Count Like an Egyptian
A Hands-on Introduction to Ancient Mathematics
Princeton University Press 2014
[Re-posted with permission from Sol Lederman’s Wild About Math] I love novel ways of looking at arithmetic. I’m fascinated with how computers compute in binary, with tricks for simplifying calculations and with how Vedic mathematicians handle difficult arithmetic efficiently. So, when Princeton University Press sent me a review copy of their new book Count Like an Egyptian: A Hands-on Introduction to Ancient Mathematics (Princeton University Press, 2014), I immediately fell in love with it. I was delighted to learn even more techniques and the ideas behind them to deepen my appreciation of the beauty of what most consider to be mundane arithmetic.
Count Like an Egyptian is a delightful book, full of color illustrations, fun stories, lots of hands-on exercises, and an appreciation for the power of simple but deep ideas.
David Reimer was a pleasure to interview. He is a brilliant mathematician who hasn’t lost sight of the power and beauty of mathematics. He taught me and modeled that, despite the stereotype, the more advanced mathematicians are the ones who are more likely to communicate ideas well.