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RICHARD ELWES is a writer, teacher and researcher in mathematics and a visiting fellow at the University of Leeds. He contributes to New Scientist and Plus magazines and publishes research on model theory. Elwes is a committed populariser of mathematics which he regularly promotes at public lectures and on radio.



Richard Elwes's website

Featured titles


And 34 Other Really Interesting Uses of Mathematics


Can you outrun a bullet? How do you build an electronic brain? Is it possible to create an unbreakable code? Could you slow down time? How do you unleash chaos?


If you thought mathematics was all about measuring angles in a triangle or factorizing equations, think again. HOW TO BUILD A BRAIN demystifies the astonishing world of maths in a series of intriguing, entertaining and often extraordinary scenarios that explains key concepts in plain and simple language.


You'll find out how to unknot your DNA, how to count like a supercomputer and how to become famous for solving mathematic's most challenging problem. You'll learn essential survival skills such as how to survive in a whirlpool, how to slay a mathematical monster and how to be alive and dead at the same time. And along the way you’ll discover some plain old cool stuff such as how to unleash chaos and how to use mathematics to win at roulette or avoid going to prison.


So if you want to get to grips with the great questions of number theory and geometry, the mysteries of the prime numbers or Plato's classification of regular polyhedra, or if you are really more interested in learning how to have beautiful children or how to make a million on the stock market, this is the perfect introduction to the fascinating world of modern mathematics.


Publisher: Quercus

Pub Date: 31 March 2011

Length: 224 pages


World rights: Quercus


MATHS 1001

Absolutely Everything that Matters in Mathematics


Elwes does a great job of covering in a nutshell a huge number of ideas/concepts/terms cutting across a broad swath of mathematics. Several such books are already available, but this looks to be the best one I've seen yet – Shecky R at MATH FROLIC 


Dr Elwes’ enthusiasm for his subject is astounding… The examples are easy to follow, and this really is the only maths book you should ever need to buy unless you’re going into higher mathematics at uni. Fantastic –


From zero and infinity to relativity and Godel's proof that maths is incomplete, Richard Elwes explains the key concepts of mathematics in the simplest language with a minimum of jargon.


MATHS 1001 provides clear and concise explanations of the most fascinating and fundamental mathematical concepts. Distilled into 1001 bite-sized mini-essays arranged thematically, this unique reference book moves steadily from the basics through to the most advanced of ideas, making it the ideal guide for novices and mathematics enthusiasts. Whether used as a handy reference, an informal self-study course or simply as a gratifying dip-in, it offers - in one volume - a world of mathematical knowledge for the general reader.


An incredibly comprehensive guide, it spans all the key mathematical fields including numbers, geometry, algebra, analysis, discrete mathematics, logic and the philosophy of maths, applied mathematics, statistics and probability and puzzles and mathematical games.


Elwes reveals mathematical secrets such as how to count to 1,023 using just 10 fingers and how to make an unbreakable code, as well as answering such questions as: Are imaginary numbers real? How can something be both true and false? Why is it impossible to draw an accurate map of the world? And how do you get your head around the mind-bending Monty Hall problem?


Publisher: Quercus

Pub Date: 18 October 2010

Length: 400 pages


World rights: Quercus