High School and/or Adult Mathematics

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► A family favorite of ours. 

Suggest a reader for this list

(See also Math Fiction list and Biographies for high school and adult reading)

A Mathematician Reads The Newspaper; John Allen Paulos

Algebra Unplugged ► Amdahl, Kenn/Loats, Jim 

Algebra Survival Guide ► (I’ve used this with middle elementary children as well)

All the Math You'll Ever Need by Steve Slavin. General Math - great refresher, very few problems.

Bridges to Infinity: The Human Side to Mathematics ►by Guillen, Michael

Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach by Morris Kline – I really like this book, email the publisher and they will send you an answer key to the problem sets

Calculus By and For Young People by Don Cohen

Calculus The Easy Way, Downing, Douglas, Story version of calculus, interesting way to review especially

Calculus Made Easy  by Silvanus Phillips Thompson, a classic, get the edition with forward by Martin Gardner

Chaos by James Gleik. Math in nature & science. Great color pictures

The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems by Martin Gardner

Demathtifying - Demystifying Mathematics by Ilan Samson

Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula: Cures Many Mathematical Ills

The Einstein Paradox: And Other Science Mysteries Solved By Sherlock Holmes

Euclid's Elements, Vol 1, w/comments, Dover Press.  Geometry, classical math.

Euclid's Window: the Story of Geometry ► From Parallel Lines to Hyperspace; good beginning young adult chapter, recommended w/caveat last chapter has profanity in a quote (not gratuitous); not for the younger ones

Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Question

Fractals: The Patterns of Chaos

Galileo's Commandment: An Anthology of Great Science Writing z Original works

Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid ► Hofstadter, Douglas R. – Advanced but an interested child can read it, more for adults, math in many contexts, Pulitzer Price Winner Classic

The Golden Mean: Mathematics and the Fine Arts by Linn, Charles

Great Feuds in Mathematics: Ten of the Liveliest Disputes Ever

The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking by Starbird and This is a textbook, but very different from most.

Joy of Thinking Video Series – (Teaching Company Series www.teach12.com) accessible to middle school level on up, or parent resource

The Language of Mathematics : Making the Invisible Visible Keith Devlin

Letters to a Young Mathematician (Art of Mentoring) by Ian Stewart, a very nice read, as much for parents as kids, see review

The Living Clock: The Orchestrator of Biological Rhythms by John Palmer – on biological timepieces

Logic and Design: In Art, Science and Mathematics by Barratt, Krome

The Math Behind Wall Street

Math and Music: Harmonious Connections

Math and the Mona Lisa: The Art and Science of Leonardo da Vinci by Bulent Atalay Review

Math and Mathematicians: The History of Math Discoveries. Four volumes edited by Leonard C. Bruno, A bit expensive, but worth it if you want a comprehensive but readable math history resource

The Mathematical Tourist, Peterson, Ivan 1998 Math in nature, life

The Mathematical Experience, by Philip J. Davis, Reuben Hersh

Mathematical Puzzles of Sam Loyd by Gardner, Martin   1959Logic, math puzzles, a classic

Mathematics, A Human Endeavor ►by Harold Jacobs, A Book for Those Who Think They Don't Like the Subject

Mathematics - It's Magic & Mastery z Aaron Blakst, see review by Julie

Mathematics: The Science of Patterns: The Search for Order in Life, Mind and...

Mathematics and the Imagination, ► Edward Kasner and James Newman classic

Mathematics for the Million, Hogben, Lancelot, z Math history, lots of math, can be intimidating if you can't learn to skip what you don't get

Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers by Jan Guillberg. HS or Adult level

Mathematics - Its Magic & Mastery ► Aaron Blakst, see review by Julie

Mathematics in Art by Holt, Michael

Mathematics, Magic and Mystery by Martin Gardner

Mathographics ► by Robert Dixon - Wonderful designs to do the ancient way w/compass and then w/programming, can be a whole year's math blending Euclidean geometry with basic algebra and trigonometry

The Mobius Strip: Dr. August Mobius's Marvelous Band in Mathematics, Games, Literature, Art, Technology, and Cosmology – high school and adult level

The Music of the Primes by Marcus Du Sautoy

The Numbers Behind NUMB3RS: Solving Crime with Mathematics ►

On the Shoulders of Giants ► Hawking, Stephen

The Penguin Book of Curious and Interesting Mathematics ► by David Wells, Very entertaining book of anecdotes about scientists and mathematicians

The Penguin Book of Curious and Interesting Numbers ► by David Wells, similar book such as Curious and Interesting Mathematics.

