Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension

A Mathematician's Journey Through Narcissistic Numbers, Optimal Dating Algorithms, at Least Two Kinds of Infinity, and More

Author: Matt Parker

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374710376

Category: Mathematics

Page: 464

View: 1047

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.

Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension

A Mathematician's Journey Through Narcissistic Numbers, Optimal Dating Algorithms, at Least Two Kinds of Infinity, and More

Author: Matt Parker

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374710376

Category: Mathematics

Page: 464

View: 5077

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.

The Outer Limits of Reason

What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us

Author: Noson S. Yanofsky

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262316781

Category: Science

Page: 424

View: 4442

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.

Why Beliefs Matter

Reflections on the Nature of Science

Author: E. Brian Davies

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199586209

Category: Mathematics

Page: 250

View: 3749

`It is a brilliant work, beautifully written, and brimming with surprising information and stimulating philosophical speculations.' Notices of teh American Mathematical Society --

Loving and Hating Mathematics

Challenging the Myths of Mathematical Life

Author: Reuben Hersh,Vera John-Steiner

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400836116

Category: Mathematics

Page: 432

View: 1877

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.

Love and Math

The Heart of Hidden Reality

Author: Edward Frenkel

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465069959

Category: Mathematics

Page: 288

View: 1208

What if you had to take an art class in which you were only taught how to paint a fence? What if you were never shown the paintings of van Gogh and Picasso, weren’t even told they existed? Alas, this is how math is taught, and so for most of us it becomes the intellectual equivalent of watching paint dry. In Love and Math, renowned mathematician Edward Frenkel reveals a side of math we’ve never seen, suffused with all the beauty and elegance of a work of art. In this heartfelt and passionate book, Frenkel shows that mathematics, far from occupying a specialist niche, goes to the heart of all matter, uniting us across cultures, time, and space. Love and Math tells two intertwined stories: of the wonders of mathematics and of one young man’s journey learning and living it. Having braved a discriminatory educational system to become one of the twenty-first century’s leading mathematicians, Frenkel now works on one of the biggest ideas to come out of math in the last 50 years: the Langlands Program. Considered by many to be a Grand Unified Theory of mathematics, the Langlands Program enables researchers to translate findings from one field to another so that they can solve problems, such as Fermat’s last theorem, that had seemed intractable before. At its core, Love and Math is a story about accessing a new way of thinking, which can enrich our lives and empower us to better understand the world and our place in it. It is an invitation to discover the magic hidden universe of mathematics.

Math Geek

From Klein Bottles to Chaos Theory, a Guide to the Nerdiest Math Facts, Theorems, and Equations

Author: Raphael Rosen

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1440583811

Category: Mathematics

Page: 256

View: 326

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.

The Pea and the Sun

A Mathematical Paradox

Author: Leonard M. Wapner

Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press

ISBN: 9781568813271

Category: Mathematics

Page: 232

View: 3699

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.

Notes on the Death of Culture

Essays on Spectacle and Society

Author: Mario Vargas Llosa

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374710317

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 9252

A provocative essay collection that finds the Nobel laureate taking on the decline of intellectual life In the past, culture was a kind of vital consciousness that constantly rejuvenated and revivified everyday reality. Now it is largely a mechanism of distraction and entertainment. Notes on the Death of Culture is an examination and indictment of this transformation—penned by none other than Mario Vargas Llosa, who is not only one of our finest novelists but one of the keenest social critics at work today. Taking his cues from T. S. Eliot—whose essay "Notes Toward a Definition of Culture" is a touchstone precisely because the culture Eliot aimed to describe has since vanished—Vargas Llosa traces a decline whose ill effects have only just begun to be felt. He mourns, in particular, the figure of the intellectual: for most of the twentieth century, men and women of letters drove political, aesthetic, and moral conversations; today they have all but disappeared from public debate. But Vargas Llosa stubbornly refuses to fade into the background. He is not content to merely sign a petition; he will not bite his tongue. A necessary gadfly, the Nobel laureate Vargas Llosa, here vividly translated by John King, provides a tough but essential critique of our time and culture.

Cultural Techniques

Grids, Filters, Doors, and Other Articulations of the Real

Author: Bernhard Siegert

Publisher: Meaning Systems (Fup)

ISBN: 0823263754

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 265

View: 4990

"This volume designates a shift within posthumanistic media studies, that dissolves the concept of media into a network of operations, that reproduce, process and reflect the distinctions that are fundamental for a given culture, e.g. the anthropological difference, the distinctions between natural object and cultural sign, noise and information, eye and gaze"--

Magical Mathematics

The Mathematical Ideas that Animate Great Magic Tricks

Author: Persi Diaconis,Ron Graham,Ronald L. Graham

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691151644

Category: Crafts & Hobbies

Page: 244

View: 6242

Magical Mathematics reveals the secrets of fun-to-perform card tricks—and the profound mathematical ideas behind them—that will astound even the most accomplished magician. Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham provide easy, step-by-step instructions for each trick, explaining how to set up the effect and offering tips on what to say and do while performing it. Each card trick introduces a new mathematical idea, and varying the tricks in turn takes readers to the very threshold of today’s mathematical knowledge. Diaconis and Graham tell the stories—and reveal the best tricks—of the eccentric and brilliant inventors of mathematical magic. The book exposes old gambling secrets through the mathematics of shuffling cards, explains the classic street-gambling scam of three-card Monte, traces the history of mathematical magic back to the oldest mathematical trick—and much more.

Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula

Cures Many Mathematical Ills

Author: Paul J. Nahin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400838479

Category: Mathematics

Page: 416

View: 5672

In the mid-eighteenth century, Swiss-born mathematician Leonhard Euler developed a formula so innovative and complex that it continues to inspire research, discussion, and even the occasional limerick. Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula shares the fascinating story of this groundbreaking formula—long regarded as the gold standard for mathematical beauty—and shows why it still lies at the heart of complex number theory. In some ways a sequel to Nahin's An Imaginary Tale, this book examines the many applications of complex numbers alongside intriguing stories from the history of mathematics. Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula is accessible to any reader familiar with calculus and differential equations, and promises to inspire mathematicians for years to come.

A Dingo Ate My Math Book: Mathematics from Down Under

Author: Burkard Polster,Marty Ross

Publisher: American Mathematical Soc.

ISBN: 1470435217

Category: Mathematics

Page: 253

View: 2241

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.

Shem Pete's Alaska

The Territory of the Upper Cook Inlet Dena'ina

Author: James Kari,James A. Fall

Publisher: University of Alaska Press

ISBN: 1889963577

Category: History

Page: 392

View: 5284

Shem Pete (1896-1989), the colorful and brilliant raconteur from Susitna Station, Alaska, left a rich legacy of knowledge about the Upper Cook Inlet Dena'ina world. Pete was one of the most versatile storytellers and historians in twentieth-century Alaska, and his lifetime travel map of approximately 13,500 square miles is one of the largest ever documented in this degree of detail anywhere in the world. This expanded edition of Shem Pete's Alaska presents 973 named places in 16 drainage-based chapters. The names form a reconstructed network from the vantage points of the life experiences of Shem Pete and other Dena'ina and Ahtna speakers. It is annotated with comments and stories by Shem Pete and more than 50 other contributors, plus historic references, vignettes, copious photographs, historic maps, and shaded-relief placename maps. The authors provide perspective on Dena'ina language and culture, as well as a summary of Dena'ina geographic knowledge and placename research methodology. This beautifully produced edition is a treasure for all Alaskans and for anyone interested in the "personal connectedness to a beautiful land" voiced by Dena'ina elders. From the foreword by William Bright: "Shem Pete's experience and wisdom as an elder of the Dena'ina Athabascan Indians shine through this work like the sun—as do the skill and devotion of James Kari, James Fall, and the other Dena'ina, Ahtna, Alaska Native, and Anglo-American people who contributed to making the book a reality. . . . We have a volume that offers a vivid picture of Native Alaskan culture, history, geography, and language, with added glimpses of oral literature and music. . . . All Native American Peoples, indeed, all traditional communities in the world would be fortunate and proud to have this kind of record of their life and culture."

My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles

Author: Martin Gardner

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486281523

Category: Games

Page: 82

View: 3333

The noted expert and longtime author of Scientific American's Mathematical Games column selects 70 of his favorite "short" puzzles. Enthusiasts can challenge their skills with such mind-bogglers as The Returning Explorer, The Mutilated Chessboard, Scrambled Box Tops, Bronx vs. Brooklyn, and dozens more involving logic and basic math. Complete solutions included.

The Fluxus Reader

Author: Ken Friedman

Publisher: Wiley

ISBN: N.A

Category: Art

Page: 320

View: 988

The Fluxus Reader offers the first comprehensive overview on this challenging and controversial group. Fluxus began in the 1950s as a loose, international community of artists, architects, composers and designers. By the 1960s, Fluxus had become a laboratory of ideas and an arena for artistic experimentation in Europe, Asia and the United States. Described as 'the most radical and experimental art movement of the 1960s', Fluxus challenged conventional thinking on art and culture for over four decades. It had a central role in the birth of such key contemporary art forms as concept art, installation, performance art, intermedia and video. Despite this influence, the scope and scale of this unique phenomenon have made it difficult to explain Fluxus in normative historical and critical terms.

The Hidden Reality

Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos

Author: Brian Greene

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307595250

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 5807

The bestselling author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos tackles perhaps the most mind-bending question in modern physics and cosmology: Is our universe the only universe? There was a time when "universe" meant all there is. Everything. Yet, a number of theories are converging on the possibility that our universe may be but one among many parallel universes populating a vast multiverse. Here, Briane Greene, one of our foremost physicists and science writers, takes us on a breathtaking journey to a multiverse comprising an endless series of big bangs, a multiverse with duplicates of every one of us, a multiverse populated by vast sheets of spacetime, a multiverse in which all we consider real are holographic illusions, and even a multiverse made purely of math--and reveals the reality hidden within each. Using his trademark wit and precision, Greene presents a thrilling survey of cutting-edge physics and confronts the inevitable question: How can fundamental science progress if great swaths of reality lie beyond our reach? The Hidden Reality is a remarkable adventure through a world more vast and strange than anything we could have imagined.

Influx

Author: Daniel Suarez

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0451469445

Category: Fiction

Page: 528

View: 8189

"Physicist Jon Grady and his team have discovered a device that can reflect gravity. But instead of Grady getting acclaim, his lab is locked down by a covert organization known as the Bureau of Technology Control. When Grady refuses to join the BTC, he's thrown into a nightmarish high-tech prison. Now Grady and his fellow prisoners must try to expose the secrets of an unimaginable enemy"--Page 4 of cover.