The Unfinished Game

Pascal, Fermat, and the Seventeenth-Century Letter That Made the World Modern

Author: Keith Devlin,Keith J. Devlin

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465018963

Category: Mathematics

Page: 191

View: 2800

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Examines a letter written by Blaise Pascal to Pierre de Fermat in 1654 that speaks of probability and numerical values that have had an impact on the modern world with regard to calculating insurance rates, the housing markets, and car safety.

The Unfinished Game

Pascal, Fermat, and the Seventeenth-Century Letter that Made the World Modern

Author: Keith Devlin

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0786726326

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 4400

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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.

The Unfinished Game

Pascal, Fermat, and the Seventeenth-Century Letter that Made the World Modern

Author: Keith Devlin

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0786726326

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 9019

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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.

Finding Fibonacci

The Quest to Rediscover the Forgotten Mathematical Genius Who Changed the World

Author: Keith Devlin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400885531

Category: Mathematics

Page: 256

View: 2541

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A compelling firsthand account of Keith Devlin's ten-year quest to tell Fibonacci's story In 2000, Keith Devlin set out to research the life and legacy of the medieval mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, popularly known as Fibonacci, whose book Liber abbaci has quite literally affected the lives of everyone alive today. Although he is most famous for the Fibonacci numbers—which, it so happens, he didn't invent—Fibonacci's greatest contribution was as an expositor of mathematical ideas at a level ordinary people could understand. In 1202, Liber abbaci—the "Book of Calculation"—introduced modern arithmetic to the Western world. Yet Fibonacci was long forgotten after his death, and it was not until the 1960s that his true achievements were finally recognized. Finding Fibonacci is Devlin's compelling firsthand account of his ten-year quest to tell Fibonacci's story. Devlin, a math expositor himself, kept a diary of the undertaking, which he draws on here to describe the project's highs and lows, its false starts and disappointments, the tragedies and unexpected turns, some hilarious episodes, and the occasional lucky breaks. You will also meet the unique individuals Devlin encountered along the way, people who, each for their own reasons, became fascinated by Fibonacci, from the Yale professor who traced modern finance back to Fibonacci to the Italian historian who made the crucial archival discovery that brought together all the threads of Fibonacci's astonishing story. Fibonacci helped to revive the West as the cradle of science, technology, and commerce, yet he vanished from the pages of history. This is Devlin's search to find him.

The Man of Numbers

Fibonacci's Arithmetic Revolution

Author: Keith Devlin

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408824574

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 5833

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In 1202, a 32-year old Italian finished one of the most influential books of all time, which introduced modern arithmetic to Western Europe. Devised in India in the seventh and eighth centuries and brought to North Africa by Muslim traders, the Hindu-Arabic system helped transform the West into the dominant force in science, technology, and commerce, leaving behind Muslim cultures which had long known it but had failed to see its potential. The young Italian, Leonardo of Pisa (better known today as Fibonacci), had learned the Hindu number system when he traveled to North Africa with his father, a customs agent. The book he created was Liber abbaci, the 'Book of Calculation', and the revolution that followed its publication was enormous. Arithmetic made it possible for ordinary people to buy and sell goods, convert currencies, and keep accurate records of possessions more readily than ever before. Liber abbaci's publication led directly to large-scale international commerce and the scientific revolution of the Renaissance. Yet despite the ubiquity of his discoveries, Leonardo of Pisa remains an enigma. His name is best known today in association with an exercise in Liber abbaci whose solution gives rise to a sequence of numbers - the Fibonacci sequence - used by some to predict the rise and fall of financial markets, and evident in myriad biological structures. In The Man of Numbers, Keith Devlin recreates the life and enduring legacy of an overlooked genius, and in the process makes clear how central numbers and mathematics are to our daily lives.

The Silicon Jungle

A Novel of Deception, Power, and Internet Intrigue

Author: Shumeet Baluja

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400838141

Category: Computers

Page: 352

View: 2203

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What happens when a naive intern is granted unfettered access to people's most private thoughts and actions? Stephen Thorpe lands a coveted internship at Ubatoo, an Internet empire that provides its users with popular online services, from a search engine and e-mail, to social networking. When Stephen’s boss asks him to work on a project with the American Coalition for Civil Liberties, Stephen innocently obliges, believing he is mining Ubatoo’s vast databases to protect people unfairly targeted in the name of national security. But nothing is as it seems. Suspicious individuals surface, doing all they can to access Ubatoo’s wealth of confidential information. This need not require technical wizardry—simply knowing how to manipulate a well-intentioned intern may be enough. The Silicon Jungle is a cautionary fictional tale of data mining’s promise and peril. Baluja raises ethical questions about contemporary technological innovations, and how minute details can be routinely pieced together into rich profiles that reveal our habits, goals, and secret desires—all ready to be exploited.

Mathematics

The New Golden Age

Author: Keith J. Devlin

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231116398

Category: Mathematics

Page: 320

View: 3302

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A modern classic by an accomplished mathematician and best-selling author has been updated to encompass and explain the recent headline-making advances in the field in non-technical terms.

