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Journey Through Genius
Explores the masterpieces of mathematics, seventeen landmarks spanning 2,300 years and representing ten mathematicians. Each of these landmarks, to some degree, changed the way the world was perceived. Each theorem is presented with a description of the state of mathematics at the time, the development of the theorem, a biographical sketch of the mathematician and an outline of the proof with explanation.
The Evolution of Cooperation (Revised Edition)
A famed political scientist's classic argument for a more cooperative world.We assume that, in a world ruled by natural selection, selfishness pays. So why cooperate? In The Evolution of Cooperation, political scientist Robert Axelrod seeks to answer this question. In 1980, he organized the famed Computer Prisoners Dilemma Tournament, which sought to find the optimal strategy for survival in a particular game. Over and over, the simplest strategy, a cooperative program called Tit for Tat, shut out the competition. In other words, cooperation, not unfettered competition, turns out to be our best chance for survival.A vital book for leaders and decision makers, The Evolution of Cooperation reveals how cooperative principles help us think better about everything from military strategy, to political elections, to family dynamics.
The Improbability Principle
Hand, David J.
In The Improbability Principle, the renowned statistician David J. Hand argues that extraordinarily rare events are anything but. In fact, they're commonplace. Not only that, we should all expect to experience a miracle roughly once every month. But Hand is no believer in superstitions, prophecies, or the paranormal. His definition of "miracle" is thoroughly rational. No mystical or supernatural explanation is necessary to understand why someone is lucky enough to win the lottery twice, or is destined to be hit by lightning three times and still survive. All we need, Hand argues, is a firm grounding in a powerful set of laws: the laws of inevitability, of truly large numbers, of selection, of the probability lever, and of near enough. Together, these constitute Hand's groundbreaking Improbability Principle. And together, they explain why we should not be so surprised to bump into a friend in a foreign country, or to come across the same unfamiliar word four times in one day. Hand wrestles with seemingly less explicable questions as well: what the Bible and Shakespeare have in common, why financial crashes are par for the course, and why lightning does strike the same place (and the same person) twice. Along the way,he teaches us how to use the Improbability Principle in our own lives--including how to cash in at a casino and how to recognize when a medicine is truly effective. An irresistible adventure into the laws behind "chance" moments and a trusty guide for understanding the world and universe we live in,The Improbability Principle will transform how you think about serendipity and luck, whether it's in the world of business and finance or you're merely sitting in your backyard, tossing a ball into the air and wondering where it will land.
Math Art: Truth, Beauty, and Equations
From geometry in motion to the possibilities of pi, this stunning volume reveals how art has been inspired by the beauty and poetry of mathematical principles.The worlds of visual art and mathematics come together in this spectacular volume by award-winning writer Stephen Ornes. He explores the growing sensation of math art, presenting more than 80 pieces, including a crocheted, colorful representation of non-Euclidian geometry that looks like sea coral and a 65-ton, 28-foot-tall bronze sculpture covered in a space-filling curve. For each work, we get the artist’s story followed by accessible and thought-provoking explanations of the mathematical concept and equations behind the art. From 3D-printed objects that give real form to abstract mathematical theories, to mystic fractals, to Andy Warhol as a solution to the Traveling Salesman Problem, these artworks embody some of strangest, most beautiful relationships among numbers and across dimensions.
Book of Mathematics (The New York Times)
Kolata, Gina (Edt.)
From the archives of the world's most famous newspaper comes a collection of its very best writing on mathematics. Big and informative, The New York Times Book of Mathematics gathers more than 110 articles written from 1892 to 2010 that cover statistics, coincidences, chaos theory, famous problems, cryptography, computers, and many other topics. Edited by Pulitzer Prize finalist and senior Times writer Gina Kolata, and featuring renowned contributors such as James Gleick, William L. Laurence, Malcolm W. Browne, George Johnson, and John Markoff, it's a must-have for any math and science enthusiast!
Cosmic Numbers: The Numbers That Define Our Universe
Stein, James D.
In Cosmic Numbers, mathematics professor James Stein traces the discovery, evolution, and interrelationships of the great numbers that define our world. Some numbers, like the speed of light and absolute zero, are well known to the general public. Others, such as Boltzmann's constant and the Chandrasekhar limit, are known only to those with a deep knowledge of science. But these numbers do far more than the average person might dare to imagine: they tell us how this world began, the way we were and the way we are, and what the future holds. Stein reveals the manner in which certain cosmic numbers came to light, the dramatis personae involved, and cutting-edge developments associated with these numbers. Many are the cornerstones of grand discoveries and theories. They represent landmarks in the history of intellectual achievement. And the stories of these numbers offer a novel understanding of physics, chemistry, and astronomy.Much more than a gee-whiz collection, Cosmic Numbers illuminates why particular numbers are so important—both to scientists and to the rest of us.
