Book picks similar to
Chancing it: The laws of chance – and what they mean for you by Robert Matthews
Burn Math Class: And Reinvent Mathematics for Yourself
Jason Wilkes - 2016
In Burn Math Class, Jason Wilkes takes the traditional approach to how we learn math -- with its unwelcoming textbooks, unexplained rules, and authoritarian assertions-and sets it on fire. Focusing on how mathematics is created rather than on mathematical facts, Wilkes teaches the subject in a way that requires no memorization and no prior knowledge beyond addition and multiplication. From these simple foundations, Burn Math Class shows how mathematics can be (re)invented from scratch without preexisting textbooks and courses. We can discover math on our own through experimentation and failure, without appealing to any outside authority. When math is created free from arcane notations and pretentious jargon that hide the simplicity of mathematical concepts, it can be understood organically -- and it becomes fun! Following this unconventional approach, Burn Math Class leads the reader from the basics of elementary arithmetic to various "advanced" topics, such as time-dilation in special relativity, Taylor series, and calculus in infinite-dimensional spaces. Along the way, Wilkes argues that orthodox mathematics education has been teaching the subject backward: calculus belongs before many of its so-called prerequisites, and those prerequisites cannot be fully understood without calculus. Like the smartest, craziest teacher you've ever had, Wilkes guides you on an adventure in mathematical creation that will radically change the way you think about math. Revealing the beauty and simplicity of this timeless subject, Burn Math Class turns everything that seems difficult about mathematics upside down and sideways until you understand just how easy math can be.
W.W. Sawyer - 1943
Many people regard mathematicians as a race apart, possessed of almost supernatural powers. While this is very flattering for successful mathematicians, it is very bad for those who, for one reason or another, are attempting to learn the subject.'W.W. Sawyer's deep understanding of how we learn and his lively, practical approach have made this an ideal introduction to mathematics for generations of readers. By starting at the level of simple arithmetic and algebra and then proceeding step by step through graphs, logarithms and trigonometry to calculus and the dizzying world of imaginary numbers, the book takes the mystery out of maths. Throughout, Sawyer reveals how theory is subordinate to the real-life applications of mathematics - the Pyramids were built on Euclidean principles three thousand years before Euclid formulated them - and celebrates the sheer intellectual stimulus of mathematics at its best.
How Many Socks Make a Pair?: Surprisingly Interesting Everyday Maths
Rob Eastaway - 2008
Using playing cards, a newspaper, the back of an envelope, a Sudoku, some pennies and of course a pair of socks, Rob Eastaway shows how maths can demonstrate its secret beauties in even the most mundane of everyday objects. Among the many fascinating curiosities in these pages, you will discover the strange link between limericks and rabbits, an apparently 'fair' coin game where the odds are massively in your favour, why tourist boards can't agree on where the centre of Britain is, and how simple paper folding can lead to a Jurassic Park monster. With plenty of ideas you'll want to test out for yourself, this engaging and refreshing look at mathematics is for everyone.
The Mathematical Tourist: New & Updated Snapshots of Modern Mathematics
Ivars Peterson - 1988
Now the journey continues in a new, updated edition that includes all the latest information on mathematical proofs, fractals, prime numbers, and chaos, as well as new material on* the relationship between mathematical knots and DNA* how computers based on quantum logic can significantly speed up the factoring of large composite numbers* the relationship between four-dimensional geometry and physical theories of the nature of matter* the application of cellular automata models to social questions and the peregrinations of virtual ants* a novel mathematical model of quasicrystals based on decagon-shaped tilesBlazing a trail through rows of austere symbols and dense lines of formulae, Peterson explores the central ideas behind the work of professional mathematicians-- how and where their pieces of the mathematical puzzle fit in, the sources of their ideas, their fountains of inspiration, and the images that carry them from one discovery to another.
The Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Numbers
David G. Wells - 1968
First published in 1986, this mind-boggling and entertaining dictionary, arranged in order of magnitude, exposes the fascinating facts about certain numbers and number sequences - very large primes, amicable numbers and golden squares to give but a few examples.