Realm of Algebra ► Asimov, Isaac.  Classic Asimov , but alas, OOP and hard to find

Realm of Measure ► Asimov, Isaac, equally as good for simplicity and readability, *why* are these out of print?

Think of a Number by Lines M E – readable book, adult level

Trigonometry The Easy Way, Downing, Douglas. Story version of the subject, not bad although a bit contrived.

Which Door Has the Cadillac? Vazsonyi, Andrew   2002 Mathematical thinking. Personal stories, lots of history

Who Is Fourier? A Mathematical Adventure

Works of Archimedes. Edited by T.L. Heath. Classical math & science

The World of Mathematics : A Four-Volume Set (back in print) ► James Newman, fantanstic resource for math history, as much about the people as well as the math

The World Treasury of Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics


Math History and Culture

Africa Counts, by Claudia Zaslavsky is a unique resource for understanding other cultures and math development. Adult text, readable, activities suggested.

Ancient Mathematics (Sciences of Antiquity) by Serafina Cuomo

Archimedes: What Did He Do Beside Cry Eureka?

Beginnings and Blunders: Or Before Science Began by Hogben

The Crest of the Peacock, George Gheverghese Joseph, excellent resource on non-European roots of mathematics, adult level.

The Day the Universe Changed: How Galileo's Telescope Changed The Truth &Other Events in History by

Ethnomathematics: A Multicultural View of Mathematical Ideas

From Five Fingers to Infinity, A Journey Through the History of Mathematics, Frank Swetz – A series of essays through the history of mathematics emphasizing the human element of math. Text is more readable than most math histories I've run across, with numerous clear diagrams / pictures.

The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages Edward Grant

The History Of Pi by Beckmann, Peter

History of Science: Antiquity to 1700 (Teaching Company Series www.teach12.com) Parent resource (college level)

Mathematics Elsewhere: An Exploration of Ideas Across Cultures

The Measure of All Things,  Ken Adler

The Measure of Reality, Crosby, Alfred W., History of quantification

The Mechanization of the World Picture: Pythagoras Dijksterhuis, E. J.

The Principia,  Newton,  Translated by Cohen/Whitman. Classical math & science

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, Charles Seife

A Concise History of Mathematics, Dirk J. Struik - Concise it is :o). A bit dry to read, but a classic reference.


Probabiity and Statistics

Cartoon Guide To Statistics, Gonick, Larry. Some questionable material for some parents, but what I’ve seen in this book is okay

Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

How To Lie With Charts, Jones, Gerald Everett, Understanding data

How To Lie With Statistics, Huff, Darrell, 1954, dated but very good book on statistic, how they are often misused.

A Mathematician Reads The Newspaper; Paulos, John Allen 1995 Advanced level, well written, great for hs on up

Struck By Lightning


Wooden Books and Small Format Topic Books

A Little Book of Coincidence, by John Martineau

Li: Dynamic Form in Nature, Wade, David. Math in Nature

Harmonograph: A Visual Guide to the Mathematics of Music, Ashton, Anthony

Megaliths and Calendars, Discoveries Series by Abrams – Wonderful pictures in these books

Platonic & Archimedean Solids, Sutton, Daud

Sacred Geometry, Lundy, Miranda

Stonehenge, by Robin Heath

Sun, Moon, & Earth, by Robin Heath

Useful Mathematical and Physical Formulae, by Matthew Watkins


Teaching / Learning Resources

Agnesi to Zeno: Over 100 Vignettes from the History of Math,  Sanderson Smith, teaching resource approx. hs level - much better value than Classic Math

The Economy in Cartoons by MindSparks. Math in economics. Teacher resource notes

Fascinating Fibonaccis: Mystery and Magic in Numbers

The Equation for Excellence: How to Make Your Child Excel at Math

Famous Problems and Their Mathematicians by Art Johnson

How To Solve It ►►  Polya, George1957   Problem solving, a classic must read. Don't be discouraged by the math, move through it if you don't understand it, the principles and method are what count.

Classic Math Johnson, Art, Math history, bios, quotes, literature - more accessible for beginners

Good Questions for Math Teaching, Grades 5-8: Why Ask Them And What to Ask, Grades 5-8

Pascal's Triangle: A Teacher's Guide With Blackline Masters 


I am looking over the list at http://www.kolmogorov.com/ for additional ideas

By Leonard Mlodinow
By Harold R. Jacobs
By Keith Devlin
By G. Polya