The Heart of Mathematics: An invitation to effective thinking by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird

One day I was getting the lawn mower out to cut the grass and my mind puzzled over the lead which was as usual knotted. Normally I just pull it through end to end but this time I was convinced there was a better way of doing it. I remembered reading something about counting loops to discover if something was knotted or just looped. I could not remember the detail so I searched the internet. My search lead me to this book in digital highlights form and I enjoyed reading it so much I ordered the book.

I have always been a “maths” person and not a “language” person and I loved glancing through this book so much that I have ended up reading it cover to cover. I didn’t read all the exercises but the ones I did were really well constructed and gave me a better understanding than just reading the text.

The book covers a lot of topics that I had never learned about before such as whether infinity is always the same size, rubber sheet geometry, fractals and chaos it also covered topics I had covered before such as statistics and codes. I found them all really well explained and enjoyed the authors approach. I have to say there were topics I expected in the book from pure maths that weren’t such as integration and while I missed remembering this area I am not sure it would have fitted in the book. If it had I am sure it would have been a very interesting read as all the topics were so interesting in their real world connections.

I have often been amused at my journey from a Maths/Computer Programmer to a Language/Hypnotherapist but this book highlights a lot of the thinking that makes me a┬ásuccessful┬áhypnotherapist. It always takes things back to basic principles. It takes a complex problem and looks at what we do know first. It avoids assumptions. It look for patterns and then expand our understanding. It emphasises over and over the importance of taking a guess and trying things out. It doesn’t matter if we are wrong. The new information we gain helps us gain more understanding. These are exactly the principles I aim to get across to all my clients. Life is simple when you know how to look at it.

I am not sure what person would want to read this book without studying for a reason but I highly recommend it as a good read and an important growing tool for all problems in life. Have fun with it!