The New Quantum Universe
Tony Hey - 2003
Quantum paradoxes and the eventful life of Schroedinger's Cat are explained, along with the Many Universe explanation of quantum measurement in this newly revised edition. Updated throughout, the book also looks ahead to the nanotechnology revolution and describes quantum cryptography, computing and teleportation. Including an account of quantum mechanics and science fiction, this accessible book is geared to the general reader. Anthony Hey teaches at the University of Southampton, UK, and is the co-author of several books, including two with Patrick Walters, The Quantum Universe (Cambridge, 1987), and Einstein's Mirror (Cambridge, 1997). Patrick Walters is a Lecturer in Continuing Education at the University of Wales at Swansea. He co-ordinates the Physical Science Programme in DACE which includes the Astronomy Programme. His research interests include science education, and he also writes non-technical books on science for the general reader and beginning undergraduates. First Edition Pb (1987): 0-521-31845-9
The Magical Maze
Ian Stewart - 1997
The Magical Maze is structured on the image of a maze representing the network of connected mathematical ideas that have proved sopowerful and effective in the understanding the natural world. Expanding from Stewart's 1997 Royal Institution Christmas lecture, it covers topics such as numbers, probablity, game theory, patterns and oscillators, as well as knots, computability, chaos and other topics chosen to communicate the intellectual excitement and beauty of mathematics as a subject.
Beyond Infinity: An Expedition to the Outer Limits of Mathematics
Eugenia Cheng - 2017
Along the way she considers how to use a chessboard to plan a worldwide dinner party, how to make a chicken-sandwich sandwich, and how to create infinite cookies from a finite ball of dough. Beyond Infinity shows how this little symbol holds the biggest idea of all. "Beyond Infinity is a spirited and friendly guide--appealingly down to earth about math that's extremely far out." --Jordan Ellenberg, author of How Not to Be Wrong "Dr. Cheng . . . has a knack for brushing aside conventions and edicts, like so many pie crumbs from a cutting board." --Natalie Angier, New York Times
The Math Instinct: Why You're a Mathematical Genius (Along with Lobsters, Birds, Cats, and Dogs)
Keith Devlin - 2005
The easy kind, practiced by ants, shrimp, Welsh corgis -- and us -- is innate. What innate calculating skills do we humans have? Leaving aside built-in mathematics, such as the visual system, ordinary people do just fine when faced with mathematical tasks in the course of the day. Yet when they are confronted with the same tasks presented as "math," their accuracy often drops. But if we have innate mathematical ability, why do we have to teach math and why do most of us find it so hard to learn? Are there tricks or strategies that the ordinary person can do to improve mathematical ability? Can we improve our math skills by learning from dogs, cats, and other creatures that "do math"? The answer to each of these questions is a qualified yes. All these examples of animal math suggest that if we want to do better in the formal kind of math, we should see how it arises from natural mathematics. From NPR's "Math Guy" -- The Math Instinct will provide even the most number-phobic among us with confidence in our own mathematical abilities.
The Story of Mathematics
Anne Rooney - 2008
Topics include the development of counting and numbers systems, the emergence of zero, cultures that don’t have numbers, algebra, solid geometry, symmetry and beauty, perspective, riddles and problems, calculus, mathematical logic, friction force and displacement, subatomic particles, and the expansion of the universe. Great mathematical thinkers covered include Napier, Liu Hui, Aryabhata, Galileo, Newton, Russell, Einstein, Riemann, Euclid, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Charles Babbage, Montmort, Wittgenstein, and many more. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout in full color.
Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis: The Quest to Find the Hidden Law of Prime Numbers
Dan Rockmore - 2005
Now, at a moment when mathematicians are finally moving in on a proof, Dartmouth professor Dan Rockmore tells the riveting history of the hunt for a solution.In 1859 German professor Bernhard Riemann postulated a law capable of describing with an amazing degree of accuracy the occurrence of the prime numbers. Rockmore takes us all the way from Euclid to the mysteries of quantum chaos to show how the Riemann hypothesis lies at the very heart of some of the most cutting-edge research going on today in physics and mathematics.
The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces
Frank Wilczek - 2008
Transcending the clash of older ideas about matter and space, acclaimed physicist Frank Wilczek explains a remarkable new discovery: matter is built from almost weightless units, and pure energy is the ultimate source of mass. He calls it "The Lightness of Being." Space is no mere container, empty and passive. It is a dynamic Grid, modern ether, and its spontaneous activity creates and destroys particles. This new understanding of mass explains the puzzling feebleness of gravity, and a gorgeous unification of all the forces comes sharply into focus. The Lightness of Being is the first book to explore the implications of these revolutionary ideas about mass, energy, and the nature of;empty space. In it, Wilczek masterfully presents new perspectives on our incredible universe and envisions a new golden age of fundamental physics.