Humble Pi by Matt Parker Review

I don’t really know how to review non-fiction, but I said that I would review every book I read this year, so here we go.

Humble Pi is a light hearted look at mathematical errors, why they happen and their consequences. Now if you aren’t into maths this might sound like the most boring book in the world, even if you are into maths it might sound boring. However, Parker manages to make these real world stories both entertaining and informative, and I had a good time with this book.

The humour in this book was great, although maybe somewhat niche to those of us with a mathematical background. Sprinkled between amusing anecdotes however, are real lessons to learn. Ranging from the limitations of Microsoft Excel all the way to how bureaucratic governmental agencies can undermine the populace’s opinion of the importance of maths. Maybe I’m stretching a little on the second of those, but that was certainly one of my takeaways.

As someone with a background in Civil Engineering, many examples in this book reinforced how integral maths is to our society, and the importance of taking it seriously when building structures and infrastructure. This was a blessedly quick read, and a lovely palette cleanser between some huge epics I am reading right now. If this sounds interesting you definitely pick it up as it is an entertaining read.

Go forth and read.


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