Nine Zulu Queens Ruled China

I mentioned the other day when I finished reading Death by Black Hole that I was going to read Isaac Asimov’s essay collection, The Secret of the Universe next. I have since changed my mind. This morning, I started a book that I bought back in October and have been wanting to read for some time, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet: Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imagined History of Algebra by John Derbyshire. I enjoy books on mathematical subjects and have read several. I started this one this morning on the train into work and so far, I’m not disappointed.

Incidentally, the title of this blog entry, “Nine Zulu Queens Ruled China” is a non-sense mnemonic for the nested number sets used in number theory: N represents the natural numbers, Z represents the integers, Q represents the rational numbers, R represents real numbers, and C represents complex numbers (which include imaginary numbers).

Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.