Math is boring, says the mathematician and comedian Matt Parker. Part of the problem may be the way the subject is taught, but it's also true that we all, to a greater or lesser extent, find math difficult and counterintuitive. This counterintuitiveness is actually part of the point, argues Parker: the extraordinary thing about math is that it allows us to access logic and ideas beyond what our brains can instinctively do—through its logical tools we are able to reach beyond our innate abilities and grasp more and more abstract concepts.
In the absorbing and exhilarating Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension, Parker sets out to convince his readers to revisit the very math that put them off the subject as fourteen-year-olds. Starting with the foundations of math familiar from school (numbers, geometry, and algebra), he reveals how it is possible to climb all the way up to the topology and to four-dimensional shapes, and from there to infinity—and slightly beyond.
Both playful and sophisticated, Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension is filled with captivating games and puzzles, a buffet of optional hands-on activities that entices us to take pleasure in math that is normally only available to those studying at a university level. Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension invites us to re-learn much of what we missed in school and, this time, to be utterly enthralled by it.
Part of the reason for the book's success is its marvelously varied assortment of brainteasers ranging from simple "catch" riddles to difficult problems (none, however, requiring advanced mathematics). Many of the puzzles will be new to Western readers, while some familiar problems have been clothed in new forms. Often the puzzles are presented in the form of charming stories that provide non-Russian readers with valuable insights into contemporary Russian life and customs. In addition, Martin Gardner, former editor of the Mathematical Games Department, Scientific American, has clarified and simplified the book to make it as easy as possible for an English-reading public to understand and enjoy. He has been careful, moreover, to retain nearly all the freshness, warmth, and humor of the original.
Lavishly illustrated with over 400 clear diagrams and amusing sketches, this inexpensive edition of the first English translation will offer weeks or even months of stimulating entertainment. It belongs in the library of every puzzlist or lover of recreational mathematics.
In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman travels to the very threshold of our understanding about the nature of complexity, and challenges you yourself to discover the solution to this captivating mathematical problem.
Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
The two-part selection of puzzles and paradoxes begins with examinations of the nature of infinity and some curious systems related to Gödel's theorem. The first three chapters of Part II contain generalized Gödel theorems. Symbolic logic is deferred until the last three chapters, which give explanations and examples of first-order arithmetic, Peano arithmetic, and a complete proof of Gödel's celebrated result involving statements that cannot be proved or disproved. The book also includes a lively look at decision theory, better known as recursion theory, which plays a vital role in computer science.
Is it possible that the answer to becoming a more efficient and effective thinker is learning how to forget? Yes! Mike Byster will show you how mastering this extraordinary technique—forgetting unnecessary information, sifting through brain clutter, and focusing on only important nuggets of data—will change the quality of your work and life balance forever.
Using the six tools in The Power of Forgetting, you’ll learn how to be a more agile thinker and productive individual. You will overcome the staggering volume of daily distractions that lead to to brain fog, an inability to concentrate, lack of creativity, stress, anxiety, nervousness, angst, worry, dread, and even depression. By training your brain with Byster’s exclusive quizzes and games, you’ll develop the critical skills to become more successful in all that you do, each and every day.
Lawrence Weinstein and John Adam present an eclectic array of estimation problems that range from devilishly simple to quite sophisticated and from serious real-world concerns to downright silly ones. How long would it take a running faucet to fill the inverted dome of the Capitol? What is the total length of all the pickles consumed in the US in one year? What are the relative merits of internal-combustion and electric cars, of coal and nuclear energy? The problems are marvelously diverse, yet the skills to solve them are the same. The authors show how easy it is to derive useful ballpark estimates by breaking complex problems into simpler, more manageable ones--and how there can be many paths to the right answer. The book is written in a question-and-answer format with lots of hints along the way. It includes a handy appendix summarizing the few formulas and basic science concepts needed, and its small size and French-fold design make it conveniently portable. Illustrated with humorous pen-and-ink sketches, Guesstimation will delight popular-math enthusiasts and is ideal for the classroom.
