Simon Pampena, the Maths Man, combines the ideas of mathematics with the craft of stand up comedy to communicate the true nature of maths – mind-blowing fun! He is a regular on ABC1’s Catalyst along with Channel 10 Breakfast. On top of this he has written, produced and performed in 9 maths comedy shows for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Darwin Arts Festival, Adelaide Fringe and the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Seeing one of Simon’s comedy shows is to experience maths his way – a rocket-pack strapped full of maths enthusiasm! – From National Literacy Website
MY FAVOURITE ACADEMIC BOOKS
Abstract Algebra by Thomas W. Hungerford
The most beautiful and complete text on algebra you could possibly want. I keep coming back to this work.
The Banach-Tarski Paradox by Stan Wagon
Comprehensive text on one of my favourite mathematical theorems.
Set Theory by András Hajnal & Peter Hamburger
Mathematical hard core subject area. I love it!
MY FAVOURITE GENERAL AUDIENCE (but still challenging!)
From Here to Infinity by Ian Stewart
I studied this book when I was still an undergraduate as it gave me a understanding of where maths was at the end of the 20th century.
The Number Sense by Stanislas Dehaene
Awesome text on where numbers come from. A real eye-opener.
Thinking in Numbers: How Maths Illuminates Our Lives by Daniel Tammet
First hand account of how an extraordinarily gifted mathematical savant thinks about numbers.
Meta Math!: The Quest for Omega by Gregory Chaitin
Chaitin is a legend and this book explains his most famous result: numbers that describe the limits of computability.
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter
Maths, intelligence, consciousness and a Pulitzer Prize. The perfect cafe conversation starter. I knew a guy a uni who used this book to pick up girls.
Proofs from THE BOOK by Martin Aigner and Günter M. Ziegler
An exquisite text covering the work of Paul Erdős. It lists the most elegant proofs of mathematical theorems Erdős claimed were from THE BOOK written by God himself.
How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method by George Pólya
It’s all in the name but this guy is a master. This book would be the equivalent of “How to play guitar” by Eddie Van Halen.