Finding Zero: A Mathematician’s Odyssey to Uncover the Origins of Numbers

Where do our numbers come from?  This book is for anyone who’s asked that question and never liked the answer they received.  In this masterful telling of his personal quest to find the answer the author, Amir D. Aczel, skillfully guides the reader through the origin of his exposure to this question and the journey to discover its answer.

This book is written from the first person with a generous pen.  While most professional scholars will write in styles fit only for academic journals Amir writes this piece so the reader’s ability to comprehend mathematical concepts aren’t an issue in allowing them to enjoy the book.  I found it simply marvelous!  Not only in his style of narration but also in the way he artfully moves the reader through each page as if we were perched over his shoulder through this significant adventure.

Is finding 0 an adventure?  Yes!  While others have asked the question before most of them have stopped at the surface answers.  Amir decides to get to the root of those answers to discover the truth underneath the surface.  In his quest he describes staying in elegant palaces and dundgie hotels, getting lost in foreign countries, finding the oldest zero and then having it taken from him right under his nose.  Amir D. Aczel is basically the Indiana Jones for math nerds–even the ones whose grades were so good in math in high school (I got a D-).

Audible versions available, so if you’re traveling this holiday season, it’s worth picking up!

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