Is Maths Real?

How Simple Questions Lead Us To Mathematics' Deepest Truths

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Eugenia Cheng: Is Maths Real? (Hardcover, 2023, Profile Books Limited)

Hardcover, 336 pages

English language

Published Aug. 20, 2023 by Profile Books Limited.

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4 stars (1 review)

Why is -(-1) = 1? Why do odd and even numbers alternate? What's the point of algebra?

Is maths even real?

From imaginary numbers to the perplexing order of operations we all had drilled into us, Eugenia Cheng - mathematician, writer and woman on a mission to rid the world of maths phobia - brings us maths as we've never seen it before, revealing how profound insights can emerge from seemingly unlikely sources.

Written with intelligence and passion, Is Maths Real? is a celebration of the true, curious spirit of the discipline.

3 editions

reviewed Is Maths Real? by Eugenia Cheng

math as curiosity and questioning

4 stars

Delightfully retracing basic math concepts to show mathematicians motivations and enthusiasm, emphasizing an openness to not assuming things are "obvious", an educator's deep interest in honest innocent questions that do not have one correct answer, and the relevance of math's interest in contextual "why and when is such true?" in seeing similarities and differences in analogy to current political and cultural rifts.


  • Nonfiction
  • Mathematics
  • Science