The Grapes of Math (Nic)

About five years ago, English author and math geek Alex Bellos published a cool collection of essays about math in the world: The Grapes of Math: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life.

Each chapter covers its own topic. Here are a couple of his descriptions of chapters, as an example:

Chapter 4: In which the author explores proportional growth. He gets feedback from a YouTube celebrity in Colorado, and provides a biography of the special number behind capitalism, matchmaking, and Catalan architecture.

Chapter 6: In which the author shines his torchlight on the cone, and sees its reflection in rockets, planets and towers. He learns about the joy of rolling balls—either dipped in ink in Renaissance Italy or bouncing off the cushion in upstate New York.

Each week, you’ll read one chapter before class, and we’ll come together to discuss it. In class we’ll play with the math, make sure we understand it, and do some rabbitholing.

Required texts/materials: A copy of the book. The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

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