Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Boy Who Loved Math

In my post about Living Math, I wrote about how math should not just be math problems, but also learning about the people who contributed to our understanding of mathematics.  Paul Erdos (pronounced AIR-dish) was one of those people.

Erdos traveled all over the world, living with mathematician friends, owning only what he could pack in a suitcase.  There is a joke among mathematicians.  If a mathematician worked with Erdos, he or she has an Erdos Number of 1.  A mathematician who worked with a mathematician-friend of Erdos has an Erdos Number of 2, and so on and so on.  (Erdos himself had an Erdos Number of 0.)

The illustrations in Deborah Heiligman's The Boy Who Loved Math are just gorgeous, and the text is accessible to little ones.  My daughter loved finding all of the numbers on each page.  She also loved all of the characters' funny facial expressions.

At the back of the book, there are notes from the author and illustrator which explain more about Erdos' fascinating life and the mathematical inspirations for the illustrations.

It's probable that you too will like this book.

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