books have something to offer.

They bridge the gap between mathematics and everyday life, showing that math is not just a subject to be studied but a rich and fascinating world to explore.


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