Monday, October 9, 2017

Book review: Math Girls

Have you ever read a math book with a story in it? The story has characters that are talking, discussing and doing math problems together. Math Girls is the book that I am talking about. It's written by Hiroshi Yuki, a Japanese author and translated by Tony Gonzalez. The book is about three high school students with different personalities. The narrator is a guy, and there are two girls which are smart Miruka and vivacious Tetra. The book really reminds me of my high school time studying math and doing homework with my friends, how we came up with a solution and the process of doing that. Math Girls contains a wide variety of difficulty. The math problems between the narrator and Tetra is easy to read and understand, which is completely different from that between the narrator and Miruka. Tetra suffers from mathematical anxiety, but never stops asking questions that bother her. Miruka's maths is more advanced than the other two, she has not only deep mathematical knowledge but also her elegant way of solving problems. 

The book has a lot of topics like prime numbers, math rules, summation, derivation of formula, Taylor series, Bessel equation, etc. Most of the time, the book talks about searching for patterns, since the narrator likes to start with something easy like plugging couple numbers into the function, put them into a sequence and look for a pattern. It's interesting to read when the narrator tries so hard to solve a problem in a long way using his same old method and Miruka comes up with a creative and shorter solution, which amazes him a lot. It was really easy to read at first, then gets tougher toward the end. I have to admit that there are some of the problems I couldn't solve and even the solution is hard to follow. Therefore, I think if someone likes to challenge themselves and loves to solve problems, this book can be their must-have.