Review: In Pursuit of the Unknown (Ian Stewart)


In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World, by Ian Stewart

Stewart explores a variety of important equations, including:

  • Pythagorean theorem,
  • the normal curve,
  • Newton's Law of Gravity,
  • Fourier transforms,
  • Black-Scholes

Each equation gets a little one-page summary, and a chapter of explanation. I can't say I could re-trace every step of the math and physics, but the explanations were interesting and intuitive enough that I didn't feel lost. These equations and their stories give you a feel for beauty in mathematics.