**Love and Math by Edward Frenkel**

Which functions (Euler phi function) are used to encrypt credit
card numbers.

Which is larger 2/3 or 3/5 – Most people know that 2 bottles
of vodka for 3 people is better than 3 bottles for 5 people.

How we can obtain the Fibonacci sequence from its generating
function.

What does a finite field mean.

There is also a good explanation of the Langlands Program.

Very few typos (the only two I picked up were both on page 85
- should be divisible not visible and penultimate paragraph should start with ‘As
we’.)

It is really pleasing to see that the author does not shy away
from the mathematics in his writing.

However this is not a book for the layman because the
mathematics is totally inaccessible to the general audience. This is not a piece of
writing for a popular audience as I mistakenly believed it was after reading a
review before purchasing. To fully appreciate this book you should at least be
an undergraduate in mathematics or physics as it is tough going in places.

Throughout the book the author has highlighted his personal
struggles of being Jewish with the regime of the Soviet Union. This is really
interesting as I was unaware of how the regime thought of all Jews as
opponents, criminals, foes (these are my words). When depicting this the author
mentions a number of locations in Russia which he should have illustrated with
maps as most of us in the West will not be able to visualize the locations.

Additionally I have a few minor quibbles:

There are a number of terms omitted from the glossary such as
invariant, winding number.

Should have explained the term monodromy through
illustrations.

The author claims ‘It is customary to exclude 1 from this
list” (of primes). I always thought of 1 as neither prime nor composite, just a
unit.

I conclude that this is not a book for the layman.

Kuldeep Singh 15

^{th}April 2015