Bellos has traveled all around the globe and has plunged into history to uncover fascinating stories of mathematical achievement, from the breakthroughs of Euclid, the greatest mathematician of all time, to the creations of the Zen master of origami, one of the hottest areas of mathematical work today. Taking us into the wilds of the Amazon, he tells the story of a tribe there who can count only to five and reports on the latest findings about the math instinct—including the revelation that ants can actually count how many steps they’ve taken. Journeying to the Bay of Bengal, he interviews a Hindu sage about the brilliant mathematical insights of the Buddha, while in Japan he visits the godfather of Sudoku and introduces the brainteasing delights of mathematical games.
Exploring the mysteries of randomness, he explains why it is impossible for our iPods to truly randomly select songs. In probing the many intrigues of that most beloved of numbers, pi, he visits with two brothers so obsessed with the elusive number that they built a supercomputer in their Manhattan apartment to study it. Throughout, the journey is enhanced with a wealth of intriguing illustrations, such as of the clever puzzles known as tangrams and the crochet creation of an American math professor who suddenly realized one day that she could knit a representation of higher dimensional space that no one had been able to visualize.
Whether writing about how algebra solved Swedish traffic problems, visiting the Mental Calculation World Cup to disclose the secrets of lightning calculation, or exploring the links between pineapples and beautiful teeth, Bellos is a wonderfully engaging guide who never fails to delight even as he edifies. Here’s Looking at Euclid is a rare gem that brings the beauty of math to life.
Do long division as the ancient Egyptians did! Solve quadratic equations like the Babylonians! Study geometry just as students did in Euclid's day! This unique text offers students of mathematics an exciting and enjoyable approach to geometry and number systems. Written in a fresh and thoroughly diverting style, the text — while designed chiefly for classroom use — will appeal to anyone curious about mathematical inscriptions on Egyptian papyri, Babylonian cuneiform tablets, and other ancient records.
The authors have produced an illuminated volume that traces the history of mathematics — beginning with the Egyptians and ending with abstract foundations laid at the end of the nineteenth century. By focusing on the actual operations and processes outlined in the text, students become involved in the same problems and situations that once confronted the ancient pioneers of mathematics. The text encourages readers to carry out fundamental algebraic and geometric operations used by the Egyptians and Babylonians, to examine the roots of Greek mathematics and philosophy, and to tackle still-famous problems such as squaring the circle and various trisectorizations.
Unique in its detailed discussion of these topics, this book is sure to be welcomed by a broad range of interested readers. The subject matter is suitable for prospective elementary and secondary school teachers, as enrichment material for high school students, and for enlightening the general reader. No specialized or advanced background beyond high school mathematics is required.
Emphasis is on explaining the essence of concepts and the ideas of proofs, rather than presenting precise formal statements and full proofs. Each section starts with concepts and results easily explained, and gradually proceeds to more difficult ones. The notes after each section present some formal definitions, theorems and proofs.
Logical Foundations of Mathematics and Computational Complexity is aimed at graduate students of all fields of mathematics who are interested in logic, complexity and foundations. It will also be of interest for both physicists and philosophers who are curious to learn the basics of logic and complexity theory.
Do you dream about long division in your sleep? Does the thought of solving abstruse equations bring a smile to your face? Do you love celebrating pi every March? Then, Math Geek was made for you! With this guide, you'll learn even more about the power of numbers as you explore their brilliant nature in ways you've never imagined. From manhole covers to bubbles to subway maps, each page gives you a glimpse of the world through renowned mathematicians' eyes and reveals how their theorems and equations can be applied to nearly everything you encounter. Covering dozens of your favorite math topics, you'll find fascinating answers to questions like:How are the waiting times for buses determined?Why is Romanesco Broccoli so mesmerizing?How do you divide a cake evenly?Should you run or walk to avoid rain showers? Filled with compelling mathematical explanations, Math Geek sheds light on the incredible world of numbers hidden deep within your day-to-day life.
While focusing primarily on mathematical issues of the 20th century (notably Godel's theorem of 1931 and decision problems in general), the work takes a look as well at the mind-bending formulations of such brilliant men as Galileo, Leibniz, Georg Cantor and Lewis Carroll ― and describes them in readily accessible detail. Readers will find themselves engrossed in delightful elucidations of methods for misunderstanding the real world by experiment (Aristotle's Circle paradox), being led astray by algebra (De Morgan's paradox), failing to comprehend real events through logic (the Swedish Civil Defense Exercise paradox), mistaking infinity (Euler's paradox), understanding how chance ceases to work in the real world (the Petersburg paradox) and other puzzling problems. Some high school algebra and geometry is assumed; any other math needed is developed in the text. Entertaining and mind-expanding, this volume will appeal to anyone looking for challenging mental exercises.