Publishers crunch the numbers with 2013 maths and science titles

Publishers crunch the numbers with 2013 maths and science titles

Popular interest in maths and science is riding high, with the Mars Curiosity Rover and the Higgs Boson particle both in the running to named Time magazine's "person" of the year.

Publishers will be getting stuck into the phenomenon next year with a range of number-crunching titles that seek to explore the universe through numbers.

In March, Atlantic will be getting in on the action with The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Mathematics from One to Infinity (1st March, £20, hb) by Steven Strogatz, a tour of how numbers shape our everyday lives. Strogatz is an applied mathematics professor at Cornell University, and the book has been praised by Alex Bellos, author of Alex's Adventures in Numberland (Bloomsbury).

Atlantic c.e.o. Toby Mundy said: "The best general non-fiction books entertain and inform and doing that successfully for mathematics is very difficult. Yet there's a strong and established market for mathematical books—it's a readership that seems to embrace people who are confident and unconfident with figures—and Strogatz is one of the most brilliant popularisers of maths around."

Also coming in March will be Quercus' take on the topic, with Chaotic Fishponds and Mirror Universes: The Strange Maths Behind the Modern World (28th March, £8.99, pb). Written by the University of Leeds' visiting fellow Richard Elwes, the book explores maths through 35 examples of its often surprising applications, including working out the odds of surviving a zombie epidemic.

Profile's April title The Norm Chronicles: Stories and Numbers About Danger (6th June, £12.99, pb), written by journalist Michael Blastland and Cambridge University's Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk, David Spiegelhalter, use statistics to show us how we play the odds when we take part in our favourite pastimes, eat our favourite meals, or even just drive down the road.

For maths purists, another Profile title will land in February. The Great Mathematical Problems (1st February, £15.99, hb) by Warwick University's Ian Stewart will guide readers through the Poincaré Conjecture and the Riemann Hypothesis, and explain why they matter.

Profile m.d. Andrew Franklin said: "There has always been a strong intelligent lay readership for maths and it shows no signs of being undermined by passing fads. If anything it is growing. There is probably an algorithm for these things, but even without knowing if it is a sin or cos curve we can enjoy it. The challenge for publishers, booksellers and readers is that much mathematics is so sophisticated that you can't understand any of it without a degree in pure maths. So mathematicians who can explain what they are doing in elegant clear prose are gold dust. And Ian Stewart is the master of them all."