e The Story of a Number

Author: Eli Maor
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400832349
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The interest earned on a bank account, the arrangement of seeds in a sunflower, and the shape of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis are all intimately connected with the mysterious number e. In this informal and engaging history, Eli Maor portrays the curious characters and the elegant mathematics that lie behind the number. Designed for a reader with only a modest mathematical background, this biography brings out the central importance of e to mathematics and illuminates a golden era in the age of science.

Masters of Mathematics

Author: Robert A. Nowlan
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9463008934
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The original title for this work was “Mathematical Literacy, What Is It and Why You Need it”. The current title reflects that there can be no real learning in any subject, unless questions of who, what, when, where, why and how are raised in the minds of the learners. The book is not a mathematical text, and there are no assigned exercises or exams. It is written for reasonably intelligent and curious individuals, both those who value mathematics, aware of its many important applications and others who have been inappropriately exposed to mathematics, leading to indifference to the subject, fear and even loathing. These feelings are all consequences of meaningless presentations, drill, rote learning and being lost as the purpose of what is being studied. Mathematics education needs a radical reform. There is more than one way to accomplish this. Here the author presents his approach of wrapping mathematical ideas in a story. To learn one first must develop an interest in a problem and the curiosity to find how masters of mathematics have solved them. What is necessary to be mathematically literate? It’s not about solving algebraic equations or even making a geometric proof. These are valuable skills but not evidence of literacy. We often seek answers but learning to ask pertinent questions is the road to mathematical literacy. Here is the good news: new mathematical ideas have a way of finding applications. This is known as “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.”

To Infinity and Beyond

Author: Eli Maor
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691025117
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Eli Maor examines the role of infinity in mathematics and geometry and its cultural impact on the arts and sciences. He evokes the profound intellectual impact the infinite has exercised on the human mind--from the "horror infiniti" of the Greeks to the works of M. C. Escher; from the ornamental designs of the Moslems, to the sage Giordano Bruno, whose belief in an infinite universe led to his death at the hands of the Inquisition. But above all, the book describes the mathematician's fascination with infinity--a fascination mingled with puzzlement. "Maor explores the idea of infinity in mathematics and in art and argues that this is the point of contact between the two, best exemplified by the work of the Dutch artist M. C. Escher, six of whose works are shown here in beautiful color plates."--Los Angeles Times "[Eli Maor's] enthusiasm for the topic carries the reader through a rich panorama."--Choice "Fascinating and enjoyable.... places the ideas of infinity in a cultural context and shows how they have been espoused and molded by mathematics."--Science

The Pythagorean Theorem

Author: Eli Maor
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691148236
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The author presents a complex history of the Pythagorean Theorem, examining the earliest evidence of knowledge of the theorem to Einstein's theory of relativity.

Music by the Numbers

Author: Eli Maor
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400889898
Format: PDF, ePub
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How music has influenced mathematics, physics, and astronomy from ancient Greece to the twentieth century Music is filled with mathematical elements, the works of Bach are often said to possess a math-like logic, and Igor Stravinsky said "musical form is close to mathematics," while Arnold Schoenberg, Iannis Xenakis, and Karlheinz Stockhausen went further, writing music explicitly based on mathematical principles. Yet Eli Maor argues that music has influenced math at least as much as math has influenced music. Starting with Pythagoras, proceeding through the work of Schoenberg, and ending with contemporary string theory, Music by the Numbers tells a fascinating story of composers, scientists, inventors, and eccentrics who played a role in the age-old relationship between music, mathematics, and the sciences, especially physics and astronomy. Music by the Numbers explores key moments in this history, particularly how problems originating in music have inspired mathematicians for centuries. Perhaps the most famous of these problems is the vibrating string, which pitted some of the greatest mathematicians of the eighteenth century against each other in a debate that lasted more than fifty years and that eventually led to the development of post-calculus mathematics. Other highlights in the book include a comparison between meter in music and metric in geometry, complete with examples of rhythmic patterns from Bach to Stravinsky, and an exploration of a suggestive twentieth-century development: the nearly simultaneous emergence of Einstein's theory of relativity and Schoenberg's twelve-tone system. Weaving these compelling historical episodes with Maor's personal reflections as a mathematician and lover of classical music, Music by the Numbers will delight anyone who loves mathematics and music.

Trigonometric Delights

Author: Eli Maor
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400846757
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Trigonometry has always been an underappreciated branch of mathematics. It has a reputation as a dry and difficult subject, a glorified form of geometry complicated by tedious computation. In this book, Eli Maor draws on his remarkable talents as a guide to the world of numbers to dispel that view. Rejecting the usual arid descriptions of sine, cosine, and their trigonometric relatives, he brings the subject to life in a compelling blend of history, biography, and mathematics. He presents both a survey of the main elements of trigonometry and a unique account of its vital contribution to science and social development. Woven together in a tapestry of entertaining stories, scientific curiosities, and educational insights, the book more than lives up to the title Trigonometric Delights. ? Maor, whose previous books have demystified the concept of infinity and the unusual number "e," begins by examining the "proto-trigonometry" of the Egyptian pyramid builders. He shows how Greek astronomers developed the first true trigonometry. He traces the slow emergence of modern, analytical trigonometry, recounting its colorful origins in Renaissance Europe's quest for more accurate artillery, more precise clocks, and more pleasing musical instruments. Along the way, we see trigonometry at work in, for example, the struggle of the famous mapmaker Gerardus Mercator to represent the curved earth on a flat sheet of paper; we see how M. C. Escher used geometric progressions in his art; and we learn how the toy Spirograph uses epicycles and hypocycles. Maor also sketches the lives of some of the intriguing figures who have shaped four thousand years of trigonometric history. We meet, for instance, the Renaissance scholar Regiomontanus, who is rumored to have been poisoned for insulting a colleague, and Maria Agnesi, an eighteenth-century Italian genius who gave up mathematics to work with the poor--but not before she investigated a special curve that, due to mistranslation, bears the unfortunate name "the witch of Agnesi." The book is richly illustrated, including rare prints from the author's own collection. Trigonometric Delights will change forever our view of a once dreaded subject.

Beautiful Geometry

Author: Eli Maor
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400848334
Format: PDF
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If you've ever thought that mathematics and art don't mix, this stunning visual history of geometry will change your mind. As much a work of art as a book about mathematics, Beautiful Geometry presents more than sixty exquisite color plates illustrating a wide range of geometric patterns and theorems, accompanied by brief accounts of the fascinating history and people behind each. With artwork by Swiss artist Eugen Jost and text by math historian Eli Maor, this unique celebration of geometry covers numerous subjects, from straightedge-and-compass constructions to intriguing configurations involving infinity. The result is a delightful and informative illustrated tour through the 2,500-year-old history of one of the most important branches of mathematics.