Strange curves, counting rabbits, and other mathematical explorations [electronic resource] / Keith Ball.
- Other records:
- Course Book
- Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2003.
1 online resource (268 p.)
- Mathematics -- Popular works.
Mathematics -- Miscellanea.
- Electronic books.
- 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.
Chapter one. Shannon's Free Lunch
Chapter Two. Counting Dots
Chapter Three. Fermat's Little Theorem and Infinite Decimals
Chapter Four. Strange Curves
Chapter Five. Shared Birthdays, Normal Bells
Chapter Six. Stirling Works
Chapter Seven. Spare Change, Pools of Blood
Chapter Eight. Fibonacci's Rabbits Revisited
Chapter Nine. Chasing the Curve
Chapter Ten. Rational and Irrational
- Description based upon print version of record.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
- Publisher Number:
- 10.1515/9781400841240 doi
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