In Zero, Charles Seife presented readers with a thrilling account of the strangest number known to humankind. Now he shows readers how the power of skewed metrics - or "proofiness" - is being used to alter perception in both amusing and dangerous ways. Proofiness is behind such bizarre stories as a mathematical formula for the perfect butt and sprinters who can run faster than the speed of sound. But proofiness also has a dark side: bogus mathematical formulas used to undermine our democracy - subverting our justice system, fixing elections, and swaying public opinion with lies. By doing the real math, Seife elegantly and good-humoredly scrutinizes our growing obsession with metrics while exposing those who misuse them.
Is God a Mathematician?
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? Mathematicians themselves often insist that their work has no practical effect. The British mathematician G. H. Hardy went so far as to describe his own work this way: "No discovery of mine has made, or is likely to make, directly or indirectly, for good or ill, the least difference to the amenity of the world." He was wrong. The Hardy-Weinberg law allows population geneticists to predict how genes are transmitted from one generation to the next, and Hardy's work on the theory of numbers found unexpected implications in the development of codes. 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.
Bad Choices: How Algorithms Can Help You Think Smarter and Live Happier
A relatable, interactive, and funny exploration of algorithms, those essential building blocks of computer science - and of everyday life - from the author of the wildly popular Bad Arguments.Algorithms - processes that are made up of unambiguous steps and do something useful - make up the very foundations of computer science. But they also inform our choices in approaching everyday tasks, from managing a pile of clothes fresh out of the dryer to deciding what music to listen to.With Bad Choices, Ali Almossawi presents twelve scenes from everyday life that help demonstrate and demystify the fundamental algorithms that drive computer science, bringing these seemingly elusive concepts into the understandable realms of the everyday.Readers will discover how:• Matching socks can teach you about search and hash tables • Planning trips to the store can demonstrate the value of stacks • Deciding what music to listen to shows why link analysis is all-important • Crafting a succinct Tweet draws on ideas from compression • Making your way through a grocery list helps explain priority queues and traversing graphs • And more As you better understand algorithms, you’ll also discover what makes a method faster and more efficient, helping you become a more nimble, creative problem-solver, ready to face new challenges. Bad Choices will open the world of algorithms to all readers, making this a perennial go-to for fans of quirky, accessible science books.
Soccermatics: Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game
Soccer is the most mathematical of sports--riddled with numbers, patterns, and shapes. How to make sense of them? The answer lies in mathematical modeling, a science with applications in a host of biological systems. Soccermatics brings the two together in a fascinating, mind-bending synthesis.What's the connection between an ant colony and Total Football, Dutch-style? How is the Barcelona midfield linked geometrically? And how can we relate the mechanics of a Mexican Wave to the singing of cicadas in an Australian valley? Welcome to the world of mathematical modeling, expressed brilliantly by David Sumpter through the prism of soccer. Soccer is indeed more than a game and this book is packed with game theory. After reading it, you will forever watch the game with new eyes.
The Grapes of Math
From triangles, rotations, and power laws, to cones, curves, and the dreaded calculus, Alex Bellos takes you on a journey of mathematical discovery with his signature wit and limitless enthusiasm. He sifts through more than 30,000 survey submissions to uncover the world’s favorite number and meets a mathematician who looks for universes in his garage. He attends the World Mathematical Congress in India and visits the engineer who designed the first roller-coaster loop.
Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities
Offers mathematical games, puzzles, and stories featuring geometry, logic, and probability.
A comprehensive study of math principles in one volume for the general reader. This practical reference provides clear and concise explanations of the most fascinating fundamental mathematical concepts. Distilled into 1001 mini-essays arranged thematically, this unique book moves steadily from the basics through to the most advanced areas of math, making it the ideal guide for both the beginner and the math wiz. The book covers all of the fundamental mathematical disciplines: Geometry Numbers Analysis Logic Algebra Probability and statistics Applied mathematics Discrete mathematics Games and recreational mathematics Philosophy and metamathematics Expert mathematician Richard Elwes explains difficult concepts in the simplest language with a minimum of jargon. Along the way he reveals such mathematical magic as how to count to 1023 using just 10 fingers and how to make an unbreakable code. Enlightening and entertaining, Mathematics 1001 makes the language of math come alive.
The Shape of Inner Space
Overview not currently available
The Unfinished Game: Pascal, Fermat, and the Seventeenth-Century Letter that Made the World Modern
In the early seventeenth century, the outcome of something as simple as a dice roll was consigned to the realm of unknowable chance. Mathematicians largely agreed that it was impossible to predict the probability of an occurrence. Then, in 1654, Blaise Pascal wrote to Pierre de Fermat explaining that he had discovered how to calculate risk. The two collaborated to develop what is now known as probability theory—a concept that allows us to think rationally about decisions and events.In The Unfinished Game, Keith Devlin masterfully chronicles Pascal and Fermat's mathematical breakthrough, connecting a centuries-old discovery with its remarkable impact on the modern world.
