Requiring no more than a knowledge of high school mathematics and written in clear and accessible language, this book will give all readers a new insight into some of the most enjoyable and fascinating aspects of geometry. Everyone knows what a triangle is, yet very few people appreciate that the common three-sided figure holds many intriguing "secrets." For example, if a circle is inscribed in any random triangle and then three lines are drawn from the three points of tangency to the opposite vertices of the triangle, these lines will always meet at a common point-no matter what the shape of the triangle. This and many more interesting geometrical properties are revealed in this entertaining and illuminating book about geometry. Flying in the face of the common impression that mathematics is usually dry and intimidating, this book proves that this sometimes-daunting, abstract discipline can be both fun and intellectually stimulating. The authors, two veteran math educators, explore the multitude of surprising relationships connected with triangles and show some clever approaches to constructing triangles using a straightedge and a compass. Readers will learn how they can improve their problem-solving skills by performing these triangle constructions. The lines, points, and circles related to triangles harbor countless surprising relationships that are presented here in a very engaging fashion.
Two veteran math educators demonstrate how some "magnificent mistakes" had profound consequences for our understanding of mathematics' key concepts. In the nineteenth century, English mathematician William Shanks spent fifteen years calculating the value of pi, setting a record for the number of decimal places. Later, his calculation was reproduced using large wooden numerals to decorate the cupola of a hall in the Palais de la Découverte in Paris. However, in 1946, with the aid of a mechanical desk calculator that ran for seventy hours, it was discovered that there was a mistake in the 528th decimal place. Today, supercomputers have determined the value of pi to trillions of decimal places. This is just one of the amusing and intriguing stories about mistakes in mathematics in this layperson's guide to mathematical principles. In another example, the authors show that when we "prove" that every triangle is isosceles, we are violating a concept not even known to Euclid - that of "betweenness." And if we disregard the time-honored Pythagorean theorem, this is a misuse of the concept of infinity. Even using correct procedures can sometimes lead to absurd - but enlightening - results. Requiring no more than high-school-level math competency, this playful excursion through the nuances of math will give you a better grasp of this fundamental, all-important science. From the Hardcover edition.
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.
What exactly is the Golden Ratio? How was it discovered? Where is it found? These questions and more are thoroughly explained in this engaging tour of one of mathematics' most interesting phenomena. The authors trace the appearance of the Golden Ratio throughout history, demonstrate a variety of ingenious techniques used to construct it, and illustrate the many surprising geometric figures in which the Golden Ratio is embedded. Requiring no more than an elementary knowledge of geometry and algebra, the authors give readers a new appreciation of the indispensable qualities and inherent beauty of mathematics. From the Hardcover edition.
Foreword by Nobel Laureate Herbert A. HauptmanDesigned as a combat to math phobias, this guide tells how to make math intriguing and fun. -The Bookwatch Midwest Book Review library newsletterI love this book. I made the mistake of starting to read it late one evening, only to find I could not put it down. It is as engrossing and as exciting as a good mystery. This is an extraordinary accomplishment for a book about mathematics. - Arthur Levine, President, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityDr. Posamentier has spent a lifetime making the subject of mathematics come to life for students and their teachers. This book is another fine tribute to the work that is possible when a brilliant mind is led by a wonderful heart. How lucky we are to add this new work to an outstanding life of achievement. - Merryl H. Tisch, Member, New York State Board of RegentsProfessional mathematicians often speak of the beauty of mathematics and the elegance of its solutions. Yet the esthetic appeal of math is rarely conveyed to students at the elementary, secondary, or even college level. Instead, most of us develop phobias in school about math's elusive logic and then pass these negative impressions on to our children. What a shame, says math professor Alfred S. Posamentier. We should all be having fun with math and helping our kids to do better in life by encouraging them to appreciate not only its usefulness but especially its charm. That's just what Posamentier sets out to do in this delightful exploration of math's many intriguing, interesting, and fun qualities.Beginning with the beauty of the number system, Posamentier doesn't just talk mathematics; he entices readers to do math and discover for themselves just how stimulating the process can be! Brief and entertaining introductions to each chapter invite readers to try their hands at arithmetic marvels, surprising solutions, algebraic entertainments, geometric wonders, and fun mathematical paradoxes, among other topics.Presented in a reader-friendly, conversational tone, the text is very accessible and the examples are geared to a beginner's level, so that even the most math-phobic individual will discover the hidden joy and inherent appeal of doing math.This is the ideal book for adults looking for a way to turn their kids on to an important subject or discover for themselves what they might have missed in their own math education.Alfred S. Posamentier, Ph.D. (New York, NY), is dean of the School of Education and professor of mathematics education at The City College of the City University of New York. He has published more than 40 books in the area of mathematics and mathematics education, including The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers, Pi: A Biography of the World's Most Mysterious Number, and Math Charmers: Tantalizing Tidbits for the Mind.
