For the Recorde

A History of Welsh Mathematical Greats

Author(s) Gareth Ffowc Roberts

Language: English

Genre(s): Science

  • September 2022 · 160 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786839169
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786839176
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786839183

About The Book

This book celebrates the life and work of twelve mathematicians who were either born in Wales or who worked in Wales. When the Welsh national anthem was composed in 1856, Wales was at the centre of the industrial revolution, the country was transformed by engineering and technology, and scientific societies flourished across the length and breadth of the land. By 1859, Charles Darwin had published his On the Origin of Species, and one of its outcomes in Wales was a growing tension between religion and science, which influenced peoples’ perceptions of their Welshness. By the end of the nineteenth century, that perception had narrowed to include its poetry, music, religion and little else. Following the popularity of his book Count Us In, the author adopts a similar style inviting us to take pride in our mathematicians and demonstrating how the tide has turned.


‘This is a book about mathematics, which will appeal to anyone with any interest in the history of Wales. It outlines vividly and understandably the achievements of our mathematicians, so important to that history and vital to our understanding of the world today, shaped and changed by mathematics.’
Dr Elin Jones, historian and educationalist

‘For the Recorde fair coasts along on the waves of Gareth Ffowc Roberts’s enthusiasm for the subject and the clear delight he has in the patterns and mysteries of the world – some of them solved by maths, and others always tantalisingly out of reach. But Roberts’s real gift is presenting maths, this sometimes arcane-seeming branch of science, once thought of as a black art in itself, as something understandable, human and altogether alive.’
Jon Gower, Nation.Cymru


Map of Wales
Think of a number
From Môn across the Menai
How I wish I could calculate pi
Chance and circumstance
Building bridges
A giant among pygmies
What is the title of this chapter?
Mathematics for the million
Whence then cometh wisdom?
Clearing the bottleneck
Precise imprecision
Go for gold
In conclusion
Answers to puzzles
Notes on chapters

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Gareth Ffowc Roberts

Gareth Ffowc Roberts is Emeritus Professor of Education at Bangor University.

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