Where Mathematics Comes From
In this acclaimed study of the cognitive study of mathematical ideas, renowned linguist George Lakoff pairs with psychologist Rafael Nunez to offer a new understanding of how we conceive and understand mathematical concepts. Abstract ideas, for the most part, arise via conceptual metaphor - a cognitive mechanism that derives abstract thinking from the way we function in the everyday physical world. Conceptual metaphor plays a central and defining role in the formation of mathematical ideas within the cognitive unconscious - from arithmetic and algebra to sets and logic to infinity in all of its forms. The brain's mathematics is mathematics, the only mathematics we know or can know.
The Numbers Behind Numb3rs
Using the popular CBS prime-time TV crime series Numb3rs as a springboard, Keith Devlin (known to millions of NPR listeners as "the Math Guy" on NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon) and Gary Lorden (the principal math advisor to Numb3rs) explain real-life mathematical techniques used by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to catch and convict criminals. From forensics to counterterrorism, the Riemann hypothesis to image enhancement, solving murders to beating casinos, Devlin and Lorden present compelling cases that illustrate how advanced mathematics can be used in state-of-the-art criminal investigations.
Big Data: Does Size Matter? (Bloomsbury Sigma)
From the first tally, scratched on a wolf bone over thirty thousand years ago, to the Large Hadron Collider, which produces forty million megabytes of data per second, data is big, and getting bigger. It can help us do things faster and more efficiently than ever before, from tracking wolves through Minnesota by GPS to predicting which crimes are likely to happen where. Mega data has led to scientific and social achievements that would have been impossible just a few years ago. But being too dazzled by the scale, the speed, and the geeky jargon can lead us astray. It's big, but it's not always clever.Timandra Harkness cuts through the hype to put data science into its real-life context using a wide range of stories, people, and places to reveal what is essentially a human science--demystifying big data, telling us where it comes from and what it can do. BIG DATA then asks the awkward questions: What are the unspoken assumptions underlying its methods? Are we being bamboozled by mega data's size, its speed, and its shiny technology?Nobody needs a degree in computer science to follow Harkness's exploration of what mega data can do for us--and what it can't or shouldn't. BIG DATA asks you to decide: Are you a data point, or a human being?
The Secret Life of Equations: The 50 Greatest Equations and How They Work
The Secret Life of Equations gives a fascinating insight into the discovery and use of the 50 "greatest" equations. From Brouwer's Hairy Ball Theorem to the Lotka-Volterra model, equations have had a direct effect on how we understand the world. In an engaging text and fun illustrations, you can follow the evolution of each equation and how they are fundamental to our understanding of the world and how we function in it, not to mention the unfathomable universe.
The Mathematics Devotional
Pickover, Clifford A.
From the ingenious author of The Math Book and The Physics Book comes an inspirational volume that celebrates the beauty and wisdom of mathematics. Every page of this yearlong devotional presents a sage remark alongside a stunning image relating to the world of math. The quotes feature insight from such brilliant thinkers as Pythagoras, Richard Feynman, and Robert Heinlein, and the art showcases everything from gorgeous fractals to splendid architecture. The calendar also includes the birthdays of notable mathematicians, so readers can see which ones share theirs. A brief biographical dictionary provides additional information on the people whose wonderful words appeared through the book.
Knock on Wood: Luck, Chance, and the Meaning of Everything
Rosenthal, Jeffrey S.
Jeffrey S. Rosenthal, author of the bestseller Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities, was born on Friday the thirteenth, a fact that he discovered long after he had become one of the world’s pre-eminent statisticians. Had he been living ignorantly and innocently under an unlucky cloud for all those years? Or is thirteen just another number? As a scientist and a man of reason, Rosenthal has long considered the value of luck, good and bad, seeking to measure chance and hope in formulas scratched out on chalkboards.In Knock on Wood, with great humour and irreverence, Rosenthal divines the world of luck, fate and chance, putting his considerable scientific acumen to the test in deducing whether luck is real or the mere stuff of superstition.
The Puzzler's Dilemma
Calling all puzzlers... From mathematics to word puzzles, from logic to lateral thinking, veteran puzzle maker Derrick Niederman delights in tackling the trickiest brainteasers in a new way. Among the old chestnuts he cracks wide open are the following classics: Knights and knaves The monk and the mountain The dominoes and the chessboard The unexpected hanging The Tower of Hanoi Using real-world analogies, infectious humor, and a fresh approach, this deceptively simple volume will challenge, amuse, enlighten, and surprise even the most experienced puzzle solver.
100 Most Important Science Ideas
100 Most Important Science Ideas presents a selection of 100 key concepts in science in a series of concise and accessible essays that are understandable to the layperson. The authors explain the answers to the most exciting and important scientific questions, which have had a profound influence on our way of life. Helpful diagrams, everyday examples and enlightening quotations highlight the straightforward text. All the big ideas that readers would expect to find are present, and each is discussed over two to four pages. The authors use concrete applications to describe many of the abstract ideas, and some entries have a timeline along the bottom showing when the idea originated and its development.
The Essential R Reference
Here's the ultimate dictionary, glossary, and thesaurus for the R language
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