Students and puzzle enthusiasts will find plenty of thought-provoking enjoyment mixed with a bit of painless mathematical instruction among these twenty-eight conundrums. Some of them involve counting, some deal with infinity, and others draw on principles of geometry and arithmetic. None requires an extensive background in higher mathematics. Challenges include The Curve That Shook the World, a variation on the famous Monty Hall Problem, Space Travel in a Wineglass, Through Cantor's Looking Glass, and other fun-to-ponder paradoxes.
Guided by stalwart detective Hemlock Soames and his sidekick, Dr. John Watsup, readers will delve into almost two hundred mathematical problems, puzzles, and facts. Tackling subjects from mathematical dates (such as Pi Day), what we don't know about primes, and why the Earth is round, this clever, mind-expanding book demonstrates the power and fun inherent in mathematics.
Unlike many authors, however, Mr. Friedberg encourages students to think about the imaginative, playful qualities of numbers as they consider such subjects as primes and divisibility, quadratic forms and residue arithmetic and quadratic reciprocity and related theorems. Moreover, the author has included a number of unusual features to challenge and stimulate students: some of the original problems in Diophantus' Arithmetica, proofs of Fermat's Last Theorem for the exponents 3and 4, and two proofs of Wilson's Theorem.
Readers with a mathematical bent will enjoy and benefit from these entertaining and thought-provoking adventures in the fascinating realm of number theory. Mr. Friedberg is currently Professor of Physics at Barnard College, where he is Chairman of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Starting with a survey of questions on weight, the text discusses the primes, the fundamental theorem of arithmetic, rationals and irrationals, tiling, tiling and electricity, probability, infinite sets, and many other topics. Each subject illustrates a significant idea and lends itself easily to experiments and problems. Useful appendices offer an overview of the basic ideas of arithmetic, the rudiments of algebra, suggestions on teaching mathematics, and much more, including answers and comments for selected exercises.
Ideally, this text should be used for a two semester course, where the first course has no prerequisites and the second is a more challenging course for math majors; yet, the flexible structure of the book allows it to be used in a variety of settings, including as a source of various independent-study and research projects.
In this controversial book, Steven Goldberg provides a compelling look at the intersection of two of America's most powerful communities—law and science—to explain this apparent contradiction. Rarely considered in tandem, law and science highlight a fundamental paradox in the American character, the struggle between progress and process. Science, with its ethic of endless progress, has long fit beautifully with America's self image. Law, in accordance with the American ideal of giving everyone a fair say, stresses process above all else, seeking an acceptable, rather than a scientifically correct, result. This characteristic has been especially influential in light of the explosive growth of the legal community in recent years.
Exposing how the legal system both supports and restricts American science and technology, Goldberg considers the role and future of three projects—artificial intelligence, nuclear fusion, and the human genome initiative—to argue for a scientific vision that infuses research with social goals beyond the pure search for truth. Certain to provoke debate within a wide range of academic and professional communities, Culture Clash reveals one of the most important and defining conflicts in contemporary American life.