Throughout history, scientists have come up with theories and ideas that just don't seem to make sense. These we call paradoxes. The paradoxes Al-Khalili offers are drawn chiefly from physics and astronomy and represent those that have stumped some of the finest minds. For example, how can a cat be both dead and alive at the same time? Why will Achilles never beat a tortoise in a race, no matter how fast he runs? And how can a person be ten years older than his twin?
With elegant explanations that bring the reader inside the mind of those who've developed them, Al-Khalili helps us to see that, in fact, paradoxes can be solved if seen from the right angle. Just as surely as Al-Khalili narrates the enduring fascination of these classic paradoxes, he reveals their underlying logic. In doing so, he brings to life a select group of the most exciting concepts in human knowledge. Paradox is mind-expanding fun.
With coverage spanning the foundations of origami construction and advanced methods using both paper and pencil and custom-built free software, Origami Design Secrets helps readers cultivate the intuition and skills necessary to develop their own designs. It takes them beyond merely following a recipe to crafting a work of art.
Kick start your neurons at Level 1 with puzzles involving hidden words, math calculations, and logical conundrums. At Level 2, fire up your synapses with cryptograms, scrambled sentences, and visual challenges. And activate your brain at Level 3 with fill-in-the-blanks, search-a-words, magic squares, and much more. If you get stumped, an answer key with complete solutions appears at the end.
This uncommonly interesting volume covers 100 of the most famous historical problems of elementary mathematics. Not only does the book bear witness to the extraordinary ingenuity of some of the greatest mathematical minds of history — Archimedes, Isaac Newton, Leonhard Euler, Augustin Cauchy, Pierre Fermat, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Gaspard Monge, Jakob Steiner, and many others — but it provides rare insight and inspiration to any reader, from high school math student to professional mathematician. This is indeed an unusual and uniquely valuable book.
The one hundred problems are presented in six categories: 26 arithmetical problems, 15 planimetric problems, 25 classic problems concerning conic sections and cycloids, 10 stereometric problems, 12 nautical and astronomical problems, and 12 maxima and minima problems. In addition to defining the problems and giving full solutions and proofs, the author recounts their origins and history and discusses personalities associated with them. Often he gives not the original solution, but one or two simpler or more interesting demonstrations. In only two or three instances does the solution assume anything more than a knowledge of theorems of elementary mathematics; hence, this is a book with an extremely wide appeal.
Some of the most celebrated and intriguing items are: Archimedes' "Problema Bovinum," Euler's problem of polygon division, Omar Khayyam's binomial expansion, the Euler number, Newton's exponential series, the sine and cosine series, Mercator's logarithmic series, the Fermat-Euler prime number theorem, the Feuerbach circle, the tangency problem of Apollonius, Archimedes' determination of pi, Pascal's hexagon theorem, Desargues' involution theorem, the five regular solids, the Mercator projection, the Kepler equation, determination of the position of a ship at sea, Lambert's comet problem, and Steiner's ellipse, circle, and sphere problems.
This translation, prepared especially for Dover by David Antin, brings Dörrie's "Triumph der Mathematik" to the English-language audience for the first time.
The present volume contains a rich selection of 70 of the best of these brain teasers, in some cases including references to new developments related to the puzzle. Now enthusiasts can challenge their solving skills and rattle their egos with such stimulating mind-benders as The Returning Explorer, The Mutilated Chessboard, Scrambled Box Tops, The Fork in the Road, Bronx vs. Brooklyn, Touching Cigarettes, and 64 other problems involving logic and basic math. Solutions are included.
Each main topic is treated in depth from its historical conception through to its status today. Many beautiful solutions have emerged for basic chessboard problems since mathematicians first began working on them in earnest over three centuries ago, but such problems, including those involving polyominoes, have now been extended to three-dimensional chessboards and even chessboards on unusual surfaces such as toruses (the equivalent of playing chess on a doughnut) and cylinders. Using the highly visual language of graph theory, Watkins gently guides the reader to the forefront of current research in mathematics. By solving some of the many exercises sprinkled throughout, the reader can share fully in the excitement of discovery.
