Author: Matt Parker
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: 2014-12-02
A book from the stand-up mathematician that makes math fun again! 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.
Cut pizzas in new and fairer ways! Fit a 2p coin through an impossibly small hole! Make a perfect regular pentagon by knotting a piece of paper! Tie your shoes faster than ever before, saving literally seconds of your life! Use those extra seconds to contemplate the diminishing returns of an exclamation-point at the end of every bullet-point! Make a working computer out of dominoes! Maths is a game. This book can be cut, drawn in, folded into shapes and will even take you to the fourth dimension. So join stand-up mathematician Matt Parker on a journey through narcissistic numbers, optimal dating algorithms, at least two different kinds of infinity and more.
Mathematics made mouth-watering. Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension is an alternative math class. How can math help you choose a second-hand car? Why is a text message like a Sudoku? How much fun can you have with a barcode? Matt Parker explains that math is difficult because it's one of the few subjects that requires us to train our brains to think in an entirely new way, and to confront things with no direct analogy in everyday life--imaginary numbers, snowflakes that only exist in 196884 dimensions, and objects beyond infinity--and shows us why it's worth the effort. Starting with basic arithmetic and geometry, Things To Make and Do teaches us the math we never got to enjoy at school. Each chapter is structured around activities and thought experiments: we are invited to make a calculator out of dominoes, find out why wrapping oranges in plastic wrap is a good way to learn about higher dimensions, and discover what soap bubbles have to teach us about calculus. A series of incremental and hugely entertaining steps take us all the way from simple algebra to the most exotic and fascinating ideas in mathematics: Klein bottles, higher dimensional topology and the many different species of infinity, via unimaginably small pizza slices, Mobius strips and a thorough examination of The Sausage Conjecture. This lively, funny, and deeply intelligent book teaches math in a fun, interactive manner rather than by rote learning and exercises. You'll not look at the number 37 the same way again. And you just might take part in Mobius strip craftwork.
Author: Noson S. Yanofsky
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2013-08-23
Many books explain what is known about the universe. This book investigates what cannot be known. Rather than exploring the amazing facts that science, mathematics, and reason have revealed to us, this work studies what science, mathematics, and reason tell us cannot be revealed. In The Outer Limits of Reason, Noson Yanofsky considers what cannot be predicted, described, or known, and what will never be understood. He discusses the limitations of computers, physics, logic, and our own thought processes.Yanofsky describes simple tasks that would take computers trillions of centuries to complete and other problems that computers can never solve; perfectly formed English sentences that make no sense; different levels of infinity; the bizarre world of the quantum; the relevance of relativity theory; the causes of chaos theory; math problems that cannot be solved by normal means; and statements that are true but cannot be proven. He explains the limitations of our intuitions about the world -- our ideas about space, time, and motion, and the complex relationship between the knower and the known.Moving from the concrete to the abstract, from problems of everyday language to straightforward philosophical questions to the formalities of physics and mathematics, Yanofsky demonstrates a myriad of unsolvable problems and paradoxes. Exploring the various limitations of our knowledge, he shows that many of these limitations have a similar pattern and that by investigating these patterns, we can better understand the structure and limitations of reason itself. Yanofsky even attempts to look beyond the borders of reason to see what, if anything, is out there.
Author: Siobhan Roberts
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2009-05-26
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
"There is perhaps no better way to prepare for the scientific breakthroughs of tomorrow than to learn the language of geometry." -Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe The word "geometry" brings to mind an array of mathematical images: circles, triangles, the Pythagorean Theorem. Yet geometry is so much more than shapes and numbers; indeed, it governs much of our lives-from architecture and microchips to car design, animated movies, the molecules of food, even our own body chemistry. And as Siobhan Roberts elegantly conveys in The King of Infinite Space, there can be no better guide to the majesty of geometry than Donald Coxeter, perhaps the greatest geometer of the twentieth century. Many of the greatest names in intellectual history-Pythagoras, Plato, Archimedes, Euclid- were geometers, and their creativity and achievements illuminate those of Coxeter, revealing geometry to be a living, ever-evolving endeavor, an intellectual adventure that has always been a building block of civilization. Coxeter's special contributions-his famed Coxeter groups and Coxeter diagrams-have been called by other mathematicians "tools as essential as numbers themselves," but his greatest achievement was to almost single-handedly preserve the tradition of classical geometry when it was under attack in a mathematical era that valued all things austere and rational. Coxeter also inspired many outside the field of mathematics. Artist M. C. Escher credited Coxeter with triggering his legendary Circle Limit patterns, while futurist/inventor Buckminster Fuller acknowledged that his famed geodesic dome owed much to Coxeter's vision. The King of Infinite Space is an elegant portal into the fascinating, arcane world of geometry.
Mathematics is often thought of as the coldest expression of pure reason. But few subjects provoke hotter emotions--and inspire more love and hatred--than mathematics. And although math is frequently idealized as floating above the messiness of human life, its story is nothing if not human; often, it is all too human. Loving and Hating Mathematics is about the hidden human, emotional, and social forces that shape mathematics and affect the experiences of students and mathematicians. Written in a lively, accessible style, and filled with gripping stories and anecdotes, Loving and Hating Mathematics brings home the intense pleasures and pains of mathematical life. These stories challenge many myths, including the notions that mathematics is a solitary pursuit and a "young man's game," the belief that mathematicians are emotionally different from other people, and even the idea that to be a great mathematician it helps to be a little bit crazy. Reuben Hersh and Vera John-Steiner tell stories of lives in math from their very beginnings through old age, including accounts of teaching and mentoring, friendships and rivalries, love affairs and marriages, and the experiences of women and minorities in a field that has traditionally been unfriendly to both. Included here are also stories of people for whom mathematics has been an immense solace during times of crisis, war, and even imprisonment--as well as of those rare individuals driven to insanity and even murder by an obsession with math. This is a book for anyone who wants to understand why the most rational of human endeavors is at the same time one of the most emotional.
