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Reviews

Are you interested in fiction with math and mathematician characters, biographies, math history, overviews of some applications of math, or plays, films or tv shows with math? Link here to reviews in the media of books, plays, films and television shows.  In some cases the source requires a subscription, password or searching the archives to access the review; in other cases the review may only be available in print, directly from the source. Sometimes newspapers archive reviews and the url no longer works.  Try searching the site for the title.

For more reviews please see the archive of reviews prior to 2013.
 

Books Plays Films Television

Recently added reviews:

101 Careers in Mathematics, edited by Andrew Sterrett
Alex Through the Looking-Glass, by Alex Bellos
L. E. J. Brouwer - Topologist, Intuitionist, Philosopher: How Mathematics Is Rooted in Life, by Dirk van Dalen
Count Like an Egyptian: A Hands-On Introduction to Ancient Mathematics, by David Reimer
The Grapes of Math: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life, by Alex Bellos
A History in Sum: 150 Years of Mathematics at Harvard (1825–1975), by Steve Nadis and Shing-Tung Yau
How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, by Jordan Ellenberg
Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World, by Amir Alexander
The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan, by Robert Kanigel
Math Bytes, by Tim Chartier
Mathematics in Nineteenth-Century America: The Bowditch Generation, by Todd Timmons
Mathematics in Victorian Britain, edited by Raymond Flood, Adrian Rice, and Robin Wilson
The New York Times Book of Mathematics, Edited by Gina Kolata
The Newton Papers, by Sarah Dry

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  Books Reviewed

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

101 Careers in Mathematics, edited by Andrew Sterrett
Reviewed by William J. Satzer, MAA Reviews, June 24, 2014

* A *

Alan Turing: His Work and Impact, by S. Barry Cooper and Jan van Leeuwen
Review by Charles Ashbacher, MAA Reviews, January 2, 2014

Alex Through the Looking-Glass, by Alex Bellos
Review by Tom Chivers, "Mathematical equations should have the perfect symmetry of a joke," The Telegraph, April 21, 2014
Review by Simon Singh, “Adventures with a Maths Demon,” The Guardian, May 3, 2014
Reviewed by Frank O'Shea, “Sum of all fears, or joy: A numbers book,” The Sydney Morning Herald, June 28, 2014

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* B *

Beautiful Geometry, by Eli Maor and Eugen Jost
Review by Lee Billings, Scientific American, November 22, 2013
Reviewed by Tony Mann, Times Higher Education, 13 March 2014

The Best Writing on Mathematics 2013, edited by Mircea Pitici
Review by Sandra Keith, MAA Reviews, January 18, 2014

The Boy Who Loved Math, by Deborah Heiligman
Review by Nate Silver, Beautiful Minds, The New York Times, July 12, 2013

L. E. J. Brouwer—Topologist, Intuitionist, Philosopher: How Mathematics Is Rooted in Life, by Dirk van Dalen
Reviewed by Dale M. Johnson, Notices of the AMS, June/July 2014

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* C *

A Calculus of Ideas: A Mathematical Study of Human Thought, by Ulf Grenander
Review by Andrew I. Dale, Notices of the AMS, January 2014

Capitalism and Arithmetic: The New Math of the 15th Century, by Frank Swetz
Reviewed by Peter Ruane, MAA Reviews, November 14, 2013

Complexities: Women in Mathematics, edited by Bettye Anne Case and Anne M. Leggett
Review by Carol Dorf, "A Wealth of Complexities," American Scientist, March - April 2013

Count Like an Egyptian: A Hands-On Introduction to Ancient Mathematics, by David Reimer
Review by Nancy Szokan, The Washington Post, May 19, 12014
Review by Calvin Jongsma, MAA Reviews, May 28, 2014

The Crest of the Peacock: Non-European Roots of Mathematics, by George Gheverghese Joseph
Review by Clemency Montelle, Notices of the AMS, December 2013