Showing that chess puzzles are the starting point for important mathematical ideas that have resonated for centuries, Across the Board will captivate students and instructors, mathematicians, chess enthusiasts, and puzzle devotees.
These three-dimensional models are created from a number of small pieces of paper that are easily folded and then cleverly fit together to form a spectacular shape. They range from paper polyhedra to bristling buckyballs that are reminiscent of sea urchins—to ornate flower-like spheres.
Each piece of paper is held by the tension of the other papers—demonstrating the remarkable hidden properties of paper, which is at the same time flexible but also strong!
Author Byriah Loper has been creating modular origami sculptures for just five years, but in that time, he's pushed the upper limits of the art form with some of the largest, most complex geometric paper constructions ever assembled. While many geo-modular origami artists focus on creating dense floral spheres, Byriah has pioneered the open, linear "wire frame" approach, which results in a very complex-looking model that reveals the interior of its form. He exhibits his sculptures annually at the Origami USA convention in New York, and was recently a featured artist at the "Surface to Structure" exhibition at the Cooper Union gallery in the East Village.
A great way to learn origami, the easy-to-follow diagrams and step-by-step instructions in this book show you how to fold the paper components and then assemble them to create 22 incredible models. Each model is a new challenge, and the paper sculptures you create look fantastic on your desk or shelf!
Symmetry is a fundamental phenomenon in art, science, and nature that has been captured, described, and analyzed using mathematical concepts for a long time. Inspired by the geometric intuition of Bill Thurston and empowered by his own analytical skills, John Conway, with his coauthors, has developed a comprehensive mathematical theory of symmetry that allows the description and classification of symmetries in numerous geometric environments.
This richly and compellingly illustrated book addresses the phenomenological, analytical, and mathematical aspects of symmetry on three levels that build on one another and will speak to interested lay people, artists, working mathematicians, and researchers.
Six Simple Twists: The Pleat Pattern Approach to Origami Tessellation Design explains the process of designing an origami pattern. It answers the questions "how is a tessellation folded" and "what are the further possibilities."
The author introduces an innovative pleat pattern technique of origami design that is easily accessible to anyone who enjoys the geometry of paper. The book begins with basic forms and systematically builds upon them to teach a limitless number of patterns. It then describes a process of design for the building blocks themselves. At the end, what emerges is a fascinating art form that will enrich folders for many years.
Unlike standard, project-based origami books, Six Simple Twists focuses on how to design rather than construct. This leads to a better understanding of more complicated tessellations at the advanced level.
Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind the Neon explains the mathematics involved in analyzing games of chance, including casino games, horse racing, and lotteries. The book helps readers understand the mathematical reasons why some gambling games are better for the player than others. It is also suitable as a textbook for an introductory course on probability.
Along with discussing the mathematics of well-known casino games, the author examines game variations that have been proposed or used in actual casinos. Numerous examples illustrate the mathematical ideas in a range of casino games while end-of-chapter exercises go beyond routine calculations to give readers hands-on experience with casino-related computations.
The book begins with a brief historical introduction and mathematical preliminaries before developing the essential results and applications of elementary probability, including the important idea of mathematical expectation. The author then addresses probability questions arising from a variety of games, including roulette, craps, baccarat, blackjack, Caribbean stud poker, Royal Roulette, and sic bo. The final chapter explores the mathematics behind "get rich quick" schemes, such as the martingale and the Iron Cross, and shows how simple mathematics uncovers the flaws in these systems.
