The Hidden Geometry of Absolutely Everything
A whip-smart, entertaining exploration of the geometry that underlies our world, from the bestselling author of How Not to Be Wrong
How should a democracy choose its representatives? How can you stop a pandemic from sweeping the world? How do computers learn to play chess? Can ancient Greek proportions predict the stock market? (Sorry, no.) What should your kids learn in school if they really want to learn to think? The answers to all these questions can be found in geometry.
If you're like most people, geometry is a dimly-remembered exercise, handed down from the ancients, that you gladly left behind in school. It seemed to be a tortuous way of proving some fact about triangles that was obvious to you in the first place. That's not geometry. OK, it is geometry, but only a tiny part, that has as much to do with the modern, fast-moving discipline as conjugating a verb has to do with a great novel.
In Shape,Sunday Times-bestselling author Jordan Ellenberg reveals the geometry underneath some of the most important scientific, political, and philosophical problems we face, from the spread of coronavirus to rise of machine learning. The word 'geometry,' from the Greek, means 'measuring the world.' But geometry doesn't just measure the world - it explains it. Shape shows us how.
Praise for Shape
Shape is a triumph of mathematical exposition, exposing profound truths - from the nature of distance to the predictability of randomness - as well as profound mistakes - from historical misattributions to Supreme Court justice hardheadedness - with eloquence and hilarious wit. Ellenberg's evident affection for both his subject and his reader makes us feel like the lucky ones who get to hear him hold forth in an intimate setting about his favorite subject, mathematicsCathy O'Neil
Unreasonably entertaining... reveals how geometric thinking can allow for everything from fairer American elections to better pandemic planningParul Sehgal, New York Times
Serious mathematics at its intriguing, transporting best . . . [A] humorous, anecdotally rich dive into numerous mathematical theoriesKirkus
Droopy cheese and the curve of the Earth, the everyday and the cosmic, are beautifully interwoven in the mathematician Jordan Ellenberg's new book ShapeDerek Thompson, Atlantic
Almost anyone is likely to enjoy Ellenberg's prose, and mindHarvard Magazine
Ellenberg's skill as a storyteller, combined with a natural ability to spot otherwise obscure connections, enables him to capitalize on geometry as math's gateway drug... A deeply enjoyable and insightful bookMatt Parker, New York Times
Ellenberg, in both his arguments and his enthusiasm, is persuasiveMichael Prodger, New Statesman
This mind-bending book will change how you see the world (Five stars)Simon Ings, Telegraph