Reviews & Previews

# The Joy of x

## A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity by Steven Strogatz

The world would be a better place, it is safe to say, if everybody had a basic understanding of mathematics and an appreciation for its scope and power. Economics, science and medicine, energy and the environment and diverse realms of public policy all depend on math as a guide to factual accuracy, sound judgment and intelligent opinion.

Sadly, the U.S. education system treats math like medicine to be crammed down students’ throats because it is good for them, without much effort to explain why. Strogatz, a Cornell mathematician, has now provided a delightful antidote to the math phobia that infects most students exposed to the standard curriculum.