How To Bake Pi – REVIEW

A Litercurious Book Review

How to Bake Pi by Eugenia Cheng
How to Bake Pi by Eugenia Cheng
Title How To Bake Pi
Author Eugenia Cheng
Publisher Basic Books (May 5, 2015)
Format Kindle, Audiobook, Hardback, Paperback
Pages 300
Language English
ISBN # 0465097677 (ISBN-13: 978-0465097678)

Who is Eugenia Cheng?

Eugenia Loh-Gene Cheng is a British mathematician who specializes in a fringe area of mathematics referred to as Higher-Dimensional Category Theory. She is also known for her support of popular mathematics. Among her many publications are The Art of Logic and, my personal favorite, Beyond Infinity. Professor Cheng attended school at Roedean and is a graduate of The University of Cambridge with her Thesis: Higher-dimensional category theory: opetopic foundations (2002). She graduated with both a BA and a PhD.

Who is the target audience?

This book could appeal to anyone; perhaps with the exception of those traumatized by ill intentioned or professionally inept math teachers. Eugenia has taken the everyday practice of baking and uses it as frame to hang mathematical theories on, to make the mathematics more accessible to a wider audience, and to simplify the theory for the common man. These theories are not new concepts, however, they may be fresh concepts to you. It is a skillfully woven discourse with Category Theory at its heart. Of course there may be some people who will not understand the basic concepts, but I believe the majority of people who read this book will learn something that may benefit them.

In this book

Having read How to Bake Pi, I’ve noted the Professor is a skilled and gifted educator. She takes the art of teaching mathematics to a whole new level. Her ability to enlighten the audience is due in part to her: familiarity with her subject, and her varied methods to demystify the subject; while simultaneously encouraging an enthusiasm for math that most people never knew they had.

I enjoyed the humor and the lucidity of her delivery. The mathematical logic is there throughout the text, but it is softened through: clear, lucid, and work-a-day explanations that aid the reader in exploring the world of math.

Conclusion

I found this book to be engaging, warm, effusive, and fun. Ultimately, Eugenia has proven that it isn’t what you teach, but how you teach that makes the difference.

Acknowledgements 

Thanks to the following: NetGalley, Basic Books, and Eugenia Cheng.

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