Elements of Mathematics

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400880564
Format: PDF
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Elements of Mathematics takes readers on a fascinating tour that begins in elementary mathematics—but, as John Stillwell shows, this subject is not as elementary or straightforward as one might think. Not all topics that are part of today's elementary mathematics were always considered as such, and great mathematical advances and discoveries had to occur in order for certain subjects to become "elementary." Stillwell examines elementary mathematics from a distinctive twenty-first-century viewpoint and describes not only the beauty and scope of the discipline, but also its limits. From Gaussian integers to propositional logic, Stillwell delves into arithmetic, computation, algebra, geometry, calculus, combinatorics, probability, and logic. He discusses how each area ties into more advanced topics to build mathematics as a whole. Through a rich collection of basic principles, vivid examples, and interesting problems, Stillwell demonstrates that elementary mathematics becomes advanced with the intervention of infinity. Infinity has been observed throughout mathematical history, but the recent development of "reverse mathematics" confirms that infinity is essential for proving well-known theorems, and helps to determine the nature, contours, and borders of elementary mathematics. Elements of Mathematics gives readers, from high school students to professional mathematicians, the highlights of elementary mathematics and glimpses of the parts of math beyond its boundaries.

Elements of Mathematics

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780691171685
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Elements of Mathematics takes readers on a fascinating tour that begins in elementary mathematics--but, as John Stillwell shows, this subject is not as elementary or straightforward as one might think. Not all topics that are part of today's elementary mathematics were always considered as such, and great mathematical advances and discoveries had to occur in order for certain subjects to become "elementary." Stillwell examines elementary mathematics from a distinctive twenty-first-century viewpoint and describes not only the beauty and scope of the discipline, but also its limits. From Gaussian integers to propositional logic, Stillwell delves into arithmetic, computation, algebra, geometry, calculus, combinatorics, probability, and logic. He discusses how each area ties into more advanced topics to build mathematics as a whole. Through a rich collection of basic principles, vivid examples, and interesting problems, Stillwell demonstrates that elementary mathematics becomes advanced with the intervention of infinity. Infinity has been observed throughout mathematical history, but the recent development of "reverse mathematics" confirms that infinity is essential for proving well-known theorems, and helps to determine the nature, contours, and borders of elementary mathematics. Elements of Mathematics gives readers, from high school students to professional mathematicians, the highlights of elementary mathematics and glimpses of the parts of math beyond its boundaries.

Elements of Algebra

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1475739761
Format: PDF, ePub
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Algebra is abstract mathematics - let us make no bones about it - yet it is also applied mathematics in its best and purest form. It is not abstraction for its own sake, but abstraction for the sake of efficiency, power and insight. Algebra emerged from the struggle to solve concrete, physical problems in geometry, and succeeded after 2000 years of failure by other forms of mathematics. It did this by exposing the mathematical structure of geometry, and by providing the tools to analyse it. This is typical of the way algebra is applied; it is the best and purest form of application because it reveals the simplest and most universal mathematical structures. The present book aims to foster a proper appreciation of algebra by showing abstraction at work on concrete problems, the classical problems of construction by straightedge and compass. These problems originated in the time of Euclid, when geometry and number theory were paramount, and were not solved until th the 19 century, with the advent of abstract algebra. As we now know, alge bra brings about a unification of geometry, number theory and indeed most branches of mathematics. This is not really surprising when one has a historical understanding of the subject, which I also hope to impart.

