Monday, October 16, 2006
At number ten...
OK, so on with the top ten proper (the afore-mentioned Blackie Chambers books have now been given the maths teacher "Lifetime Achievement Award" for services to snotty-nosed Scottish weans of the last century and so are ineligible for the actual top ten).
Every day this week (guess who's on holiday) and beyond (guess who can count) I'll be unveiling my choices, in reverse order of course, for the much-coveted "Best Maths Textbook Ever" awards, aka "The Summys".
So, at number ten: Euclid's Elements. OK, so it's not flying off the shelves these days, but all the same, you have to recognise what was surely the first proper textbook, and one that exerted an influence on UK maths education even into the 20th Century. It's even mentioned in Shakespeare: I am undone/With queftion number one/And have no clue/As to queftion number two (line famously cut from Hamlet, just before the prince wonders which pencil to use for his art homework).
Unfortunately Euclid can't make it tonight, but in his place the award is received by Major Lam-Wham von Psycho-Tippler, spokesman for the "Back to Basics: Keep Britain Greek" campaign.
Tune in tomorrow for number nine.