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Is Math Real?

How Simple Questions Lead Us to Mathematics’ Deepest Truths

Regular Price $30

Regular Price $38 CAD

Regular Price $30

Regular Price $38 CAD

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On Sale

Aug 15, 2023

Page Count

336 Pages




One of the world’s most creative mathematicians offers a new way to look at math—focusing on questions, not answers 

Where do we learn math: From rules in a textbook? From logic and deduction? Not really, according to mathematician Eugenia Cheng: we learn it from human curiosity—most importantly, from asking questions. This may come as a surprise to those who think that math is about finding the one right answer, or those who were told that the “dumb” question they asked just proved they were bad at math. But Cheng shows why people who ask questions like “Why does 1 + 1 = 2?” are at the very heart of the search for mathematical truth.  

Is Math Real? is a much-needed repudiation of the rigid ways we’re taught to do math, and a celebration of the true, curious spirit of the discipline. Written with intelligence and passion, Is Math Real? brings us math as we’ve never seen it before, revealing how profound insights can emerge from seemingly unlikely sources.   

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Is Math Real? is a generous tour of mathematics for anyone whose instincts tend less towards ‘Just tell me the answer’ and more towards ‘Wait, but why?’”—Jordan Ellenberg, author of Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else
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