Author: Alfred S. Posamentier,Robert Geretschläger
Publisher: Prometheus Books
The circle has fascinated mathematicians since ancient times. This entertaining book describes in layperson’s terms the many intriguing properties of this fundamental shape. If math has intimidated you, this may be the ideal book to help you appreciate the discipline through one of its most important elements. The authors begin with a brief review of the basic properties of the circle and related figures. They then show the many ways in which the circle manifests itself in the field of geometry—leading to some amazing relationships and truly important geometric theorems. In addition, they explore remarkable circle constructions and demonstrate how all constructions in geometry that usually require an unmarked straightedge and a compass can also be done with the compass alone. Among other things, the reader will learn that circles can generate some unusual curves – many even quite artistic. Finally, the role of circles in art and architecture and a discussion of the circle’s place on the sphere bring "full circle" this presentation of a key element of geometry.
"Co-written by a bestselling high school and university textbook author, a longtime educational and standards pioneer, this up-to-date text is geared toward high school geometry classes and contains standard material for numerous state competencies. Topics include plane, solid, coordinate, vector, and non-Euclidean geometry. Features more than 2,000 illustrations, numerous examples with worked-out solutions, and supplementary reading. Electronic solutions manual and annotated teacher's edition are available. "--
""Heavenly Mathematics" is heavenly, is mathematics, and is so much more: history, astronomy, geography, and navigation replete with historical illustrations, elegant diagrams, and charming anecdotes. I haven't followed mathematical proofs with such delight in decades. If, as the author laments, spherical trigonometry was in danger of extinction, this book will give it a long-lasting reprieve."--David J. Helfand, president of the American Astronomical Society "This beautifully written book on an unusual topic, with its wealth of historical information about astronomy, navigation, and mathematics, is greatly to be welcomed."--Robin Wilson, president of the British Society for the History of Mathematics, author of "Four Colors Suffice: How the Map Problem Was Solved" "Written by the leading expert on the subject, this engaging book provides an in-depth historical introduction to spherical trigonometry. "Heavenly Mathematics" breathes new and interesting life into a topic that has been slumbering for far too long."--June Barrow-Green, associate editor of "The Princeton Companion to Mathematics" ""Heavenly Mathematics" is a very good book. It offers an interesting, accessible, and entertaining introduction to spherical trigonometry, which used to be a standard school topic but is now rarely studied. Interesting stories, engaging illustrations, and practical examples come together to enhance the reader's pleasure and understanding."--Fernando Q. Gouvea, Colby College "Van Brummelen provides not only a wonderful historical treatment of spherical trigonometry but also a modern one that shows how the ancient and medieval methods were replaced by newer and simpler means of problem solving. Many students will find this a fascinating and worthwhile subject."--Victor J. Katz, editor of "The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam" "
Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. Pomona Press are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
The Harvard mathematician authors of The Art of the Infinite present a history of the famous relation "A squared plus B squared equals C squared" that assesses its contributors from da Vinci to the Freemasons while analyzing its numerous proofs and applications.
Did you grow up thinking math is boring? It's time to reconsider. This book will teach you everything you ever wondered about numbers—and more. How and why did human beings first start using numbers at the dawn of history? Would numbers exist if weHomo sapiens weren't around to discover them? What's so special about weird numbers like pi and the Fibonacci sequence? What about rational, irrational, real, and imaginary numbers? Why do we need them? Two veteran math educators explain it all in ways even the most math phobic will find appealing and understandable. You'll never look at those squiggles on your calculator the same again.
Explores the development of the ellipse and presents mathematical concepts within a rich, historical context The Ellipse features a unique, narrative approach when presenting the development of this mathematical fixture, revealing its parallels to mankind's advancement from the Counter-Reformation to the Enlightenment. Incorporating illuminating historical background and examples, the author brings together basic concepts from geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus to uncover the ellipse as the shape of a planet's orbit around the sun. The book begins with a discussion that tells the story of man's pursuit of the ellipse, from Aristarchus to Newton's successful unveiling nearly two millenniums later. The narrative draws insightful similarities between mathematical developments and the advancement of the Greeks, Romans, Medieval Europe, and Renaissance Europe. The author begins each chapter by setting the historical backdrop that is pertinent to the mathematical material that is discussed, equipping readers with the knowledge to fully grasp the presented examples and derive the ellipse as the planetary pathway. All topics are presented in both historical and mathematical contexts, and additional mathematical excursions are clearly marked so that readers have a guidepost for the materials' relevance to the development of the ellipse. The Ellipse is an excellent book for courses on the history of mathematics at the undergraduate level. It is also a fascinating reference for mathematicians, engineers, or anyone with a general interest in historical mathematics.
Geometry defines the world around us, helping us make sense of everything from architecture to military science to fashion. And for over two thousand years, geometry has been equated with Euclid's Elements, arguably the most influential book in the history of mathematics In The King of Infinite Space, renowned mathematics writer David Berlinski provides a concise homage to this elusive mathematician and his staggering achievements. Berlinski shows that, for centuries, scientists and thinkers from Copernicus to Newton to Einstein have relied on Euclid's axiomatic system, a method of proof still taught in classrooms around the world. Euclid's use of elemental logic—and the mathematical statements he and others built from it—have dramatically expanded the frontiers of human knowledge. The King of Infinite Space presents a rich, accessible treatment of Euclid and his beautifully simple geometric system, which continues to shape the way we see the world.
