New Books Network

Susan D'Agostino

How to Free Your Inner Mathematician

Notes on Mathematics and Life

Oxford University Press 2020

New Books in MathematicsNew Books in Science & Technology September 29, 2020 Cory Brunson

Doing mathematics can be stimulating, deep, and sometimes fantastic. It can also be frustrating, impenetrable, and at times dispiriting. In her new collection of...

Doing mathematics can be stimulating, deep, and sometimes fantastic. It can also be frustrating, impenetrable, and at times dispiriting. In her new collection of essays, writer and mathematician Susan D’Agostino shows how math itself can be a useful guide through these experiences. How to Free Your Inner Mathematician: Notes on Mathematics and Life (Oxford University Press)  draws upon the theorems, applications, and history of mathematics to inspire lessons and advice for us along our mathematical (and other) pursuits.

While the math, some familiar and some less so, has clear scientific significance, the lessons help us also appreciate its humanistic value. Delightful illustrations and an (honestly) enjoyable exercise accompany each essay, and readers can jump around the text however they please.

This book will appeal to aspiring mathematicians at any career stage, but its most important audience may be the latent mathematicians who have been discouraged from the discipline but are open to a fresh invitation.

Susan D’Agostino is a mathematician and writer whose essays have been published in Quanta Magazine, Scientific American, Financial Times, Nature, Undark, Times Higher Education, Chronicle of Higher Education, Math Horizons, Mathematics Teacher, and others.


Cory Brunson (he/him) is a Research Assistant Professor at the Laboratory for Systems Medicine at the University of Florida.