Icons of Mathematics: An Exploration of Twenty Key Images is a book on elementary geometry for a popular audience. It was written by Roger B. Nelsen and Claudi Alsina, and published by the Mathematical Association of America in 2011 as volume 45 of their Dolciani Mathematical Expositions book series.


Each of the book's 20 chapters begins with an iconic mathematical diagram, and discusses an interrelated set of topics inspired by that diagram, including results in geometry, their proofs and visual demonstrations, background material, biographies of mathematicians, historical illustrations and quotations, and connections to real-world applications.[1][2][3]

The topics include:

Audience and reception

Reviewer E. J. Barbeau recommends the book to high-school level mathematics students and teachers.[1] Cheryl McAllister suggests it as auxiliary material for both high school and general-audience college mathematics courses,[3] and Hans-Wolfgang Henn adds that it also makes enjoyable light reading for professional mathematicians.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Barbeau, E. J. (2012), Mathematical Reviews, MR 2816682CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e Henn, Hans-Wolfgang, zbMATH, Zbl 1230.00001CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  3. ^ a b c McAllister, Cheryl J. (May 2012), "Review", MAA Reviews, Mathematical Association of America