Marcus Du Sautoy 2008


This is about mathematics, from someone who just loves puzzles, arcane efforts (trying to find the next prime number in a series), etc.

He also finds great pleasure in patterns, and classification and characteristics of patterns.


The human brain seems to be wired for pattern recognition.  Survival has tended to favor the odds of finding pattern where none really exists vs not perceiving a pattern that is present.  Consequently, there are lots of things in life that are totally random but people think that they see a pattern in them.  But the person that thinks they hear a tiger in the grass is likely to live after the one that thinks it is just the wind.


This characteristic is also what makes art and music interesting to humans.


If you are interested in the life of mathematicians, like to follow the history of certain proofs, or if you like number puzzles, then this book will interest you.


Example:  What is the next number in the series?


13   1113  3113  132113  1113122113





Each number is a digit by digit description of the previous number.

So, 13 is followed by one 1 one 3,  (1113)  This in turn is followed by

Three 1, one 3 (3113)  one 3, two one, one 3 (132113)  etc.