How to Bake Pi

An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics

Author: Eugenia Cheng

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465051693

Category: Mathematics

Page: 304

View: 7558

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"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.

Mathematics and the Search for Knowledge

Author: Morris Kline

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0195042301

Category: History

Page: 257

View: 6386

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Mad River Road:After spending a year in prison, Ralph Fisher has explicit plans for his first night of freedom: tonight, someone will be held accountable. He goes to murderous lengths to obtain the address of his former wife - the woman he blames for his fate and against whom he has sworn vengeance. Determined to bring her to his idea of justice, Ralph's next step is to travel from Florida's sandy beaches to Dayton, Ohio, where his ex-wife is struggling to make ends meet on Mad River Road.Also in Florida, Jamie Kellogg wakes from an agonizing nightmare of her mother's funeral, and assesses her life: a pretty but unaccomplished twenty-nine-year-old woman in a dead-end job, with an ex-husband in Atlanta, a married lover in the hospital, and a virtual stranger in her bed. But this stranger is everything the previous men in her life weren't: tender, attentive, and adventurous. After convincing Jamie to quit her miserable job and ditch her judgmental, perfectionist sister, he proposes a romantic getaway. While Jamie wonders if this thrilling man might finally be her Prince Charming, they plan a road trip to visit his son, who lives with his mother on a street called Mad River Road...Heartstopper:Welcome to Torrance, Florida. Population: 4,160. As Sheriff John Weber would attest, the deadliest predators to date in his tiny hamlet were the alligators lurking in the nearby swamps. But that was before someone abducted and murdered a runaway teenage girl...and before the disappearance of popular and pretty Liana Martin. The pattern is chilling to Sandy Crosbie, the town's new high school English teacher. With a marriage on the rocks, thanks to her husband's online affairs, and a beautiful teenage daughter to protect, Sandy wishes she'd never come to the seemingly quiet town with shocking depths of scandal, sex, and brutality roiling beneath its surface. And as Sheriff Weber digs up more questions than answers in a dead-end investigation, one truth emerges: the prettiest ones are being targeted, the heartstoppers. And this killer intends to give them their due....Alternating between the chilling journal entries of a cold-blooded murderer and the sizzling scandals of small-town life, Heartstopper is Joy Fielding's most exciting novel of suspense yet.

Math and the Mona Lisa

The Art and Science of Leonardo da Vinci

Author: Bulent Atalay

Publisher: Smithsonian Institution

ISBN: 1588343537

Category: Art

Page: 352

View: 5791

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Leonardo da Vinci was one of history's true geniuses, equally brilliant as an artist, scientist, and mathematician. Readers of The Da Vinci Code were given a glimpse of the mysterious connections between math, science, and Leonardo's art. Math and the Mona Lisa picks up where The Da Vinci Code left off, illuminating Leonardo's life and work to uncover connections that, until now, have been known only to scholars. Bülent Atalay, a distinguished scientist and artist, examines the science and mathematics that underlie Leonardo's work, paying special attention to the proportions, patterns, shapes, and symmetries that scientists and mathematicians have also identified in nature. Following Leonardo's own unique model, Atalay searches for the internal dynamics of art and science, revealing to us the deep unity of the two cultures. He provides a broad overview of the development of science from the dawn of civilization to today's quantum mechanics. From this base of information, Atalay offers a fascinating view into Leonardo's restless intellect and modus operandi, allowing us to see the source of his ideas and to appreciate his art from a new perspective.

German Epic Poetry

Author: Francis G. Gentry,James K. Walter

Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780826407429

Category: History

Page: 338

View: 4094

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"This is volume 1 in The German Library in 100 Volumes. It includes a comprehensive foreword to the entire series by the general editor Volkmar Sanders. It also features the following works: The Older Lay of Hildebrand, The Nibelungenlied, The Younger Lay of Hildebrand, The Battle of Ravenna, Biterolf and Dietleib, and The Rose Garden (Version A). In many ways, German, as well as all modern Western literature, is grounded in the epic (or heroic) poetry of this seminal volume."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Lady Tasting Tea

How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century

Author: David Salsburg

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780805071344

Category: Mathematics

Page: 340

View: 4886

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Examines the works of statistics pioneer Ronald Fisher as well as other revolutionary thinkers in the field, covering the rise and fall of Karl Pearson's theories, the methods that contributed to Japan's post-war rebuilding, a pivotal early study on a Guinness beer cask, and more. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

Is God a Mathematician?

Author: Mario Livio

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781416594437

Category: Mathematics

Page: 320

View: 5232

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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.

