Love and Math

For the first half of our semester, I have been reading “Love and Math” by Edward Fenkel.  When I first began reading, I had no clue what to expect.  The summary of the book gave me a little insight but I had never read a math book that is not a text book.  I felt as though the preface was long and drawn out so immediately regretted my choice in book. I was very wrong.

After reading the first few pages, I realized this book wasn’t just explaining mathematics to someone but it was more so a narrative of the author’s life.  I found this very interesting.  Reading is not my strongest suit but when it is more of a story than an article it makes it much easier for me to understand and relate to.  I loved this aspect of it.

I learned just how hard of a life Edward had growing up and trying to get into the best schooling he could. I also discovered how hard he had to work to overcome his struggles to achieve greatness in his academic life.  After reading all of the accomplishments that Edward has made, I was surprised that I did not recognize his name when I first discovered his book.

There were a few things that did bug me about this book.  In it, the author explains how much he used to dislike math and how bad he was at it, however, after reading in between the lines that clearly was not true at all.  He skipped grades, loved reading mathematical articles, and used his time to keep exploring mathematical ideas and concepts.  Another thing that I was not particularly fond of was how long some of his point dragged on for.  There were multiple times while I was reading that I had to skip forward a couple paragraphs because I was positive I understood the point he was trying to make.  There were also times when the math was way over my head so I couldn’t read into too much.

I did not feel bad when approaching these difficult portions of the book because in his preface he explained if I, as the reader, come to a portion I am not understanding, just skip over it and maybe the next time I read the book I will understand it much more.

I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in mathematics.  I was able to connect to Edward in more than one way and put myself in his shoes when there wasn’t a connection.  It was a fast easy read but very interesting and makes me want to learn more about the author and his mentors.