From Zero to Infinity

From Zero to Infinity, 4th ed.
by Constance Reid

The Mathematical Association of America
0-88385-505-4 (paper)
C, T, GA **


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This book covers selected topics in number theory. Partly expository, it nonetheless challenges the reader's mind in clever and nonthreatening ways. The author declares that each nonnegative integer is interesting: "For if there were any uninteresting [nonnegative integers], there would of necessity be a smallest uninteresting number and it, for that reason alone, would be very interesting." There are 12 chapters. Ten are named after the 10 is devoted to the natural number e, and one to the first transfinite cardinal, aleph-zero. For each digit, the author reveals special properties, but these are subtly selected to provide a body of knowledge of all the natural numbers that is sufficient, by chapter 9, to expect the reader to appreciate quadratic reciprocity! This is a new edition of a book continuously in print for over 35 years.

--Reviewed by W. R. Utz in Science Books and Films, 28/6 (August/September 1992), p. 165.