Discrete mathematics has the answer to these—and many other—questions of picking, choosing, and shuffling. T. S. Michael's gem of a book brings this vital but tough-to-teach subject to life using examples from real life and popular culture. Each chapter uses one problem—such as slicing a pizza—to detail key concepts about counting numbers and arranging finite sets. Michael takes a different perspective in tackling each of eight problems and explains them in differing degrees of generality, showing in the process how the same mathematical concepts appear in varied guises and contexts. In doing so, he imparts a broader understanding of the ideas underlying discrete mathematics and helps readers appreciate and understand mathematical thinking and discovery.
This book explains the basic concepts of discrete mathematics and demonstrates how to apply them in largely nontechnical language. The explanations and formulas can be grasped with a basic understanding of linear equations.
Reimer takes you on a lively and entertaining tour of the ancient Egyptian world, providing rich historical details and amusing anecdotes as he presents a host of mathematical problems drawn from different eras of the Egyptian past. Each of these problems is like a tantalizing puzzle, often with a beautiful and elegant solution. As you solve them, you’ll be immersed in many facets of Egyptian life, from hieroglyphs and pyramid building to agriculture, religion, and even bread baking and beer brewing.
Fully illustrated in color throughout, Count Like an Egyptian also teaches you some Babylonian computation—the precursor to our modern system—and compares ancient Egyptian mathematics to today’s math, letting you decide for yourself which is better.
The ability to guesstimate on your feet is an essential skill to have in today's world, whether you're trying to distinguish between a billion-dollar subsidy and a trillion-dollar stimulus, a megawatt wind turbine and a gigawatt nuclear plant, or parts-per-million and parts-per-billion contaminants. Lawrence Weinstein begins with a concise tutorial on how to solve these kinds of order of magnitude problems, and then invites readers to have a go themselves. The book features dozens of problems along with helpful hints and easy-to-understand solutions. It also includes appendixes containing useful formulas and more.
Guesstimation 2.0 shows how to estimate everything from how closely you can orbit a neutron star without being pulled apart by gravity, to the fuel used to transport your food from the farm to the store, to the total length of all toilet paper used in the United States. It also enables readers to answer, once and for all, the most asked environmental question of our day: paper or plastic?
Like the Singapore's bar model method, the stack model method allows word problems that were traditionally read in higher grades to be set in lower grades. The stack model method empowers younger readers with the higher-order thinking skills needed to solve word problems much earlier than they would normally acquire in school.
Singapore's stack model method is a more creative and intuitive visualization problem-solving strategy than the bar model method. Brain-unfriendly word problems that are bar-model-unfriendly tend to lend themselves easily to the stack model method.
Features of the Singapore math playbook are:
● Look-See Proofs for Kids
● Visible Thinking in Mathematics
● Advanced Visual Literacy
● Creative and Higher-Order Thinking Skills
● Alternative Solutions and Thought Processes
The Stack Model Method would benefit all grades 3–4 students, teachers, and parents, as they acquaint themselves with this visualization problem-solving strategy to solve both routine and non-routine questions, while indirectly helping them to enhance their creative thinking and problem-solving skills in mathematics. Learn what the best grades 3–4 students in Singapore do in elementary math—you too can learn to solve the types of challenging questions they deal with every day in local schools and tuition centers island-wide.
Featuring more than 100 stunning color illustrations and requiring only a modest background in math, Creating Symmetry begins by addressing the enigma of a simple curve, whose curious symmetry seems unexplained by its formula. Farris describes how complex numbers unlock the mystery, and how they lead to the next steps on an engaging path to constructing waveforms. He explains how to devise waveforms for each of the 17 possible wallpaper types, and then guides you through a host of other fascinating topics in symmetry, such as color-reversing patterns, three-color patterns, polyhedral symmetry, and hyperbolic symmetry. Along the way, Farris demonstrates how to marry waveforms with photographic images to construct beautiful symmetry patterns as he gradually familiarizes you with more advanced mathematics, including group theory, functional analysis, and partial differential equations. As you progress through the book, you'll learn how to create breathtaking art images of your own.
Fun, accessible, and challenging, Creating Symmetry features numerous examples and exercises throughout, as well as engaging discussions of the history behind the mathematics presented in the book.
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