PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A children’s book by a Brown University mathematician is among the winners of a youth book prize presented by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and the Children’s Book Council.
Really Big Numbers, by Richard Schwartz, won the inaugural “Mathical: Books for Kids from Tots to Teens” award in the grades 3 to 5 and grades 6 to 8 categories. The awards are given to “the most inspiring math-related fiction and nonfiction books” published in the previous year.
“I am delighted to have received the Mathical Award,” said Schwartz, the Chancellor’s Professor of Mathematics at Brown. “I think that the award in general is a great thing for children because it encourages people to communicate their mathematical ideas in a way that children can understand. On a personal level, the award is a big confidence booster for me. It makes me feel like people really like and appreciate my efforts along these lines.”
The book, which Schwartz illustrated himself, takes readers on a visual tour of the number system — starting with small, relatable numbers and building to giant, unimaginable ones. It is Schwartz’s second children’s book. His first, You Can Count on Monsters, was published in 2010.