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Elements of Mathematics

Elements of Mathematics

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400880564
Pages: 440
Year: 2016-05-31
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

Elements of Mathematics

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher:
ISBN: 0691171688
Pages: 400
Year: 2016-05-23
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.
Mathematics and Its History

Mathematics and Its History

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 144196052X
Pages: 662
Year: 2010-08-02
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.
Reverse Mathematics

Reverse Mathematics

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400889030
Pages: 200
Year: 2018-01-02
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.
Roads to Infinity

Roads to Infinity

Author: John C. Stillwell
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1439865507
Pages: 250
Year: 2010-07-13
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.
Elements of Algebra

Elements of Algebra

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1475739761
Pages: 184
Year: 2013-04-18
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.
Yearning for the Impossible

Yearning for the Impossible

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 0429998023
Pages: 312
Year: 2018-04-27
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

Elements of Number Theory

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0387217355
Pages: 256
Year: 2012-11-12
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

The Four Pillars of Geometry

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0387255303
Pages: 228
Year: 2005-08-09
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
Numbers and Geometry

Numbers and Geometry

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461206871
Pages: 343
Year: 2012-12-06
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.
Geometry of Surfaces

Geometry of Surfaces

Author: John Stillwell
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461209293
Pages: 236
Year: 2012-12-06
The geometry of surfaces is an ideal starting point for learning geometry, for, among other reasons, the theory of surfaces of constant curvature has maximal connectivity with the rest of mathematics. This text provides the student with the knowledge of a geometry of greater scope than the classical geometry taught today, which is no longer an adequate basis for mathematics or physics, both of which are becoming increasingly geometric. It includes exercises and informal discussions.
Summing It Up

Summing It Up

Author: Avner Ash, Robert Gross
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 140088053X
Pages: 248
Year: 2016-05-17
We use addition on a daily basis—yet how many of us stop to truly consider the enormous and remarkable ramifications of this mathematical activity? Summing It Up uses addition as a springboard to present a fascinating and accessible look at numbers and number theory, and how we apply beautiful numerical properties to answer math problems. Mathematicians Avner Ash and Robert Gross explore addition's most basic characteristics as well as the addition of squares and other powers before moving onward to infinite series, modular forms, and issues at the forefront of current mathematical research. Ash and Gross tailor their succinct and engaging investigations for math enthusiasts of all backgrounds. Employing college algebra, the first part of the book examines such questions as, can all positive numbers be written as a sum of four perfect squares? The second section of the book incorporates calculus and examines infinite series—long sums that can only be defined by the concept of limit, as in the example of 1+1/2+1/4+. . .=? With the help of some group theory and geometry, the third section ties together the first two parts of the book through a discussion of modular forms—the analytic functions on the upper half-plane of the complex numbers that have growth and transformation properties. Ash and Gross show how modular forms are indispensable in modern number theory, for example in the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. Appropriate for numbers novices as well as college math majors, Summing It Up delves into mathematics that will enlighten anyone fascinated by numbers.
Man vs Maths

Man vs Maths

Author: Timothy Revell
Publisher: Aurum Press Limited
ISBN: 178131621X
Pages: 224
Year: 2016-09-15
Could we solve queuing with an equation? How do algorithms control our news? What is the secret behind encryption codes? Mathematics is inescapable. Wherever you go, whatever you do, however you live your life, mathematics plays a role. From controlling a city’s traffic to finding love, spending money online to building a skyscraper, the mathematics at play in our world is fascinating. Yet despite its ubiquity, for many of us, how the maths of today really works remains complex. Timothy Revell distils these complexities in this essential guide to modern-day mathematics. Along the way we discover how social media trends work, why the universe has a favourite number and what this means for you. Man vs Maths shows you how understanding a little more mathematics can help improve your life.
Advanced Calculus

Advanced Calculus

Author: Harold M. Edwards
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0817684123
Pages: 508
Year: 2013-11-10
In a book written for mathematicians, teachers of mathematics, and highly motivated students, Harold Edwards has taken a bold and unusual approach to the presentation of advanced calculus. He begins with a lucid discussion of differential forms and quickly moves to the fundamental theorems of calculus and Stokes’ theorem. The result is genuine mathematics, both in spirit and content, and an exciting choice for an honors or graduate course or indeed for any mathematician in need of a refreshingly informal and flexible reintroduction to the subject. For all these potential readers, the author has made the approach work in the best tradition of creative mathematics. This affordable softcover reprint of the 1994 edition presents the diverse set of topics from which advanced calculus courses are created in beautiful unifying generalization. The author emphasizes the use of differential forms in linear algebra, implicit differentiation in higher dimensions using the calculus of differential forms, and the method of Lagrange multipliers in a general but easy-to-use formulation. There are copious exercises to help guide the reader in testing understanding. The chapters can be read in almost any order, including beginning with the final chapter that contains some of the more traditional topics of advanced calculus courses. In addition, it is ideal for a course on vector analysis from the differential forms point of view. The professional mathematician will find here a delightful example of mathematical literature; the student fortunate enough to have gone through this book will have a firm grasp of the nature of modern mathematics and a solid framework to continue to more advanced studies. The most important feature...is that it is fun—it is fun to read the exercises, it is fun to read the comments printed in the margins, it is fun simply to pick a random spot in the book and begin reading. This is the way mathematics should be presented, with an excitement and liveliness that show why we are interested in the subject. —The American Mathematical Monthly (First Review) An inviting, unusual, high-level introduction to vector calculus, based solidly on differential forms. Superb exposition: informal but sophisticated, down-to-earth but general, geometrically rigorous, entertaining but serious. Remarkable diverse applications, physical and mathematical. —The American Mathematical Monthly (1994) Based on the Second Edition
Burn Math Class

Burn Math Class

Author: Jason Wilkes
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465073816
Pages: 400
Year: 2016-03-22
Forget everything you’ve been taught about math. In Burn Math Class, Jason Wilkes takes the traditional approach to mathematics education—with its unwelcoming textbooks, unexplained rules, and authoritarian assertions—and sets it on fire. Focusing on how mathematics is created rather than on mathematical facts, Wilkes teaches the subject in a way that requires no memorization and no prior knowledge beyond addition and multiplication. From these simple foundations, Burn Math Class shows how mathematics can be (re)invented from scratch without preexisting textbooks and courses. We can discover math on our own through experimentation and failure, without appealing to any outside authority. When math is created free from arcane notations and pretentious jargon that hide the simplicity of mathematical concepts, it can be understood organically—and it becomes fun! Following this unconventional approach, Burn Math Class leads the reader from the basics of elementary arithmetic to various “advanced” topics, such as time-dilation in special relativity, Taylor series, and calculus in infinite-dimensional spaces. Along the way, Wilkes argues that orthodox mathematics education has been teaching the subject backward: calculus belongs before many of its so-called prerequisites, and those prerequisites cannot be fully understood without calculus. Like the smartest, craziest teacher you’ve ever had, Wilkes guides you on an adventure in mathematical creation that will radically change the way you think about math. Revealing the beauty and simplicity of this timeless subject, Burn Math Class turns everything that seems difficult about mathematics upside down and sideways until you understand just how easy math can be.