The Cult of Pythagoras: Math and Myths, by Alberto A. Martínez
Review by Ellen Ziliak, MAA Reviews, March 7, 2013

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* D *

David Mumford—Selected Papers, Volume II: On Algebraic Geometry, including Correspondence with Grothendieck, edited by Ching-Li Chai, Amnon Neeman, and Takahiro Shiota
Review by Frans Oort, Notices of the AMS, February 2013

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* E *

Everyday Calculus: Discovering the Hidden Math All around Us,  by Oscar E. Fernandez
Review by Tom Schulte, MAA Reviews, April 19, 2014

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* F *

Figures of Thought: A Literary Appreciation of Maxwell’s Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, by Thomas K. Simpson
Review by Brian Hayes, Notices of the AMS, September 2013

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird
Review by Gizem Karaali, MAA Reviews, April 25, 2013

The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick, by Benoît B. Mandelbrot
Review by Dwight Garner, "Wandering Visionary in Math’s Far Realms," New York Times Book Review, October 30, 2012
Review by Adam Kirsch, "A Math Genius’s Sad Calculus," Tablet, October 25, 2012
Review in the Economist, "A cloud Atlas: Memoirs of a European mathematician," Oct 27, 2012
Review by Brian Hayes, "Father of Fractals,"  American Scientist, January-February, 2013
Review by Brie Finegold, "From Simple Rules Repeated," Science, January 18, 2013
Review by Jim Holt, "He Conceived the Mathematics of Roughness," The New York Review of Books, May 23, 2013

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* G *

Geometric Magic Squares, by Lee C. F. Sallows
Reviewed by Charles Ashbacher, MAA Reviews, September 24, 2013

Geometry and the Imagination, by David Hilbert and S. Cohn-Vossen
Reviewed by Tim Penttila, MAA Reviews, November 16, 2013

The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search of the Impossible, by Lance Fortnow
Review by Veit Elser, "Can Oompa-Loompas Save Us from Perebor?," Science, July 5, 2013

The Grapes of Math: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life, by Alex Bellos
Review by Jan Gardner, The Boston Globe, June 7, 2014

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* H *

Henri Poincaré: Impatient Genius, by Ferdinand Verhulst
Review by Michael Berg, MAA Reviews, October 27, 2012
Review by Julio M. Ottino, AIP Scitation, October 2013

Henri Poincaré: A Scientific Biography, by Jeremy Gray
Review by George Szpiro, "Poet of the Infinite", Nature, December 6, 2012
Review by Peter Pesic, "What Poincaré Knew," Science, March 22, 2013
Review by Julio M. Ottino, AIP Scitation, October 2013

Higher Order Fourier Analysis, by Terence Tao
Review by Allen Stenger, MAA Reviews, July 22, 2013

A History in Sum: 150 Years of Mathematics at Harvard (1825–1975), by Steve Nadis and Shing-Tung Yau
Review by Steve Batterson, Notices of the AMS, June/July 2014

How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, by Jordan Ellenberg
Interview with the author, NPR, June 2, 2014
Review by Manil Suri, The Washington Post, June 13, 2014
Review by Annie Murphy Paul, How to Learn to Love Math, Time Magazine, June 13, 2014
Review by Erin Anderssen, “If you ever wondered how math class could help you later in life, here’s your answer,” The Globe and Mail, June 18, 2014
Reviewed in Nature, June 19, 2014, page 339
Reviewed by Hiawatha Bray, The Boston Globe, July 5, 2014

The Humans, by Matt Haig
Review by Harry Ritchie, The Guardian, May 15, 2013

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* I *

The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles and Rare Events Happen Every Day, by David Hand
Review by John A. Adams, The Washington Post, February 21, 2014

Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World, by Amir Alexander
Review by NPR Staff, "Far From 'Infinitesimal': A Mathematical Paradox's Role In History", NPR, April 20, 2014
Review by Judith V. Grabiner, MAA Reviews, June 12, 2014
Review by Robyn Arianrhod, Times Higher Education, June 19, 2014
Review by Paula E. Findlen, "The Mathematical Shape of Modernity," Chronicle of Higher Education, June 23, 2014

Invisible in the Storm: The Role of Mathematics in Understanding Weather, by Ian Roulstone and John Norbury
Review, Books in Brief, Nature, April 4, 2013
Review by Peter Lynch, Notices of the AMS, September 2013

Invitation to a Mathematical Festival, by Ivan Yashchenko
Review by Charles Ashbacher, MAA Reviews, March 16 2013

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* J *

The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity, by Steven Strogatz
Internet interview with Steven Strogatz, Science Friday, October 5, 2012
Internet interview with Steven Strogatz, "The Beauty and Delight of Mathematics: Q&A with Steven Strogatz," Wired Science, October 30, 2012
Review by Tom Siegfried, Science News, November 3, 2012
Review by Daniel N. Rockmore, "Making Math Pop," The Chronicle Review, January 14, 2013
Review by Robert James, The Bookbag, online, March 2013

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* K *

The King of Infinite Space, by David Berlinski
Reviewed in Nature, January 31, 2013
Review by Brian Hayes, "Sparring with the Great Geometer", American Scientist, March - April 2013

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* L *

The Leading Indicators, by Zachary Karabell
Review by Diane Coyle, Statistically Speaking, The New York Times, April 11, 2014

Letters to a Young Scientist, by Edward O. Wilson
Review by Shaoni Bhattacharya, "You don't need good mathematics to be a scientist," New Scientist, May 6, 2013
Review by Stuart Pimm, "A guide to the life scientific," Nature, April 18, 2013

Locks, Mahabharata and Mathematics, by V. Raghunathan
Review by Dilip D'Souza, Live Mint, August 31, 2013

The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age, by Paul J. Nahin
Review by Marissa Fessenden, Scientific American, November 2012
Review by Charles Ashbacher, MAA Reviews, November 8, 2012
Review by Martin Davis, Notices of the AMS, September 2013

Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality, by Edward Frenkel
Review by John Matson, Scientific American, September 20, 2013
Review by Minyanville, NASDAQ, September 27, 2013
Review by James Currie, "Math wiz breaks with nerd stereotype," Winnepeg Free Press, October 5, 2013
Review by Marcus du Sautoy, "Proof of passion," Nature, October 3, 2013
Review by Leonard Mlodinow, "It All Adds Up", New York Times, October 25, 2013
Interview with Edward Frenkel, Science Weekly Podcast, The Guardian, November 11, 2013
Review by Amir Alexander, "Brilliance Triumphs Over Rejection: In ‘Love & Math,’ Fighting Discrimination Through Numbers," New York Times, November 18, 2013
Review by Jim Holt, "A Mathematical Romance," The New York Review of Books, December 5, 2013
Review by Brian Hayes, "The Monodromy of Love," American Scientist, January-February 2014
Review by Julia McKinnell, Maclean's, December 17, 2013

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* M *

Magnificent Mistakes in Mathematics, by Alfred S. Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann
Review by Mark Hunacek,
MAA Reviews, September 12, 2013
Review by Tony Mann, Times Higher Learning, September 2013

Manifold Mirrors: The Crossing Paths of the Arts and Mathematics, by Felipe Cucker
Review by Hardy Gant,
MAA Reviews, September 19, 2013

The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan, by Robert Kanigel
Review by Fernando Q. Gouvêa, MAA Reviews, May 27, 2014

Martin Gardner in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Michael Henle and Brian Hopkins
Review by Darren Glass, MAA Reviews, April 9, 2013

