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    The Maths Gene: Why Everyone Has it, But Most People Don't Use it (Paperback) By (author) Keith J. Devlin


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    DescriptionWhere does our mathematical ability come from? Our prehistoric ancestors' brains were essentially the same as ours, so they must have had the same underlying ability. What purpose could it serve in 50,000 BC? And what exactly goes on in our brains when we multiply 15 by 36 or prove Fermat's Last Theorem? The answer, according to Keith Devlin, is closely related to the evolutionary changes in the human brain that gave rise to language. It lies within our genes and more specifically with the pattern-making abilities with which we are born. Devlin uses these insights to show why some people loathe mathematics, why others find it so difficult, and why a select few excel at the subject. He also suggests ways in which we can improve our mathematical skills.

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  • Full bibliographic data for The Maths Gene

    The Maths Gene
    Why Everyone Has it, But Most People Don't Use it
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Keith J. Devlin
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 320
    Width: 128 mm
    Height: 196 mm
    Thickness: 26 mm
    Weight: 100 g
    ISBN 13: 9780753811269
    ISBN 10: 075381126X

    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T8.0
    BIC E4L: SCP
    BIC subject category V2: PSAK
    DC21: 510.19
    BISAC V2.8: SCI029000
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 26220
    LC subject heading:
    BIC subject category V2: PDZM
    Thema V1.0: PSAK, PDZ
    Illustrations note
    30 Line Drawing(s)
    Orion Publishing Co
    Imprint name
    Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
    Publication date
    01 March 2001
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    SALES POINTS A simple and appealing message - everyone has the ability to do maths Contains advice on how we can improve our mathematical skills Keith Devlin is a world-renowned expert on maths He is the award-winning author of many books on the subject 'Devlin's explanations of complex mathematical conundrums in layman's terms are brilliantly simple' Edge
    Review text
    You might be a little disappointed with this book if you expect the contents to correlate with the title; from 'The Maths Gene' you couldn't be blamed if you thought this was going to be another pop science book in the vein of Martin Gardner or Ian Stewart. Instead, Keith Devlin has produced a very different thesis on the development of the human brain to perform mathematics in all its forms. He has examined all the factors that affect the brain's growth - biological, social, environmental and survivalist mechanisms. During his exposition, the idea of a universal female ancestor group as the source of brain improvement has been considered (recently shown by Brian Sykes at Oxford). But underlying every argument, he consistently asks why humans developed this one exceptional feature which has given them such superiority on earth. In illustrating these ideas, he draws on so many sources that the early part of the book can feel like a bit of a 'rag-bag' of ideas. On this point of style, he writes very like Richard Dawkins in his books on the gene and its development. But as in Dawkins's books, the target of the theses doesn't take long to distil from those scattered primary examples, and by the final chapter, he reaches an enjoyable and satisfying conclusion. Although Devlin is a mathematician, his knowledge and experience of the human condition stretches far beyond the bounds of his profession (as the brief biography on the book's jacket reveals, he has led a varied existence so far). With The Maths Gene he has written a book which can be read by anyone who wants to understand 'the software' of the human animal. (Kirkus UK)