Reverse Mathematics

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400889030
Format: PDF, Docs
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This book presents reverse mathematics to a general mathematical audience for the first time. Reverse mathematics is a new field that answers some old questions. In the two thousand years that mathematicians have been deriving theorems from axioms, it has often been asked: which axioms are needed to prove a given theorem? Only in the last two hundred years have some of these questions been answered, and only in the last forty years has a systematic approach been developed. In Reverse Mathematics, John Stillwell gives a representative view of this field, emphasizing basic analysis—finding the “right axioms” to prove fundamental theorems—and giving a novel approach to logic. Stillwell introduces reverse mathematics historically, describing the two developments that made reverse mathematics possible, both involving the idea of arithmetization. The first was the nineteenth-century project of arithmetizing analysis, which aimed to define all concepts of analysis in terms of natural numbers and sets of natural numbers. The second was the twentieth-century arithmetization of logic and computation. Thus arithmetic in some sense underlies analysis, logic, and computation. Reverse mathematics exploits this insight by viewing analysis as arithmetic extended by axioms about the existence of infinite sets. Remarkably, only a small number of axioms are needed for reverse mathematics, and, for each basic theorem of analysis, Stillwell finds the “right axiom” to prove it. By using a minimum of mathematical logic in a well-motivated way, Reverse Mathematics will engage advanced undergraduates and all mathematicians interested in the foundations of mathematics.

Mathematics and Its History

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 144196052X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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From a review of the second edition: "This book covers many interesting topics not usually covered in a present day undergraduate course, as well as certain basic topics such as the development of the calculus and the solution of polynomial equations. The fact that the topics are introduced in their historical contexts will enable students to better appreciate and understand the mathematical ideas involved...If one constructs a list of topics central to a history course, then they would closely resemble those chosen here." (David Parrott, Australian Mathematical Society) This book offers a collection of historical essays detailing a large variety of mathematical disciplines and issues; it’s accessible to a broad audience. This third edition includes new chapters on simple groups and new sections on alternating groups and the Poincare conjecture. Many more exercises have been added as well as commentary that helps place the exercises in context.

Yearning for the Impossible

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 0429998023
Format: PDF, ePub
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Yearning for the Impossible: The Surprising Truth of Mathematics, Second Edition explores the history of mathematics from the perspective of the creative tension between common sense and the "impossible" as the author follows the discovery or invention of new concepts that have marked mathematical progress. The author puts these creations into a broader context involving related "impossibilities" from art, literature, philosophy, and physics. This new edition contains many new exercises and commentaries, clearly discussing a wide range of challenging subjects.

Elements of Number Theory

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0387217355
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Solutions of equations in integers is the central problem of number theory and is the focus of this book. The amount of material is suitable for a one-semester course. The author has tried to avoid the ad hoc proofs in favor of unifying ideas that work in many situations. There are exercises at the end of almost every section, so that each new idea or proof receives immediate reinforcement.

The Four Pillars of Geometry

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0387255303
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This book is unique in that it looks at geometry from 4 different viewpoints - Euclid-style axioms, linear algebra, projective geometry, and groups and their invariants Approach makes the subject accessible to readers of all mathematical tastes, from the visual to the algebraic Abundantly supplemented with figures and exercises

Roads to Infinity

Author: John C. Stillwell
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1439865507
Format: PDF, ePub
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Winner of a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award for 2011! This book offers an introduction to modern ideas about infinity and their implications for mathematics. It unifies ideas from set theory and mathematical logic, and traces their effects on mainstream mathematical topics of today, such as number theory and combinatorics. The treatment is historical and partly informal, but with due attention to the subtleties of the subject. Ideas are shown to evolve from natural mathematical questions about the nature of infinity and the nature of proof, set against a background of broader questions and developments in mathematics. A particular aim of the book is to acknowledge some important but neglected figures in the history of infinity, such as Post and Gentzen, alongside the recognized giants Cantor and Gödel.

Numbers and Geometry

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461206871
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A beautiful and relatively elementary account of a part of mathematics where three main fields - algebra, analysis and geometry - meet. The book provides a broad view of these subjects at the level of calculus, without being a calculus book. Its roots are in arithmetic and geometry, the two opposite poles of mathematics, and the source of historic conceptual conflict. The resolution of this conflict, and its role in the development of mathematics, is one of the main stories in the book. Stillwell has chosen an array of exciting and worthwhile topics and elegantly combines mathematical history with mathematics. He covers the main ideas of Euclid, but with 2000 years of extra insights attached. Presupposing only high school algebra, it can be read by any well prepared student entering university. Moreover, this book will be popular with graduate students and researchers in mathematics due to its attractive and unusual treatment of fundamental topics. A set of well-written exercises at the end of each section allows new ideas to be instantly tested and reinforced.