book review
"I am certain, absolutely certain that...these theories will be recognized as fundamental at some point in the future."
Sophus Lie said these words more than hundred years ago. We know now that he was right, absolutely right. The notions of "Lie groups" and "Lie algebras" are in the vocabulary of every mathematician and physicist today. Lie's theories are indispensable tools for understanding the physical laws of Nature.

Over the last decade, the discipline of neuropsychology has shed light on many aspects of human thought. Brain scans, carefully structured behavioural experiments, and the study of individuals who have suffered brain damage, have taught us much about which abilities are native to humans and which learned; which abilities can be lost and what happens when they are.

Ever since Watson and Crick worked out the double helix structure of DNA in 1953, the role of genetics in biology has grown and grown. Genetic determinism  the belief that we are controlled by our genes and that no other factor is significant  is now allpervasive.

ver the last hundred years, human understanding of the nature of the universe has expanded at a mindboggling rate; and over the last forty, Kip Thorne, along with Stephen Hawking, who wrote the foreword to this book, have been among the group of people shining most light into the darkness. But, aware that his research is carried out on behalf of us all, Thorne has not neglected the task of explaining its results to the rest of us.

What is the nature of the universe that we live in? This is a question that has exercised philosophers and scientists for as long as people have been able to think. Almost everyone has asked it at one time or another, in one form or another. It is hard to imagine a more fundamental question.

Research on the Universe leads to many such startling conclusions and this book attempts to describe some of the surprising phenomena which occupy astronomers and cosmologists.
Our Universe, Martin Rees' laboratory, allows its natural laws to be cleverly interpreted at arm's length, by observing the 'extreme' physics which we could never replicate in a laboratory. The biggest questions have an almost philosophical tenor.

This book attempts to take a firm grip on a corner of the slippery issue of consciousness. It is directly related to Roger Penrose's earlier, hugely successful work, The Emperor's New Mind. Although much space is devoted to painstaking replies to the criticisms made of the earlier book, this is not simply a sequel. It contains a number of new ideas, some of which are still being actively debated seven years after the book was first published.

This CD ROM, produced by the Centre for the Popularisation of Mathematics at the University of Wales in Bangor, is a most unusual mixture of mathematical exposition and modern art. A central part of the content is a gallery of sculptures by John Robinson, much of whose work takes inspiration from mathematical objects, such as fractals and knots. This work, described by the artist as symbolic sculpture, uses forms such as the logarithmic spiral, and makes connections with the forces that shape our universe.

This beautifully illustrated book by the world's leading authority on African mathematics provides us with a wideranging introduction to mathematical intuition in subSaharan African cultures. These cultures are extremely diverse and expressive in their creation of designs and motifs that embody geometrical and topological ideas. No one is better qualified to tell us about it than Paulus Gerdes, who has lived and worked in Mozambique for many years. 
"As ObiWan Kenobi said about the Light Sabre in Star Wars IV, a sliderule is an ancient weapon from a more civilised age," state Chris Budd and Chris Sangwin in their book, Mathematics Galore, soon to released by Oxford University Press. The book digs up the sliderule and a few more historical artefacts, as well as the art of country dancing, to present a pickandmix bag of mathematical ideas for the aspiring mathematician or the mathematically inclined general reader.