Math Bytes, by Tim Chartier
Review by Alex Bello, "Empire State Building vanishes: amazing images of geometrical illusion", The Guardian, April 1, 2014
Review by Sol Lederman, Wild About Math: Making Math Fun and Accessible, April 6, 2014
Review by Robert Shaefer, New York Journal of Books, April 6, 2014
Review by Alex Bogomolny, Cut the Knot, April 2014
Review by A. Bultheel, The European Mathematical Society, May 12, 2014
Review by Philip J. Davis, Mathematics as Play, SIAM, June 2, 2014
Reveiw by Mark Hunacek, MAA Reviews, June 9, 2014

Mathematical Card Magic: Fifty-Two New Effects, by Colm Mulcahy
Reviewed by Kara Shane Colley, MAA Reviews, November 11, 2013
Review by Alex Bellos, “Algebra-cadabra! Here's a classic magic trick, and the mathematical secret behind it”, The Guardian, February 4, 2013

Mathematical Circle Diaries, Year 1: Complete Curriculum for Grades 5 to 7, by Anna Burago
Review by Alex Bogomolny, MAA Reivews, January 30, 2013

Mathematical Excursions to the World's Great Buildings, by Alexander J. Hahn
Review by Science Magazine, February 15, 2013

Mathematics in Nineteenth-Century America: The Bowditch Generation, by Todd Timmons
Reviewed by Diann Porter, MAA Reviews, June 20, 2014

Mathematics in Victorian Britain, edited by Raymond Flood, Adrian Rice, and Robin Wilson
Review by P. N. Ruane, MAA Reviews, May 16, 2014

Math on Trial: How Numbers Get Used and Abused in the Courtroom, by Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez
Review by Robert W. Hayden, MAA Review, December 11, 2012
Review by Abigail Tarttelin, The Huffington Post, January 4, 2013
Review by Janet Raloff, Science News, June 29, 2013
Review by Paul H. Edelman, Burden of Proof: A Review of Math on Trial, Notices of the AMS, August 2013

Meaning in Mathematics, edited by John Polkinghorne
Review by Michael Heller, "Deep Questions on the Nature of Mathematics," Notices of the AMS, May 2013

Gösta Mittag-Leffler. A Man of Conviction, by Arild Stubhaug
Review by Sigurdur Helgason, Notices of the AMS, September 2013

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* N *

Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data, by Charles Wheelan
Review by Evelyn J. Lamb, "Great Refresher or First Course," Science, April 5, 2013

Naming Infinity: A True Story of Religious Mysticism and Mathematical Creativity, by Loren Graham and Jean-Michel Kantor
Review by Jascha Hoffman, "Pursuing the Infinite," Nature, April 23, 2009
Review in Scientific American, April 2009
Review by Alexey Glutsyuk, Notices of the AMS, January 2014

The New Science of Cities, by Michael Batty
Review by Michael Szell, "Connecting Paradigms", Science, February 28, 2014

The Newton Papers, by Sarah Dry
Review by Mordechai Feingold, A voyage round Newton," Nature, May 2014

The New York Times Book of Mathematics, Edited by Gina Kolata
Review by Ian Stewart, Notices of the AMS, May 2014

The Noether Theorems: Invariance and Conservation Laws in the Twentieth Century, by Yvette Kosmann-Schwarzbach
Review by Robyn Arianrhod, The Evolution of an Idea, Notices of the AMS, August 2013

Numbers and Functions: From a Classical-Experimental Mathematician's Point of View, by Victor H. Moll
Review by Alex Bogomolny, MAA Reviews, January 14, 2013

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* O *

Odds Against Tomorrow, by Nathaniel Rich 
Review by Alan Cheuse, NPR News, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, April 1, 2013

On Leibniz, by Nicholas Rescher
Review by Tom Schulte, MAA Reviews, January 18, 2014

William Fogg Osgood at Harvard: Agent of a Transformation of Mathematics in the United States, by Diann R. Porter
Review by Todd Timmons, MAA Reviews, April 23, 2014

