Metrical Theory of Continued Fractions

Springer Science & Business Media
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This monograph is intended to be a complete treatment of the metrical the ory of the (regular) continued fraction expansion and related representations of real numbers. We have attempted to give the best possible results known so far, with proofs which are the simplest and most direct. The book has had a long gestation period because we first decided to write it in March 1994. This gave us the possibility of essentially improving the initial versions of many parts of it. Even if the two authors are different in style and approach, every effort has been made to hide the differences. Let 0 denote the set of irrationals in I = [0,1]. Define the (reg ular) continued fraction transformation T by T (w) = fractional part of n 1/w, w E O. Write T for the nth iterate of T, n E N = {O, 1, ... }, n 1 with TO = identity map. The positive integers an(w) = al(T - (W)), n E N+ = {1,2··· }, where al(w) = integer part of 1/w, w E 0, are called the (regular continued fraction) digits of w. Writing . for arbitrary indeterminates Xi, 1 :::; i :::; n, we have w = lim [al(w),··· , an(w)], w E 0, n--->oo thus explaining the name of T. The above equation will be also written as w = lim [al(w), a2(w),···], w E O.
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Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Jun 29, 2013
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Mathematics / Counting & Numeration
Mathematics / Functional Analysis
Mathematics / Number Theory
Mathematics / Numerical Analysis
Mathematics / Probability & Statistics / General
Mathematics / Probability & Statistics / Stochastic Processes
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Edward Frenkel
A New York Times Science Bestseller

What if you had to take an art class in which you were only taught how to paint a fence? What if you were never shown the paintings of van Gogh and Picasso, weren't even told they existed? Alas, this is how math is taught, and so for most of us it becomes the intellectual equivalent of watching paint dry.

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Some years ago, "new math" took the country's classrooms by storm. Based on the abstract, general style of mathematical exposition favored by research mathematicians, its goal was to teach students not just to manipulate numbers and formulas, but to grasp the underlying mathematical concepts. The result, at least at first, was a great deal of confusion among teachers, students, and parents. Since then, the negative aspects of "new math" have been eliminated and its positive elements assimilated into classroom instruction.
In this charming volume, a noted English mathematician uses humor and anecdote to illuminate the concepts underlying "new math": groups, sets, subsets, topology, Boolean algebra, and more. According to Professor Stewart, an understanding of these concepts offers the best route to grasping the true nature of mathematics, in particular the power, beauty, and utility of pure mathematics. No advanced mathematical background is needed (a smattering of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry is helpful) to follow the author's lucid and thought-provoking discussions of such topics as functions, symmetry, axiomatics, counting, topology, hyperspace, linear algebra, real analysis, probability, computers, applications of modern mathematics, and much more.
By the time readers have finished this book, they'll have a much clearer grasp of how modern mathematicians look at figures, functions, and formulas and how a firm grasp of the ideas underlying "new math" leads toward a genuine comprehension of the nature of mathematics itself.

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