Author: Amir D. Aczel
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2009-04-29
Nicolas Bourbaki, whose mathematical publications began to appear in the late 1930s and continued to be published through most of the twentieth century, was a direct product as well as a major force behind an important revolution that took place in the early decades of the twentieth century that completely changed Western culture. Pure mathematics, the area of Bourbaki's work, seems on the surface to be an abstract field of human study with no direct connection with the real world. In reality, however, it is closely intertwined with the general culture that surrounds it. Major developments in mathematics have often followed important trends in popular culture; developments in mathematics have acted as harbingers of change in the surrounding human culture. The seeds of change, the beginnings of the revolution that swept the Western world in the early decades of the twentieth century — both in mathematics and in other areas — were sown late in the previous century. This is the story both of Bourbaki and the world that created him in that time. It is the story of an elaborate intellectual joke — because Bourbaki, one of the foremost mathematicians of his day — never existed.
Author: Sara N. Hottinger
Publisher: SUNY Press
Release Date: 2016-03-01
Considers how our ideas about mathematics shape our individual and cultural relationship to the field. Where and how do we, as a culture, get our ideas about mathematics and about who can engage with mathematical knowledge? Sara N. Hottinger uses a cultural studies approach to address how our ideas about mathematics shape our individual and cultural relationship to the field. She considers four locations in which representations of mathematics contribute to our cultural understanding of mathematics: mathematics textbooks, the history of mathematics, portraits of mathematicians, and the field of ethnomathematics. Hottinger examines how these discourses shape mathematical subjectivity by limiting the way some groups—including women and people of color—are able to see themselves as practitioners of math. Inventing the Mathematician provides a blueprint for how to engage in a deconstructive project, revealing the limited and problematic nature of the normative construction of mathematical subjectivity.
" A comic, bittersweet tale of family evocative of The Yiddish Policemen's Union and Everything Is Illuminated Alexander "Sasha" Karnokovitch and his family would like to mourn the passing of his mother, Rachela, with modesty and dignity. But Rachela, a famous Polish e;migre; mathematician and professor at the University of Wisconsin, is rumored to have solved the million-dollar, Navier-Stokes Millennium Prize Problem. Rumor also has it that she spitefully took the solution to her grave. To Sasha's chagrin, a ragtag group of socially challenged mathematicians arrives in Madison and crashes the shiva, vowing to do whatever it takes to find the solution-even if it means prying up the floorboards for Rachela's notes. Written by a trained geophysicist, this hilarious and multi-layered debut novel brims with colorful characters and brilliantly captures humanity's drive not just to survive, but to solve the impossible"--
Internationally famous mathematician Ioan James and accomplished psychiatrist Michael Fitzgerald look at the complex world of mathematics and the mind. They discuss mathematics and the arts, savants, gender and mathematical ability, and the impact of autism, personality disorders, and mood disorders.
Author: Mario Livio
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2011-02-22
Bestselling author and astrophysicist Mario Livio examines the lives and theories of history’s greatest mathematicians to ask how—if mathematics is an abstract construction of the human mind—it can so perfectly explain the physical world. Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner once wondered about “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” in the formulation of the laws of nature. Is God a Mathematician? investigates why mathematics is as powerful as it is. From ancient times to the present, scientists and philosophers have marveled at how such a seemingly abstract discipline could so perfectly explain the natural world. More than that—mathematics has often made predictions, for example, about subatomic particles or cosmic phenomena that were unknown at the time, but later were proven to be true. Is mathematics ultimately invented or discovered? If, as Einstein insisted, mathematics is “a product of human thought that is independent of experience,” how can it so accurately describe and even predict the world around us? Physicist and author Mario Livio brilliantly explores mathematical ideas from Pythagoras to the present day as he shows us how intriguing questions and ingenious answers have led to ever deeper insights into our world. This fascinating book will interest anyone curious about the human mind, the scientific world, and the relationship between them.
Author: Sydney Henry Gould
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2012-12-06
The Board of Trustees of the American Mathematical Society, expressing its belief that a great deal of time would be saved for mathematicians if they could study a textbook of Russian precisely adapted to their needs, granted to the present author nine months leave of absence from his duties as Editor of Translations. To the Board, and to Gordon L. Walker, the Exec utive Director of the Society, who took the initiative in this matter with his customary energy and good will, the author is deeply gratefUl for the opportunity to write such a book. For indispensable help and advice in the preparation of the book, which was written chiefly in Gottingen, Moscow and Belgrade, gratitude is due to many people, especially to Martin Kneser of the Mathematics Institute in Gottingen, S. M. Nikol'skii and L. D. Kudrjavcev of the Steklov Institute in Moscow, T. P. Andjelic of the Mathematics Institute in the Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Sciences, G. Kurepa and B. Terzic of the Mathematics and Slav istics Departments in the University of Belgrade, and Alexander Schenker of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures in Yale University. For expert assistance, both secretarial and linguistic, the author is indebted to his wife Katherine and his son William, for proficient typing of the Reading Selections to Tamara Burmeister, Secretary of the Slavistics Depart ment in Belgrade, and Christine Lefian, editorial assistant in the American Mathematical Society. Providence, USA S. H.