Euler's Gem

The Polyhedron Formula and the Birth of Topology

Author: David S. Richeson

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691154570

Category: Mathematics

Page: 317

View: 3383

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Leonhard Euler's polyhedron formula describes the structure of many objects--from soccer balls and gemstones to Buckminster Fuller's buildings and giant all-carbon molecules. Yet Euler's formula is so simple it can be explained to a child. Euler's Gem tells the illuminating story of this indispensable mathematical idea. From ancient Greek geometry to today's cutting-edge research, Euler's Gem celebrates the discovery of Euler's beloved polyhedron formula and its far-reaching impact on topology, the study of shapes. In 1750, Euler observed that any polyhedron composed of V vertices, E edges, and F faces satisfies the equation V-E+F=2. David Richeson tells how the Greeks missed the formula entirely; how Descartes almost discovered it but fell short; how nineteenth-century mathematicians widened the formula's scope in ways that Euler never envisioned by adapting it for use with doughnut shapes, smooth surfaces, and higher dimensional shapes; and how twentieth-century mathematicians discovered that every shape has its own Euler's formula. Using wonderful examples and numerous illustrations, Richeson presents the formula's many elegant and unexpected applications, such as showing why there is always some windless spot on earth, how to measure the acreage of a tree farm by counting trees, and how many crayons are needed to color any map. Filled with a who's who of brilliant mathematicians who questioned, refined, and contributed to a remarkable theorem's development, Euler's Gem will fascinate every mathematics enthusiast.

How Modern Science Came Into the World

Four Civilizations, One 17th-century Breakthrough

Author: H. F. Cohen

Publisher: Amsterdam University Press

ISBN: 9089642390

Category: History

Page: 784

View: 6123

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Once upon a time 'The Scientific Revolution of the 17th century' was an innovative concept that inspired a stimulating narrative of how modern science came into the world. Half a century later, what we now know as 'the master narrative' serves rather as a strait-jacket - so often events and contexts just fail to fit in. No attempt has been made so far to replace the master narrative. H. Floris Cohen now comes up with precisely such a replacement. Key to his path-breaking analysis-cum-narrative is a vision of the Scientific Revolution as made up of six distinct yet narrowly interconnected, revolutionary transformations, each of some twenty-five to thirty years' duration. This vision enables him to explain how modern science could come about in Europe rather than in Greece, China, or the Islamic world. It also enables him to explain how half-way into the 17th century a vast crisis of legitimacy could arise and, in the end, be overcome.

Lewis Carroll in Numberland: His Fantastical Mathematical Logical Life

Author: Robin Wilson

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 039307210X

Category: Mathematics

Page: 208

View: 8853

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“A fine mathematical biography.”—John Allen Paulos, New York Times Book Review Just when we thought we knew everything about Lewis Carroll, here comes this “insightful . . . scholarly . . . serious” (John Butcher, American Scientist) biography that will appeal to Alice fans everywhere. Fascinated by the inner life of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Robin Wilson, a Carroll scholar and a noted mathematics professor, has produced this revelatory book—filled with more than one hundred striking and often playful illustrations—that examines the many inspirations and sources for Carroll’s fantastical writings, mathematical and otherwise. As Wilson demonstrates, Carroll made significant contributions to subjects as varied as voting patterns and the design of tennis tournaments, in the process creating large numbers of imaginative recreational puzzles based on mathematical ideas.

A Tour of the Calculus

Author: David Berlinski

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780307789730

Category: Mathematics

Page: 352

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Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite wall. Just how calculus makes these things possible and in doing so finds a correspondence between real numbers and the real world is the subject of this dazzling book by a writer of extraordinary clarity and stylistic brio. Even as he initiates us into the mysteries of real numbers, functions, and limits, Berlinski explores the furthest implications of his subject, revealing how the calculus reconciles the precision of numbers with the fluidity of the changing universe. "An odd and tantalizing book by a writer who takes immense pleasure in this great mathematical tool, and tries to create it in others."--New York Times Book Review From the Trade Paperback edition.

Games, Gods and Gambling

The Origins and History of Probability and Statistical Ideas from the Earliest Times to the Newtonian Era

Author: Florence Nightingale David

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781258512644

Category:

Page: 302

View: 5471

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Additional Contributors Are Jean Edmiston, E. H. Thorne, And Maxine Merrington.

The Calculus Gallery

Masterpieces from Newton to Lebesgue

Author: William Dunham

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691184542

Category: Mathematics

Page: 257

View: 1251

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More than three centuries after its creation, calculus remains a dazzling intellectual achievement and the gateway to higher mathematics. This book charts its growth and development by sampling from the work of some of its foremost practitioners, beginning with Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in the late seventeenth century and continuing to Henri Lebesgue at the dawn of the twentieth. Now with a new preface by the author, this book documents the evolution of calculus from a powerful but logically chaotic subject into one whose foundations are thorough, rigorous, and unflinching—a story of genius triumphing over some of the toughest, subtlest problems imaginable. In touring The Calculus Gallery, we can see how it all came to be.

Classic Problems of Probability

Author: Prakash Gorroochurn

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118063252

Category: Mathematics

Page: 314

View: 8161

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Detailing the history of probability, this book examines the classic problems of probability that have shaped the field and emphasizes problems that are counter-intuitive by nature. Classic Problems of Probability is rich in the history of probability while keeping the explanations and discussions as accessible as possible.