Category Archives: book

Kourkovka Notebook: Open problems in group theory

Every once in a while I spot a true gem on the arXiv. Unsolved Problems in Group Theory: The Kourkovka Notebook is such a gem: it is a huge collection of open problems in group theory. Started in 1965, this 19th volume contains hundreds of problems posed by mathematicians around the world. Additionally, problems solved […]


Book Review: Riot at the Calc Exam by Colin Adams

When it comes to math humour, there's not much out there. There is a good list of jokes on MathOverflow. There's also Mathematical Apocrypha by Krantz, many of whose folklore stories are also amusing. The other day at the library I found another one: Riot at the Calc Exam by Colin Adams. Adams' book is […]


Book Review: Lost in Math by Hossenfelder

When it comes to the philosophy of science, not many publications are relevant to modern practice. Let's take math. The current literature still talks about platonism. Look harder and you might find the rise of non-Euclidean geometry or other breakthroughs like cardinality. In short, the bulk of mathematical philosophy still consists of math that's hundreds […]


Book Review: Levy's 'Crypto'

Today, public-key cryptography is everywhere, offering some measure of security for virtually all internet commerce transactions and secure shell connections. It's hard to imagine life without it, even though most people aren't aware of it. Steven Levy's Crypto is a great book to explain it and how it all came about. In fact, I first […]


Book Review: Greenwald's "No Place to Hide"

I first heard of Edward Snowden when I was still a PhD student. He became world-famous for leaking huge numbers of NSA documents on their extensive surveillance and data collection program. (N.B. To be clear, I do not condone what Snowden did, but even so this book makes for interesting reading.) How this leak happened, […]


Book Review: Isaacson's 'Steve Jobs'

Steve Jobs will forever be known as prime force behind Apple. 'Steve Jobs' by Walter Isaacson is his definitive biography, requested and authorised by Jobs himself. Having read quite a few biographies, Isaacson's biography stands out as excellent. Isaacson is a good storyteller, and combined with Jobs' energetic and polarized personality, this book was never […]


Book Review: Blockchain by Melanie Swan

Blockchain is the combination of distributed computing and cryptography that underlies Bitcoin, and it is a fascinating technology that essentially allows users in a network to have usable digital currency. But cryptocurrency is not the only use of blockchain technology: it is also verifiable reputation, contracts, and information in a decentralised manner that hints at […]


Book Review: Showstopper! by Zachary

Showstopper! by G. Pascal Zachary chronicles the development of the Windows NT operating system released in 1993. Showstopper! shows what a monumental project the NT kernel was. Lead by Dave Cutler, the Windows NT project was the first Microsoft operating system to use the NTFS filesystem and fully take advantage of 32-bit memory. The main […]