Our Mathematical Universe, by Max Tegmark
Review by Max Tegmark, "Can the Meaning of Life Be Explained by Math?," Publishers Weekly, January 10, 2014
Review by Peter Woit, The Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2014
Review by Stephen C. Hirtle, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 25, 2014
Review by Brian Rotman, The Guardian, January 31, 2014
Review by Edward Frenkel, The New York Times, February 14, 2014

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* P *


Paradoxes in Probability Theory, by William Eckhardt
Review by Olle Häggström, Notices of the AMS, March 2013

Henri Poincaré: A Biography Thorugh the Daily Papers, by Jean-Marc Ginoux and Christian Gerini
Review by P.N. Ruane, MAA Reviews, March 2, 2014

Henri Poincaré. A Scientific Biography, by Jeremy Gray
Reviewed by John Stillwell, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, April 2014

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* Q *


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* R *

Iris Runge: A Life at the Crossroads of Mathematics, Science, and Industry, by Renate Tobies
Review by Tom Schulte, MAA Reviews, July 22, 2013

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* S *

Seduced by Logic: Emilie du Chatelet, Mary Somerville and the Newtonian Revolution, by Robyn Arianrhod
Review by Jane Gleeson-White, "Female pioneers in mathematics found strength in numbers ," The Australian, 23 July 2011
Review by Judith V. Grabine, Notices of the AMS, June-July 2013
Interview by Richard FIdler, Conversations with Richard Fidler, ABC Local, October 28, 2013

Shaping Space: Exploring Polyhedra in Nature, Art, and the Geometrical Imagination, edited by Marjorie Senechal
Review by Gizem Karaali, MAA Reviews, December 31, 2013

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don’t, by Nate Silver
Review by Noam Scheiber, "Known Unknowns," The New York Times, November 2, 2012
Review by Andrew Hacker, "How He Got It Right," The New York Review of Books, January 10, 2013
Review by Sam Wang and Benjamin C. Campbell, "Mr. Bayes Goes to Washington," Science Magazine, February 15, 2013

The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, by Simon Singh
Review by Thomas Jones, The Guardian, October 24, 2013
Review by NPR Staff, "Divide By D'oh! The 'Mathematical Secrets' Of The Simpsons," NPR Author Interviews, October 26, 2013
Review by Parade, "5 Math Lessons Hidden in The Simpsons," Parade Magazine, October 29, 2013
Review by Amir Alexander, "Examining the Square Root of D’oh!," The New York Times, January 27, 2014
Review by Ruchi Kumar, “Simon says, Math is still a minority sport,” DNA India, February 9, 2014

The Symphony of Primes, Distribution of Primes and Riemann's Hypothesis, by Jan Feliksiak
Review by
BWW Books, October 8, 2013

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* T *

Théorème Vivant, by Cédric Villani
Reviewed by Jacques Hurtubise, Notices of the AMS, February 2014

Thinking in Numbers: On Life, Love, Meaning, and Math, by Daniel Tammet
Review by Jordan Ellenberg, The Boston Globe, July 27, 2013

Thinking in Numbers, by Daniel Tammet
Review by The Telegraph, August 22, 2012
Review by Simon Ings, "Mathematics is as rich as literature," CultureLab blog, New Scientist, August 14, 2012
Review by Alexandra Witze, Science News, September 20, 2013

The Tower of Hanoi - Myths and Maths, by Andreas M. Hinz, Sandi Klavžar, Uroš Milutinović, and Ciril Petr
Review by Adhemar Bultheel, European Mathematical Society, February 23, 2013
Review by Charles Ashbacher, MAA Reviews, May 28, 2013

Transcending Tradition: Jewish Mathematicians in German-Speaking Academic Culture, edited by Birgit Bergmann, Moritz Epple, and Ruti Ungar
Review by Marjorie Senechal, Notices of the AMS, February 2013

Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe, by George Dyson
Review by Thomas Misa, "Digital dawn," Nature, March 1, 2012, page 32
Review by Douglas Bell, "The godfather of the iPad," Globe & Mail, March 16, 2012
Review by William Poundstone, "Unleashing the Power," The New York Times, May 4, 2012
Review by Tom Siegfried, Science News, September 8, 2012
Review by Fenella Saunders, "When the World Went Digital," American Scientist, May-June 2013, pages 233-34

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* U *

Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner, by Martin Gardner
Review by David Singmaster, Master Puzzler, Nature, September 19, 2013
Review by Brian Hayes, Martin Gardner’s Autobiography: A Lifelong Quest for Truth and Meaning, Scientific American, September 20, 2013
Review by Charles Ashbacher, MAA Reviews, September 24, 2013
Review by Jordan Ellenberg, The Wall Street Journal, November 22, 2013
Review by Stephen Hirtle, "'Undiluted Hocus-Pocus': How science columnist Martin Gardner spread joy with numbers and games," Pittsburgh Post Gazette, December 27, 2013
Review by Teller, "The Brainteaser," The New York Times, January 3, 2014
Review by Andy Magid, Notices of the AMS, March 2014

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* V *
Visions of Infinity
, by Ian Stewart
Review by Tom Siegfried, Science News, March 23, 2013
Review by P. N. Ruane, MAA Reviews, March 7, 2013

Vito Volterra, by Angelo Guerraggio and Giovanni Paoloni
Review by Alex Bogomolny, MAA Reviews, March 19, 2013

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* W *

A Wealth of Numbers: An Anthology of 500 Years of Popular Mathematics Writing, edited by Benjamin Wardhaugh
Review by Mark Bollman, MAA Reviews, June 30, 2012
Review by Carol Dorf, "A Wealth of Complexities," American Scientist, March - April 2013
Review by Andy R. Magid, Notices of the AMS, March 2013

Wearing Gauss's Jersey, by Dean Hathout
Review by Mark Bollman, MAA Reviews, September 12, 2013

What's Happening in the Mathematical Sciences, Volume 9, by Dana Mackenzie
Review by Tom Schulte, MAA Review, August 5, 2013

Who's #1? — The Science of Rating and Ranking, by Amy N. Langville and Carl D. Meyer
Review by Richard J. Wilders, MAA Reviews, March 29, 2012
Review by Andrew I. Dale, Notices of the AMS, January 2013

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* X *

X and the City: Modeling Aspects of Urban Life
, by John A. Adam
Review by David S. Mazel, MAA Reviews, May 12, 2013

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* Y *


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* Z *

Here's an article on the increased interest in books about mathematics and mathematicians:
"The numbers game: Why math books are hot," by Jane Boursaw and Tameka L. Hicks, USA Today Weekend Magazine, September 21, 2003

Also, see Mathematical Fiction, maintained by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston).

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  Plays Reviewed

Calculus: The Musical, by Marc Gutman and Sadie Bowman
Review by Amona Refaei, The News Record, February 20, 2013

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   Films Reviewed

Flatland: The Movie, by Seth Caplan, Jeffrey Travis, and Dano Johnson
Review by Michelle Press, Scientific American, May 2008
Review by Julie Rehmeyer, Flatland and its sequel bring the math of higher dimensions to the silver screen, Science News, July 29, 2013

How I Came to Hate Maths (Comment j’ai deteste les maths), a film by Olivier Peyon
Review by Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter, November 30, 2013

Late Style - Yuri I. Manin, Looking Back on a Life in Mathematics, directed by Agnes Handwerk and Harrie Willems
Review by Gunther Cornelissen, Notices of the AMS, January 2013

See also: Mathematics Goes to the Movies, compiled by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross; The Math in the Movies Page, collections of reviews of math-related movies compiled by A. G. Reinhold; and Mathematics in Movies, clips from movies assembled by Oliver Knill.


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   Television Shows Reviewed


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For more reviews please see the archive of reviews prior to 2013.

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