Author: S. R. Ranganathan
Publisher: Ess Ess Publication
Release Date: 2009-05-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
This is the moving story of the life of Ramanujan the great Indian mathematical genius who appeared suddenly as a meteor in 1887, rushed through a short span of thirty-two years, consumed himself and disappeared with equal suddenness. At the age of thirteen, he had mastered Loney's Trigonometry and even calculated the length of the earth. Son of a clerk in a cloth merchant's shop in Kumbakonam, before the was 23, had filled a whole notebook with hundreds of mathematical theorems and results, in spite of poverty, unemployment and absence of anyone who could understand his work. Many of the theorems were new to the mathematical world and some have not yet been proved. The book unfolds in quick succession, the chief events of his life beginning with his search in 1911 for a clerical post, always carrying his notebook under his arm, to his sailing to England in 1914 and his return home in 1919. In Cambridge he was soon acknowledged to be the most remarkable mathematician of our times and was elected a Fellow of the Trinity College of Cambridge and a Fellow to The Royal Society at the early age of thirty. The book contains the reminiscences of several surviving contemporaries of Ramanujan. It highlights his penetrating intuition and childlike simplicity. He was a 'Seer' in mathematics. Though agnostic in arguments, he was ever conscious of the immanence of God.
Author: David Ruelle
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2018-06-26
The Mathematician's Brain poses a provocative question about the world's most brilliant yet eccentric mathematical minds: were they brilliant because of their eccentricities or in spite of them? In this thought-provoking and entertaining book, David Ruelle, the well-known mathematical physicist who helped create chaos theory, gives us a rare insider's account of the celebrated mathematicians he has known-their quirks, oddities, personal tragedies, bad behavior, descents into madness, tragic ends, and the sublime, inexpressible beauty of their most breathtaking mathematical discoveries. Consider the case of British mathematician Alan Turing. Credited with cracking the German Enigma code during World War II and conceiving of the modern computer, he was convicted of "gross indecency" for a homosexual affair and died in 1954 after eating a cyanide-laced apple--his death was ruled a suicide, though rumors of assassination still linger. Ruelle holds nothing back in his revealing and deeply personal reflections on Turing and other fellow mathematicians, including Alexander Grothendieck, René Thom, Bernhard Riemann, and Felix Klein. But this book is more than a mathematical tell-all. Each chapter examines an important mathematical idea and the visionary minds behind it. Ruelle meaningfully explores the philosophical issues raised by each, offering insights into the truly unique and creative ways mathematicians think and showing how the mathematical setting is most favorable for asking philosophical questions about meaning, beauty, and the nature of reality. The Mathematician's Brain takes you inside the world--and heads--of mathematicians. It's a journey you won't soon forget.
Author: Hannah Fry
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2015-02-03
Genre: Family & Relationships
In this must-have for anyone who wants to better understand their love life, a mathematician pulls back the curtain and reveals the hidden patterns—from dating sites to divorce, sex to marriage—behind the rituals of love. The roller coaster of romance is hard to quantify; defining how lovers might feel from a set of simple equations is impossible. But that doesn’t mean that mathematics isn’t a crucial tool for understanding love. Love, like most things in life, is full of patterns. And mathematics is ultimately the study of patterns—from predicting the weather to the fluctuations of the stock market, the movement of planets or the growth of cities. These patterns twist and turn and warp and evolve just as the rituals of love do. In The Mathematics of Love, Dr. Hannah Fry takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the patterns that define our love lives, applying mathematical formulas to the most common yet complex questions pertaining to love: What’s the chance of finding love? What’s the probability that it will last? How do online dating algorithms work, exactly? Can game theory help us decide who to approach in a bar? At what point in your dating life should you settle down? From evaluating the best strategies for online dating to defining the nebulous concept of beauty, Dr. Fry proves—with great insight, wit, and fun—that math is a surprisingly useful tool to negotiate the complicated, often baffling, sometimes infuriating, always interesting, mysteries of love.
Author: Jacques Hadamard
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 1945
Fifty years ago when Jacques Hadamard set out to explore how mathematicians invent new ideas, he considered the creative experiences of some of the greatest thinkers of his generation, such as George Polya, Claude L�vi-Strauss, and Albert Einstein. It appeared that inspiration could strike anytime, particularly after an individual had worked hard on a problem for days and then turned attention to another activity. In exploring this phenomenon, Hadamard produced one of the most famous and cogent cases for the existence of unconscious mental processes in mathematical invention and other forms of creativity. Written before the explosion of research in computers and cognitive science, his book, originally titled The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field, remains an important tool for exploring the increasingly complex problem of mental life. The roots of creativity for Hadamard lie not in consciousness, but in the long unconscious work of incubation, and in the unconscious aesthetic selection of ideas that thereby pass into consciousness. His discussion of this process comprises a wide range of topics, including the use of mental images or symbols, visualized or auditory words, "meaningless" words, logic, and intuition. Among the important documents collected is a letter from Albert Einstein analyzing his own mechanism of thought.
The Mathematics Book is a how-to-do-it book embedded in a stylish coffee table book, created especially for adults with a minimal knowledge of mathematics. The book provides a practical mathematics course in line with international adult numeracy standards. It enables readers to develop a set of foundational maths skills - fractions, algebra, trigonometry, statistics and even long division! But mathematics is more than merely developing skills. The Mathematics Book enables readers to gain a global view of mathematics -the applications, the ideas, the romance, the beauty, the human endeavour and the pivotal role it plays in contemporary society. It also allows them to experience some of the challenges, satisfactions and pleasures that can be found in the amazing world of mathematics.