To many outsiders, mathematicians appear to think like computers, grimly grinding away with a strict formal logic and moving methodically--even algorithmically--from one black-and-white deduction to another. Yet mathematicians often describe their most important breakthroughs as creative, intuitive responses to ambiguity, contradiction, and paradox. A unique examination of this less-familiar aspect of mathematics, How Mathematicians Think reveals that mathematics is a profoundly creative activity and not just a body of formalized rules and results. Nonlogical qualities, William Byers shows, play an essential role in mathematics. Ambiguities, contradictions, and paradoxes can arise when ideas developed in different contexts come into contact. Uncertainties and conflicts do not impede but rather spur the development of mathematics. Creativity often means bringing apparently incompatible perspectives together as complementary aspects of a new, more subtle theory. The secret of mathematics is not to be found only in its logical structure. The creative dimensions of mathematical work have great implications for our notions of mathematical and scientific truth, and How Mathematicians Think provides a novel approach to many fundamental questions. Is mathematics objectively true? Is it discovered or invented? And is there such a thing as a "final" scientific theory? Ultimately, How Mathematicians Think shows that the nature of mathematical thinking can teach us a great deal about the human condition itself.

Reveals that mathematics is a profoundly creative activity and not just a body of formalized rules and results. This book provides an approach to many fundamental questions, such as: Is mathematics objectively true? Is it discovered or invented? And is there such a thing as a "final" scientific theory?.

An undergraduate textbook devoted exclusively to relationships between mathematics and art, Viewpoints is ideally suited for math-for-liberal-arts courses and mathematics courses for fine arts majors. The textbook contains a wide variety of classroom-tested activities and problems, a series of essays by contemporary artists written especially for the book, and a plethora of pedagogical and learning opportunities for instructors and students. Viewpoints focuses on two mathematical areas: perspective related to drawing man-made forms and fractal geometry related to drawing natural forms. Investigating facets of the three-dimensional world in order to understand mathematical concepts behind the art, the textbook explores art topics including comic, anamorphic, and classical art, as well as photography, while presenting such mathematical ideas as proportion, ratio, self-similarity, exponents, and logarithms. Straightforward problems and rewarding solutions empower students to make accurate, sophisticated drawings. Personal essays and short biographies by contemporary artists are interspersed between chapters and are accompanied by images of their work. These fine artists--who include mathematicians and scientists--examine how mathematics influences their art. Accessible to students of all levels, Viewpoints encourages experimentation and collaboration, and captures the essence of artistic and mathematical creation and discovery. Classroom-tested activities and problem solving Accessible problems that move beyond regular art school curriculum Multiple solutions of varying difficulty and applicability Appropriate for students of all mathematics and art levels Original and exclusive essays by contemporary artists Forthcoming: Instructor's manual (available only to teachers)

While taking a class on infinity at Stanford in the late 1980s, Ravi Kapoor discovers that he is confronting the same mathematical and philosophical dilemmas that his mathematician grandfather had faced many decades earlier--and that had landed him in jail. Charged under an obscure blasphemy law in a small New Jersey town in 1919, Vijay Sahni is challenged by a skeptical judge to defend his belief that the certainty of mathematics can be extended to all human knowledge--including religion. Together, the two men discover the power--and the fallibility--of what has long been considered the pinnacle of human certainty, Euclidean geometry. As grandfather and grandson struggle with the question of whether there can ever be absolute certainty in mathematics or life, they are forced to reconsider their fundamental beliefs and choices. Their stories hinge on their explorations of parallel developments in the study of geometry and infinity--and the mathematics throughout is as rigorous and fascinating as the narrative and characters are compelling and complex. Moving and enlightening, A Certain Ambiguity is a story about what it means to face the extent--and the limits--of human knowledge.

