wilson's new book on carroll

Excellent: Lewis Carroll in Numberland: His Fantastical Mathematical Life by Robin Wilson (we liked Wilson's little book on sudokus awhile back). A book review and a podcast (scroll down a bit) from +Plus magazine (more here).  And more Wilson free stuff here.

Biographical information with brief forays into mathematics on Carroll's life, literary and mathematical works. Carroll grew up in a homeschooling family of sorts: upper middle class with tutors and they were quite close.  It is a biography that has appeal for lots of homeschoolers.  

I like the way mathematics is integrated into the whole.  After introducing Dodgeson's (Carroll was a pen name) 1867 book on algebra, Wilson politely pauses:
"We now explain the mathematical terms that appear in the title of Dodgson's algebra book and introduce his 'method of condensation'. If you are not interested in these, you should skip to the next section, on page 120."
Wilson then gives in only 8 pages:  The Algebraic Geometry of the Plane, Determinants, The Algebraic Geometry of Three-Dimensional Space, Dodgson's 'Method of Condensation', and Dodgson's Determinants.  

This integration of math, biography and concise explanation is a rich mix for whole learning (akin to whole foods) that preserves context, reduces the emphasis on over-processed and highly-refined literacy, and is just more fun. Wilson is witty and the book is well-illustrated. There are many mathematics puzzles and oddities. I think many learners will respond to this integrated approach, a favorite of mine.
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