Mathematics is a curious place. To the uninitiated it appears often as a forbidding place. And yet all around us mathematics ticks and clicks - in the computer in front of you, in the algorithms which secure your data transfer in the internet, at the roulette table, well, even the road network in your town is plain, but not pure, mathematics. The present book tries to open up the readers perception so that she will be able to see how close mathematics really is to our daily lives, and how relevant it thus is. The stories told are written in a colloquial style and take the lid of this arcane world without burdening the reader with formulae. All that is needed to follow the account is a willingness not to shy away from straight thinking.
The book broadly covers five areas of mathematics: It starts off with an account of prime numbers. Next comes an introduction to the quest for form: Shapes are among the most difficult mathematical objects, just as shapes are among the most intriguing objects we meet with on a daily basis. From there the author takes the reader to the field of chance and the mathematics of luck, before diving into the question of what makes the internet a safe place. The final chapter looks into the future by asking what techniques are on offer to predict what comes next.
The book is written in such a way that it should be accessible both for the young and the old. All that is required is an ability to handle plain numbers and think straight. Who knows what young person might not be mystified by the account to then go on to discover the real mathematics. To the general newspaper-reader the book might help elucidate a few facts that seem to somehow belong to our world of common sense but still remain somewhat elusive. If, however, you are a mathematician then all you really want to do with this book is to give it to some non-mathematician to convert her to your ways of thinking. Happy trying!