Mathematics is a subject we are all exposed to in our daily lives, but one that many of us fear. Timothy Gowers’s entertaining overview of the topic explains the differences between what we learn at school and advanced mathematics, and helps the math phobic emerge with a clearer understanding of such paradoxical-sounding concepts as “infinity,” “curved space,” and “imaginary numbers.” From basic ideas to philosophical queries to common sociological questions about the mathematical community, this book unravels the mysteries of space and numbers.
Most philosophers of mathematics treat it as isolated, timeless, ahistorical, inhuman. Reuben Hersh argues the contrary, that mathematics must be understood as a human activity, a social phenomenon, part of human culture, historically evolved, and intelligible only in a social context. Hersh pulls the screen back to reveal mathematics as seen by professionals, debunking many mathematical myths, and demonstrating how the "humanist" idea of the nature of mathematics more closely resembles how mathematicians actually work. At the heart of his book is a fascinating historical account of the mainstream of philosophy--ranging from Pythagoras, Descartes, and Spinoza, to Bertrand Russell, David Hilbert, and Rudolph Carnap--followed by the mavericks who saw mathematics as a human artifact, including Aristotle, Locke, Hume, Mill, and Lakatos. What is Mathematics, Really? reflects an insider's view of mathematical life, and will be hotly debated by anyone with an interest in mathematics or the philosophy of science.
Written for liberal arts students and based on the belief that learning to solve problems is the principal reason for studying mathematics, Karl Smith introduces students to Polya’s problem-solving techniques and shows them how to use these techniques to solve unfamiliar problems that they encounter in their own lives. Through the emphasis on problem solving and estimation, along with numerous in-text study aids, students are assisted in understanding the concepts and mastering the techniques. In addition to the problem-solving emphasis, THE NATURE OF MATHEMATICS is renowned for its clear writing, coverage of historical topics, selection of topics, level, and excellent applications problem...
With wit and clarity, the authors progress from simple arithmetic to calculus and non-Euclidean geometry. Their subjects: geometry, plane and fancy; puzzles that made mathematical history; tantalizing paradoxes; more. Includes 169 figures.
Written for the Edexcel Syllabus B and similar schemes offered by the major Awarding Bodies. The authors have incorported many modern approaches to mathematical understanding whilst retaining the most effective traditional methods. Plenty of worked examples and stimulating exercises also support this highly popular text.