Tag Archives: books

A Bit of Biography in Bought Books

Saw this over at Good Math, Bad Math and decided to join in!

What were the last three genre books that you purchased? Why did you purchase them? And do they feel comfortable together?

My most recent purchase of books for myself included a total of eight books, bought before summer from a giant online bookseller.  Since then, I have also picked out free books at The Book Thing of Baltimore, and I have purchased books as gifts, which are not included in this list.

I shall here narrow down the list of eight lately bought books to three, all of which I have read or at least begun:

  1. No Teachers Left Behind, by ‘Hopeful but Frustrated Teacher’, a fictional account of middle school teaching and its daily details, both funny and frustrating.  I bought this book because it was recommended on a teaching blog that I regularly read.
  2. Group Theory in the Bedroom, by Brian Hayes, a sequence of essays on popular mathematics (and computer science).  I enjoy reading the author’s bimonthly columns in the magazine American Scientist, so when I heard he had a compilation of these mathematically-themed essays coming out, I jumped at the chance to buy it!
  3. Notes on Fermat’s Last Theorem, by Alf van der Poorten, a transcription and extension of lectures on Algebraic Number Theory as it relates to the history and solution of Fermat’s Last Theorem.  I had set as a goal this summer to work my way through an earlier-purchased textbook on Algebraic Number Theory, with this book as an additional resource and motivation.  I was drawn to this book in particular because its author has co-written articles in the past with my undergraduate thesis advisor.  While I did begin to read and work through both books, my goal for the summer was not realized, so I hope to continue reading/working on Algebraic Number Theory as the school year progresses.

While these three books are not all of a type, they do span the continuum in between two of my interests:  math and teaching.  Notes is pure math; No Teachers is pure teaching; whereas Group Theory is at the juncture of the two, exposing interesting topics in advanced math (both pure and applied) in a way accessible to a broader audience.  This is, at its core, math teaching!  Since I am a math teacher, then, I think this trio of books fits together quite nicely!

Leave a comment

Filed under math, teaching