The Joy of X

When given the opportunity to choose a book for my capstone, I picked the title that stood out to me: The Joy of X by Steven Strogatz. The first thought that came to mind was : how can anyone find any joy in X?  That's ridiculous! Thinking about my reaction to the title reminded me of the sort of response I get when someone asks me my major and I tell them Mathematics. The responses I usually get are, "Why would anyone CHOOSE a degree in Mathematics?" And most commonly, "Ew". 

 I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that sometimes one cannot find the joy or the passion for something unless they dig a little deeper into it. Strogatz does an amazing job showing the interesting, yet useful ways math is used every day. He starts off with simple concepts as to why we've developed counting techniques by using a Sesame Street's Fish to Infinity. He moves on to the loneliness of prime numbers and finishes with the complexity that is infinity, with many different subjects in between. Strogatz made his ideas easy to follow and provided content that was extremely interesting to read. Each topic only lasted around 8 to 10 pages, so although there was a lot of information about a lot of different topics, Strogatz didn't really dive into any particular subject too deep. I like this, though, because it leaves the reader wanting to know more.

Strogatz revived my love for mathematics and how fun it can actually be. I would recommend this book to anyone that questions how mathematics is used in real life or how it appears in nature. This book is also for those that may be interested in math but don't know much about it. The Joy of X was definitely a joy to read.


  1. Good review, and "Strogatz revived my love for mathematics and how fun it can actually be." is an awesome recommendation.


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