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It all started when Anna moved in next door for the summer, at the house of an old mathematician. Anna was one of those kids that loved to ask “why” and her new neighbour was not only able to answer her every question, but even to illicit further questions in her.
Their conversations started by counting the stamens of the sunflower’s blossom and trying to discern what the nicks in some prehistoric bones mean. As each summer passes, the two unlikely friends begin their journey in maths: from the origins of the first numerations to practical geometry, until they finish – through progressive definitions of the essence of number and the ever-growing challenges of more complicated figures – with today’s open ended problems of theoretical and applied mathematics.
The dialogue between the restless teenager and her occasional mentor will take the reader to a journey through the magical and, oh so, misunderstood world of mathematics, becoming aware of the fascination of the theoretical research as well as the impressive applications of mathematics in all aspects of our everyday lives.
When, finally, Anna completes her studies and in search for the thesis of her PhD, she will be the one to become our mentor and welcome us to the contemporary and vibrant mathematical research.
Taifkros Michailidis was born in Athens, in 1954, but his descent is from Cyprus. He has a PhD in Mathematics by the University Pierre et Marie Curie. He has been teaching Mathematics in secondary education, since 1981.
He has published articles and papers in the field of instructive mathematics, the introduction to computer science in education and the use of narration and story in teaching mathematics. He has written articles for the newspapers “Ta Nea”, “Eleftherotypia”, “Eleftheros Typos” and “Kathimerini”. He has translated – from English and French – 28 books, literary as well as scientific, about mathematics and the history of sciences.
In 2006 the French Government awarded him the title of Chevalier dans l' Ordre des Palmes Academiques. He is the founding member of the group “Thalis&Friends” and the Greek Club of Crime Fiction Authors. His novels have been translated in many languages – including Italian, Spanish, English, Korean, Chinese and French. He has also won the Cyprian State Award for Best Novel, for his novel Achmes, Son of the Moon (Polis, 2013).