CTK Insights

14 Sep

Review of Coffee, Love and Matrix Algebra

I am admittedly a compulsive reader. I either stop reading a book if I do not like it, or I continue reading until finished - with only obligatory interruptions. Gary Davis' book brought me an entirely new and tantalizing experience. Gary used daily tweets on twitter.com to announce new installation at his popular blog Republic of Mathematics (http://www.blog.republicofmath.com/). So there was no other way but to do the reading a chapter a day. Had it been my choice - and I can candidly say that after the fact - I would have gobbled the book in one setting.

The story is about a year long episode in a life of a college math department. Any one, I believe, who ever held a position in an academic department would easily identify the traits of Gary's protagonists as shared by some of their colleagues. The characters were authentic, evolution of events realistic; it took me a while to realize that the book was entirely a work of fiction.

Naturally, while there are similarities, not all math departments are the same; Gary's no different in this respect. It is painted with its own problems and peculiarities. Although a mathematics professor, Gary navigates his story with the skill of a professional writer. He narrates his story that takes several imaginative turns with confidence of a participant and kind humor of life's keen observer. That's a great story, masterfully and engagingly told. Read and enjoy.

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