In today's unpredictable and chaotic world, we look to science to provide certainty and answers--and often blame it when things go wrong. The Blind Spot reveals why our faith in scientific certainty is a dangerous illusion, and how only by embracing science's inherent ambiguities and paradoxes can we truly appreciate its beauty and harness its potential. Crackling with insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas, from climate change to the global financial meltdown, this book challenges our most sacredly held beliefs about science, technology, and progress. At the same time, it shows how the secret to better science can be found where we least expect it--in the uncertain, the ambiguous, and the inevitably unpredictable. William Byers explains why the subjective element in scientific inquiry is in fact what makes it so dynamic, and deftly balances the need for certainty and rigor in science with the equally important need for creativity, freedom, and downright wonder. Drawing on an array of fascinating examples--from Wall Street's overreliance on algorithms to provide certainty in uncertain markets, to undecidable problems in mathematics and computer science, to Georg Cantor's paradoxical but true assertion about infinity--Byers demonstrates how we can and must learn from the existence of blind spots in our scientific and mathematical understanding. The Blind Spot offers an entirely new way of thinking about science, one that highlights its strengths and limitations, its unrealized promise, and, above all, its unavoidable ambiguity. It also points to a more sophisticated approach to the most intractable problems of our time.

“A fine mathematical biography.”—John Allen Paulos, New York Times Book Review Just when we thought we knew everything about Lewis Carroll, here comes this “insightful . . . scholarly . . . serious” (John Butcher, American Scientist) biography that will appeal to Alice fans everywhere. Fascinated by the inner life of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Robin Wilson, a Carroll scholar and a noted mathematics professor, has produced this revelatory book—filled with more than one hundred striking and often playful illustrations—that examines the many inspirations and sources for Carroll’s fantastical writings, mathematical and otherwise. As Wilson demonstrates, Carroll made significant contributions to subjects as varied as voting patterns and the design of tennis tournaments, in the process creating large numbers of imaginative recreational puzzles based on mathematical ideas.

There is more than one way to think. Most people are familiar with the systematic, rule-based thinking that one finds in a mathematical proof or a computer program. But such thinking does not produce breakthroughs in mathematics and science nor is it the kind of thinking that results in significant learning. Deep thinking is a different and more basic way of using the mind. It results in the discontinuous "aha!" experience, which is the essence of creativity. It is at the heart of every paradigm shift or reframing of a problematic situation. The identification of deep thinking as the default state of the mind has the potential to reframe our current approach to technological change, education, and the nature of mathematics and science. For example, there is an unbridgeable gap between deep thinking and computer simulations of thinking. Many people suspect that such a gap exists, but find it difficult to make this intuition precise. This book identifies the way in which the authentic intelligence of deep thinking differs from the artificial intelligence of "big data" and "analytics." Deep thinking is the essential ingredient in every significant learning experience, which leads to a new way to think about education. It is also essential to the construction of conceptual systems that are at the heart of mathematics and science, and of the technologies that shape the modern world. Deep thinking can be found whenever one conceptual system morphs into another. The sources of this study include the cognitive development of numbers in children, neuropsychology, the study of creativity, and the historical development of mathematics and science. The approach is unusual and original. It comes out of the author's lengthy experience as a mathematician, teacher, and writer of books about mathematics and science, such as How Mathematicians Think: Using Ambiguity, Contradiction, and Paradox to Create Mathematics and The Blind Spot: Science and the Crisis of Uncertainty.

Provides an in-depth analysis of the cognitive science of mathematical ideas that argues that conceptual metaphor plays a definitive role in mathematical ideas, exploring such concepts as arithmetic, algebra, sets, logic, and infinity. 20,000 first printing.

Mathematics and logic have been central topics of concern since the dawn of philosophy. Since logic is the study of correct reasoning, it is a fundamental branch of epistemology and a priority in any philosophical system. Philosophers have focused on mathematics as a case study for general philosophical issues and for its role in overall knowledge- gathering. Today, philosophy of mathematics and logic remain central disciplines in contemporary philosophy, as evidenced by the regular appearance of articles on these topics in the best mainstream philosophical journals; in fact, the last decade has seen an explosion of scholarly work in these areas. This volume covers these disciplines in a comprehensive and accessible manner, giving the reader an overview of the major problems, positions, and battle lines. The 26 contributed chapters are by established experts in the field, and their articles contain both exposition and criticism as well as substantial development of their own positions. The essays, which are substantially self-contained, serve both to introduce the reader to the subject and to engage in it at its frontiers. Certain major positions are represented by two chapters--one supportive and one critical. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Math and Logic is a ground-breaking reference like no other in its field. It is a central resource to those wishing to learn about the philosophy of mathematics and the philosophy of logic, or some aspect thereof, and to those who actively engage in the discipline, from advanced undergraduates to professional philosophers, mathematicians, and historians.