How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life
Author: Alex Bellos
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
From triangles, rotations and power laws, to cones, curves and the dreaded calculus, Alex takes you on a journey of mathematical discovery with his signature wit and limitless enthusiasm. He sifts through over 30,000 survey submissions to uncover the world’s favourite number, and meets a mathematician who looks for universes in his garage. He attends the World Mathematical Congress in India, and visits the engineer who designed the first roller-coaster loop. Get hooked on math as Alex delves deep into humankind’s turbulent relationship with numbers, and reveals how they have shaped the world we live in.
""Secrets of the Wizard"" is the ultimate math puzzle adventure, appropriate for ages 12 and up. It's the exciting story of the good wizard, Galimedes, and his two faithful helpers as they seek to recover the scrolls of time and seasons which have been stolen by the evil magician, Zarvildar. The pages of the story have been scrambled and renumbered. Only by solving the math puzzle on each page will you know the number of the page to read next. There is also a hidden secret message which can be spelled out by stringing together the first letters on each of the pages when they are read in the correct order. This message will reveal the wizard's greatest secret. There are 99 puzzles in all, some of which should be easy for the average sixth grader. Other puzzles are more difficult because they involve multiple steps and operations. A seventh or eighth grader or even an adult will find some of these quite challenging. In case you get stuck, lists with hints and answers are included in the back of the book.
An innovative and appealing way for the layperson to develop math skills--while actually enjoying it Most people agree that math is important, but few would say it's fun. This book will show you that the subject you learned to hate in high school can be as entertaining as a witty remark, as engrossing as the mystery novel you can't put down--in short, fun! As veteran math educators Posamentier and Lehmann demonstrate, when you realize that doing math can be enjoyable, you open a door into a world of unexpected insights while learning an important skill. The authors illustrate the point with many easily understandable examples. One of these is what mathematicians call the "Ruth-Aaron pair" (714 and 715), named after the respective career home runs of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. These two consecutive integers contain a host of interesting features, one of which is that their prime factors when added together have the same sum. The authors also explore the unusual aspects of such numbers as 11 and 18, which have intriguing properties usually overlooked by standard math curriculums. And to make you a better all-around problem solver, a variety of problems is presented that appear simple but have surprisingly clever solutions. If math has frustrated you over the years, this delightful approach will teach you many things you thought were beyond your reach, while conveying the key message that math can and should be anything but boring.
a wise and witty introduction to the joy of numbers
Author: David G. Wells
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
A guide to the potential and pleasures of math explores the patterns and properties associated with numbers, reveals the origins of mathematical theories and principles, and includes more than one hundred mathematical puzzles
Afterword by Dr. Herbert A. Hauptman, Nobel LaureateThis delightful book reveals an incredibly interesting history of the development of our knowledge of this ubiquitous number in mathematics. . . . I recommend this book to anyone who remembers ever hearing about Pi!-Stanley H. Kaplan, Founder of the Kaplan Test Preparation and Admission Programs. . . Read this book and enjoy the journey through the mysteries of pi. Give it to your students and you will have aroused their appreciation of the many wonders of mathematics.-Alice F. Artzt, Professor of Mathematics Education; Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Secondary Mathematics Education, Queens College of the City University of New York. . . The history of pi and the attempts to fully understand what it represents makes for amusing, interesting and enjoyable reading.-Dr. Stephen Krulik, Professor of Mathematics Education, Temple UniversityWe all learned that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is called p and that the value of this algebraic symbol is roughly 3.14. What we weren't told, though, is that behind this seemingly mundane fact is a world of mystery, which has fascinated mathematicians from ancient times to the present.Mathematicians call it a transcendental number because its value cannot be calculated by any combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and square root extraction. This elusive nature has led intrepid investigators over the years to attempt ever-closer approximations. In 2002, a Japanese professor using a supercomputer calculated the value to 1.24 trillion decimal places! Nonetheless, in this huge string of decimals there is no periodic repetition.In this delightful layperson's introduction to one of math's most interesting phenomena, Drs. Posamentier and Lehmann review p's history from prebiblical times to the 21st century, the many amusing and mind-boggling ways of estimating ? over the centuries, quirky examples of obsessing about p (including an attempt to legislate its exact value), and useful applications of p in everyday life, including statistics.This enlightening and stimulating approach to mathematics will entertain lay readers while improving their mathematical literacy.Alfred S. Posamentier, Ph.D. (New York, NY), is dean of the School of Education and professor of mathematics education at The City College of the City University of New York. He has published more than 40 books in the area of mathematics and mathematics education, including The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers, Pi: A Biography of the World's Most Mysterious Number, and Math Charmers: Tantalizing Tidbits for the Mind..Ingmar Lehmann, Ph.D. (Berlin, Germany), is a mathematics educator at Humboldt University in Berlin and is the coauthor of The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers and Pi: A Biography of the World's Most Mysterious Number.