The Symmetries of Things

This week’s book will take understanding of spaces to a whole new level. John Conway, Heidi Burgiel and Chaim Goodman-Strauss are bringing to the layperson (OK, I concede, to laypeople with some math under their belt) an amazingly beautiful topic: the relationship between topology and simmetry. Presenting the discrete groups with the orbifold approach is not only incredibly elegant, but also fruitful, the subject is thus richly connected with other math subjects. As usual I don’t want to clutter with my words and prefer readers to see the book. Only one final comment: most of the book does not really have math prerequisites in the technical sense, but it does require effort and concentration. It is certainly possible for a high-school student or even a younger child to study it, but it has to be someone who enjoys learning. On the other hand, this is the perfect book for those who love to study, but they truly love math because it’s beautiful.

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