A Dingo Ate My Math Book presents ingenious, unusual, and beautiful nuggets of mathematics with a distinctly Australian flavor. It focuses, for example, on Australians' love of sports and gambling, and on Melbourne's iconic, mathematically inspired architecture. Written in a playful and humorous style, the book offers mathematical entertainment as well as a glimpse of Australian culture for the mathematically curious of all ages. This collection of engaging stories was extracted from the Maths Masters column that ran from 2007 to 2014 in Australia's Age newspaper. The maths masters in question are Burkard Polster and Marty Ross, two (immigrant) Aussie mathematicians, who each week would write about math in the news, providing a new look at old favorites, mathematical history, quirks of school mathematics—whatever took their fancy. All articles were written for a very general audience, with the intention of being as inviting as possible and assuming a minimum of mathematical background.
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.
One of the most talented contemporary authors of cutting-edge math and science books conducts a fascinating tour of a higher reality, the fourth dimension. Includes problems, puzzles, and 200 drawings. "Informative and mind-dazzling." — Martin Gardner.
Author: Mark Malloch-brown
Release Date: 2011-02-17
Genre: Political Science
An incomparable public servant and internationalist offers a new vision for international cooperation. In The Unfinished Global Revolution, former United Nations deputy secretary general Mark Malloch- Brown diagnoses the central global predicament of the twenty-first century-as we have become more integrated, we have also become less governed. National governments are no longer equipped to address complex global issues, from climate change to poverty, and international organizations have not yet been empowered to step into the breach. In this book, Malloch- Brown wrenches the discussion away from terrorism, nationalism, and Iraq and calls for a new global politics-a bigger league, with greater opportunity for all. Beneath a spotlight rarely reserved for public servants, Malloch-Brown has been at the center of recent world events: at the World Bank, when it was under siege from activists; and at the UN, where he fought off conservative critics who first attacked its role in development and then turned on Kofi Annan after the Iraq war. In The Unfinished Global Revolution, he draws on his experiences at the front lines of international development over the past several decades-from Cambodia to Darfur, and from Washington to UN headquarters-in order to provide a personal, on-the-ground view of seemingly abstract challenges. The Unfinished Global Revolution chronicles how over the past few decades domestic problems- from unemployment to environmental distress- increasingly have international roots. As national politicians lose control to impersonal global forces, they will be forced to become more effective participants in international mechanisms, such as the United Nations, that may offer the only viable solutions. Increasingly, ad hoc arrangements among NGOs, civil society, and the private sector are filling in the gap created by the failures of individual governments. In the wake of the worldwide economic crisis of 2008, many have been forced to acknowledge that a global economy needs global institutions to govern it. What is true for finance, Malloch- Brown argues, is surely true for public health, poverty, or climate change. In The Unfinished Global Revolution, he calls for us to embrace more powerful international institutions and the values needed to underpin a truly globalist agenda-the rule of law, human rights, and opportunity for all.
Author: Leonard M. Wapner
Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press
Release Date: 2007-01-18
Take an apple and cut it into five pieces. Would you believe that these five pieces can be reassembled in such a fashion so as to create two apples equal in shape and size to the original? Would you believe that you could make something as large as the sun by breaking a pea into a finite number of pieces and putting it back together again? Neither did Leonard Wapner, author of The Pea and the Sun, when he was first introduced to the Banach-Tarski paradox, which asserts exactly such a notion. Written in an engaging style, The Pea and the Sun catalogues the people, events, and mathematics that contributed to the discovery of Banach and Tarski's magical paradox. Wapner makes one of the most interesting problems of advanced mathematics accessible to the non-mathematician.
"Whimsical...rigorous and insightful." -- New York Times Book Review What is math? How exactly does it work? And what do three siblings trying to share a cake have to do with it? In How to Bake Pi, math professor Eugenia Cheng provides an accessible introduction to the logic and beauty of mathematics, powered, unexpectedly, by insights from the kitchen. We learn how the béchamel in a lasagna can be a lot like the number five, and why making a good custard proves that math is easy but life is hard. At the heart of it all is Cheng's work on category theory, a cutting-edge "mathematics of mathematics," that is about figuring out how math works. Combined with her infectious enthusiasm for cooking and true zest for life, Cheng's perspective on math is a funny journey through a vast territory no popular book on math has explored before. So, what is math? Let's look for the answer in the kitchen.
Author: Raphael Rosen
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2015-06-18
The new "sine" of mathematical geekdom! 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.
This eminently readable book focuses on the people of mathematics and draws the reader into their fascinating world. In a monumental address, given to the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris in 1900, David Hilbert, perhaps the most respected mathematician of his time, developed a blueprint for mathematical research in the new century. Jokingly called a natural introduction to thesis writing with examples, this collection of problems has indeed become a guiding inspiration to many mathematicians, and those who succeeded in solving or advancing their solutions form an Honors Class among research mathematicians of this century. In a remarkable labor of love and with the support of many of the major players in the field, Ben Yandell has written a fascinating account of the achievements of this Honors Class, covering mathematical substance and biographical aspects.