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Are Numbers Real?

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Have you ever wondered what humans did before numbers existed? How they organized their lives, traded goods, or kept track of their treasures? What would your life be like without them?

Numbers began as simple representations of everyday things, but mathematics rapidly took on a life of its own, occupying a parallel virtual world. In Are Numbers Real?, Brian Clegg explores the way that math has become more and more detached from reality, and yet despite this is driving the development of modern physics. From devising a new counting system based on goats, through the weird and wonderful mathematics of imaginary numbers and infinity, to the debate over whether mathematics has too much influence on the direction of science, this fascinating and accessible book opens the reader's eyes to the hidden reality of the strange yet familiar entities that are numbers.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781250081049
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Do Dice Play God?

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A celebrated mathematician explores how math helps us make sense of the unpredictable
We would like to believe we can know things for certain. We want to be able to figure out who will win an election, if the stock market will crash, or if a suspect definitely committed a crime. But the odds are not in our favor. Life is full of uncertainty --- indeed, scientific advances indicate that the universe might be fundamentally inexact --- and humans are terrible at guessing. When asked to predict the outcome of a chance event, we are almost always wrong.
Thankfully, there is hope. As award-winning mathematician Ian Stewart reveals, over the course of history, mathematics has given us some of the tools we need to better manage the uncertainty that pervades our lives. From forecasting, to medical research, to figuring out how to win Let's Make a Deal, Do Dice Play God? is a surprising and satisfying tour of what we can know, and what we never will.
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9781541699472
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Hello World

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When it comes to artificial intelligence, we either hear of a paradise on earth or of our imminent extinction. It's time we stand face-to-digital-face with the true powers and limitations of the algorithms that already automate important decisions in healthcare, transportation, crime, and commerce. Hello World is indispensable preparation for the moral quandaries of a world run by code, and with the unfailingly entertaining Hannah Fry as our guide, we'll be discussing these issues long after the last page is turned.

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9780393357363
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Infinite Powers

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"Marvelous . . . an array of witty and astonishing stories . . . to illuminate how calculus has helped bring into being our contemporary world."--The Washington Post

From preeminent math personality and author of The Joy of x, a brilliant and endlessly appealing explanation of calculus - how it works and why it makes our lives immeasurably better.

Without calculus, we wouldn't have cell phones, TV, GPS, or ultrasound. We wouldn't have unraveled DNA or discovered Neptune or figured out how to put 5,000 songs in your pocket.

Though many of us were scared away from this essential, engrossing subject in high school and college, Steven Strogatz's brilliantly creative, down-to-earth history shows that calculus is not about complexity; it's about simplicity. It harnesses an unreal number--infinity--to tackle real-world problems, breaking them down into easier ones and then reassembling the answers into solutions that feel miraculous.

Infinite Powers recounts how calculus tantalized and thrilled its inventors, starting with its first glimmers in ancient Greece and bringing us right up to the discovery of gravitational waves (a phenomenon predicted by calculus). Strogatz reveals how this form of math rose to the challenges of each age: how to determine the area of a circle with only sand and a stick; how to explain why Mars goes "backwards" sometimes; how to make electricity with magnets; how to ensure your rocket doesn't miss the moon; how to turn the tide in the fight against AIDS.

As Strogatz proves, calculus is truly the language of the universe. By unveiling the principles of that language, Infinite Powers makes us marvel at the world anew.

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9781328879981
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Mathematics for Human Flourishing

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An inclusive vision of mathematics--its beauty, its humanity, and its power to build virtues that help us all flourish

For mathematician Francis Su, a society without mathematical affection is like a city without concerts, parks, or museums. To miss out on mathematics is to live without experiencing some of humanity's most beautiful ideas.

In this profound book, written for a wide audience but especially for those disenchanted by their past experiences, an award-winning mathematician and educator weaves parables, puzzles, and personal reflections to show how mathematics meets basic human desires--such as for play, beauty, freedom, justice, and love--and cultivates virtues essential for human flourishing. These desires and virtues, and the stories told here, reveal how mathematics is intimately tied to being human. Some lessons emerge from those who have struggled, including philosopher Simone Weil, whose own mathematical contributions were overshadowed by her brother's, and Christopher Jackson, who discovered mathematics as an inmate in a federal prison. Christopher's letters to the author appear throughout the book and show how this intellectual pursuit can--and must--be open to all.
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9780300237139
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