The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity

Strogatz, Steven

Publication date:




This text gives various examples in how math can be used in daily life and throughout history. The author gives explanations of certain theories while telling a story. He presents that may at times be a little silly or strange even, but are far more useful than most ideas presented in textbooks that are used in school.


The readability given by the Flesch-Kinkaid model was a 7.1. I feel that this is reasonable for my classroom considering that Algebra 1 is usually a seventh or eighth grade class. Some of the sections in this book may have be geared towards a higher reading level than others, simply based on the story or example that the author is giving at that time. I feel like this can be beneficial to the students as they can take it upon themselves to pick an excerpt that is suitable for their own level. Also this book has plenty of illustrations, which I think is very helpful in allowing the students to understand the concepts in which he discusses.

Use in Class

I feel that it is very important for students to understand the applications and importance of math outside the classroom. I would use this text as a resource for students to gather information on how math can be used in daily lives. They will have to pick a section from this book to study. They will then be required to submit a short write up on the subject, explaining the application and its importance in their own words. In class I would have each student present the topic they chose, during which we will discuss the topic and whether or not the class thinks it is an applicable topic or not and why. The purpose of this exercise will be to broaden the students horizons on the importance and use of mathematics.

Unit Focus


Submitted by Leah Powell

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