Ian Stewart

The Joy of Mathematics is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Ian Stewart, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick and bestselling science and science fiction writer. For Ian Stewart, mathematics is far more than dreary arithmetic, while mathematical thinking is one of the most important—and overlooked—aspects of contemporary society. This wide-ranging conversation explores what mathematics is and why it’s worth doing, symmetry, networks and patterns, the relationship between logic and proof, the role of beauty in mathematical thinking, the future of mathematics, linking mathematical oscillations to animal gaits, how to deal with the peculiarities of the mathematical community, and much more.

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Counting Sheep, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

  1. Fear and Loathing – Mathematics and the wider world
  2. Doing Mathematics – An insider’s view
  3. Teaching Mathematics – How to get unstuck and other valuable lessons
  4. Mathematics and Gender – Portuguese mysteries
  5. Mathematics Everywhere – And widely underappreciated




Available in electronic format on all major booksellers, including:





The Joy of Mathematics is also part of the five-part Ideas Roadshow CollectionConversations About Anthropology & Sociology, which is available in both paperback and electronic format.