This 4-part treatment begins with algebra and analytic geometry and proceeds to an exploration of the calculus of algebraic functions and transcendental functions and applications. 1985 edition. Includes 310 figures and 18 tables.

As this book richly and entertainingly demonstrates, philosophy is as much the search for the right questions as it is the search for the right answers. Robert M. Martin’s popular collection of philosophical puzzles, paradoxes, jokes, and anecdotes is updated and expanded in this third edition, with dozens of new entries.

A modern classic by an accomplished mathematician and best-selling author has been updated to encompass and explain the recent headline-making advances in the field in non-technical terms.

Can a Christian escape from a lion? How quickly can a rumour spread? Can you fool an airline into accepting oversize baggage? Recreational mathematics is full of frivolous questions where the mathematician's art can be brought to bear. But play often has a purpose. In mathematics, it can sharpen skills, provide amusement, or simply surprise, and books of problems have been the stock-in-trade of mathematicians for centuries. This collection is designed to be sipped from, rather than consumed in one sitting. The questions range in difficulty: the most challenging offer a glimpse of deep results that engage mathematicians today; even the easiest prompt readers to think about mathematics. All come with solutions, many with hints, and most with illustrations. Whether you are an expert, or a beginner or an amateur mathematician, this book will delight for a lifetime.

Examinations of arithmetic, geometry, and theory of integers; rational and natural numbers; complete induction; limit and point of accumulation; remarkable curves; complex and hypercomplex numbers; more. Includes 27 figures. 1959 edition.

without a properly developed inconsistent calculus based on infinitesimals, then in consistent claims from the history of the calculus might well simply be symptoms of confusion. This is addressed in Chapter 5. It is further argued that mathematics has a certain primacy over logic, in that paraconsistent or relevant logics have to be based on inconsistent mathematics. If the latter turns out to be reasonably rich then paraconsistentism is vindicated; while if inconsistent mathematics has seri ous restriytions then the case for being interested in inconsistency-tolerant logics is weakened. (On such restrictions, see this chapter, section 3. ) It must be conceded that fault-tolerant computer programming (e. g. Chapter 8) finds a substantial and important use for paraconsistent logics, albeit with an epistemological motivation (see this chapter, section 3). But even here it should be noted that if inconsistent mathematics turned out to be functionally impoverished then so would inconsistent databases. 2. Summary In Chapter 2, Meyer's results on relevant arithmetic are set out, and his view that they have a bearing on G8del's incompleteness theorems is discussed. Model theory for nonclassical logics is also set out so as to be able to show that the inconsistency of inconsistent theories can be controlled or limited, but in this book model theory is kept in the background as much as possible. This is then used to study the functional properties of various equational number theories.

Shares behind-the-scenes stories for ten of the most significant equations in human history, covering a range of topics, from Feynman's statement about Maxwell's pivotal electromagnetic equations and the influence of Newton's law of gravitation to the reason Euler's formula has been called "God's equation" and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. 20,000 first printing.

Now in Paperback! The author narrates the life of Carl Friedrich Gauss, the 18th century mathematician, from his prodigious childhood to his extraordinary achievements that earned him the title Prince of Mathematics. Along the way, the author introduces her young readers to a different culture, the era of small states in Germany where advancement on merits, such as Gauss, was supported by enlightened rulers, competing for intellectual excellence and economic advantage through scientific progress in their small states.Based on extensive research of original and secondary sources, the author has created a historical narrative that will inspire young readers and even curious adults with a story full of human touch and personal achievement.

A guide to mathematics covers such topics as mathematical proofs, fractals, chaos, prime numbers, four-dimensional geometry, and quasicrystals.