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Strange curves, counting rabbits, and other mathematical explorations

By: Ball, Keith

0691127972 / 9780691127972
Paperback
510
16/10/2006
Stock expected by 16/04/2020
23 cm 272 p. : ill.
general  Learn More research & professional academic/professional/technical
Reprint. Originally published: 2003.
This book belongs on the shelf next to the classic What is Mathematics? as a resource for students who seek a broader view of mathematics and for teachers and professors who want to enrich their classes. A great addition to the books that spread the beauty and substance of mathematics to a wide audience. -- Sherman Stein, author of "How the Other Half Thinks" This book represents a good mix of topics, covering a range of classroom-tested material that is accessible to students. The author's presentation is lucid and flows well. -- Adam McBride, University of Strathclyde This book was a joy to

How does mathematics enable us to send pictures from space back to Earth?

Where does the bell-shaped curve come from? Why do you need only 23 people in a room for a 50/50 chance of two of them sharing the same birthday?

In "Strange Curves, Counting Rabbits, and Other Mathematical Explorations", Keith Ball highlights how ideas, mostly from pure math, can answer these questions and many more.

Drawing on areas of mathematics from probability theory, number theory, and geometry, he explores a wide range of concepts, some more light-hearted, others central to the development of the field and used daily by mathematicians, physicists, and engineers.

Each of the book's ten chapters begins by outlining key concepts and goes on to discuss, with the minimum of technical detail, the principles that underlie them.

Each includes puzzles and problems of varying difficulty.

While the chapters are self-contained, they also reveal the links between seemingly unrelated topics.

For example, the problem of how to design codes for satellite communication gives rise to the same idea of uncertainty as the problem of screening blood samples for disease. Accessible to anyone familiar with basic calculus, this book is a treasure trove of ideas that will entertain, amuse, and bemuse students, teachers, and math lovers of all ages.

BIC:

PBT Probability & statistics, PDZM Popular mathematics

Prizes:

R 2004 Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award

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