The Beauty of Falling: A Life in Pursuit of Gravity by Claudia de Rham – a review

NB. I was sent this book as a review copy.

From Princeton University Press

I’ve read many many books popularising aspects of theoretical physics. I’ve also read many autobiographies, talking about what it is like to be a theoretical physicist. However, this book combines the two more beautifully than I have read in any other. On the one hand, the book takes the reader on a journey through our understanding of gravity, from Newton to Einstein, to theories of cosmology, the cosmological constant problem and on to the gravitational wave experiments which have been revolutionising our view of the universe over the last few years, and finally to the theory that Claudia de Rham has helped to pioneer over the last two decades. The exploration of Massive Gravity is reserved for the final two chapters. Yet, this complex topic is presented in a remarkably clear manner, both showing the theoretical hurdles that had to be overcome, while¬†also looking at a range of experiments which may shed light on its veracity.…

By | March 29th, 2024|Book reviews, Reviews|1 Comment

Datascience for Neuroimaging: An Introduction, by Ariel Rokem and Tal Yarkoni – A review

NB. I was sent this book as a review copy.

From Princeton University Press

I initially presumed that this book would begin with a relatively advanced level of coding knowledge before delving into neuroimaging. However, its broader scope makes it a far better and more thorough resource. In fact, coding discussions start only after the first 50 pages. The initial 50 pages provide a superb introduction to the prerequisites for Python coding. Two particularly notable areas, unusual for books of this type, are the in-depth introductions to version control (Git) and computational environments and containers (Conda and Docker). Such topics are often omitted from introductory coding books, leading to significant challenges for students with some coding experience. For example, many students end up reinstalling Linux due to not setting up a virtual environment, indicative of the widespread lack of awareness among those with intermediate coding knowledge. Moreover, in-depth discussion of version control is rare in books focusing on specific applied data science topics.…

By | March 3rd, 2024|Book reviews, Reviews|1 Comment