# Good Math (PragProg)

Why do Roman numerals persist? How do we know that some infinities are larger than others? And how can we know for certain a program will ever finish?

### Mark C. Chu-Carroll

edited by John Osborn

Why do Roman numerals persist? How do we know that some infinities are larger than others? And how can we know for certain a program will ever finish? In this fast-paced tour of modern and not-so-modern math, computer scientist Mark Chu-Carroll explores some of the greatest breakthroughs and disappointments of more than two thousand years of mathematical thought. There is joy and beauty in mathematics, and in more than two dozen essays drawn from his popular â€śGood Mathâ€ť blog, youâ€™ll find concepts, proofs, and examples that are often surprising, counterintuitive, or just plain weird.

Mark begins his journey with the basics of numbers, with an entertaining trip through the integers and the natural, rational, irrational, and transcendental numbers. The voyage continues with a look at some of the oddest numbers in mathematics, including zero, the golden ratio, imaginary numbers, Roman numerals, and Egyptian and continuing fractions. After a deep dive into modern logic, including an introduction to linear logic and the logic-savvy Prolog language, the trip concludes with a tour of modern set theory and the advances and paradoxes of modern mechanical computing.

If your high school or college math courses left you grasping for the inner meaning behind the numbers, Markâ€™s book will both entertain and enlighten you.

"Mark Chu-Carroll is one of the premier math bloggers in the world, able to guide readers through complicated concepts with delightful casualness. In Good Math, he brings that same skill to a book-length journey through math, from the basic notion of numbers through recent developments in computer programming. If you have ever been curious about the golden ratio or Turing machines or why pi never runs out of numbers, this is the book for you."

â€“Carl Zimmer, Author of â€śMatterâ€ť and â€śThe Loomâ€ť, New York Times and National Geographic Magazine

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