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How Mathematicians Think

Using Ambiguity, Contradiction, and Paradox to Create Mathematics

Author: William Byers

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN:

Category: Mathematics

Page: 424

View: 179

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.

Paradoxes and Sophisms in Calculus

Author: Sergiy Klymchuk

Publisher: MAA

ISBN:

Category: Mathematics

Page: 98

View: 464

Paradoxes and Sophisms in Calculus offers a delightful supplementary resource to enhance the study of single variable calculus. By the word paradox the authors mean a surprising, unexpected, counter-intuitive statement that looks invalid, but in fact is true. The word sophism describes intentionally invalid reasoning that looks formally correct, but in fact contains a subtle mistake or flaw. In other words, a sophism is a false proof of an incorrect statement. A collection of over fifty paradoxes and sophisms showcases the subtleties of this subject and leads students to contemplate the underlying concepts. A number of the examples treat historically significant issues that arose in the development of calculus, while others more naturally challenge readers to understand common misconceptions. Sophisms and paradoxes from the areas of functions, limits, derivatives, integrals, sequences, and series are explored. The book could be useful for high school teachers and university faculty as a teaching resource; high school and college students as a learning resource; and a professional development resource for calculus instructors.

Paraconsistent Logic: Consistency, Contradiction and Negation

Author: Walter Carnielli

Publisher: Springer

ISBN:

Category: Philosophy

Page: 398

View: 789

This book is the first in the field of paraconsistency to offer a comprehensive overview of the subject, including connections to other logics and applications in information processing, linguistics, reasoning and argumentation, and philosophy of science. It is recommended reading for anyone interested in the question of reasoning and argumentation in the presence of contradictions, in semantics, in the paradoxes of set theory and in the puzzling properties of negation in logic programming. Paraconsistent logic comprises a major logical theory and offers the broadest possible perspective on the debate of negation in logic and philosophy. It is a powerful tool for reasoning under contradictoriness as it investigates logic systems in which contradictory information does not lead to arbitrary conclusions. Reasoning under contradictions constitutes one of most important and creative achievements in contemporary logic, with deep roots in philosophical questions involving negation and consistency This book offers an invaluable introduction to a topic of central importance in logic and philosophy. It discusses (i) the history of paraconsistent logic; (ii) language, negation, contradiction, consistency and inconsistency; (iii) logics of formal inconsistency (LFIs) and the main paraconsistent propositional systems; (iv) many-valued companions, possible-translations semantics and non-deterministic semantics; (v) paraconsistent modal logics; (vi) first-order paraconsistent logics; (vii) applications to information processing, databases and quantum computation; and (viii) applications to deontic paradoxes, connections to Eastern thought and to dialogical reasoning.

Information and Computation

Essays on Scientific and Philosophical Understanding of Foundations of Information and Computation

Author: Gordana Dodig Crnkovic

Publisher: World Scientific

ISBN:

Category: Computers

Page: 496

View: 925

This volume provides a cutting-edge view of the world's leading authorities in fields where information and computation play a central role.

Deep Thinking

What Mathematics Can Teach Us about the Mind

Author: William Byers

Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company Incorporated

ISBN:

Category: Education

Page: 246

View: 181

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.

Deep Thinking

What Mathematics Can Teach Us About the Mind

Author: William Byers

Publisher: World Scientific

ISBN:

Category: Education

Page: 264

View: 648

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. Contents:What is Deep Thinking?Conceptual SystemsDeep Thinking in Mathematics and ScienceDeep Thinking in the Mind and the BrainDeep Thinking and CreativityDeep LearningGood TeachingUndergraduate MathematicsWhat the Mind Can Teach Us About MathematicsWhat Mathematics Can Teach Us About the MindReferences Readership: Students, graduate students and researchers with an interest in mathematics, mathematicians, scientists, philosophers, psychologists, and readers who use mathematics in their work. Key Features:In this book, the author, a mathematician, demonstrates the specific difference between creative mathematical thought and the analytic thought of logic and the artificial intelligence of computersThis book shows why learning is a creative activity and demonstrates how teaching and learning must undergo radical changes in this age of rapid technological changeMathematics is a model for how people think and it reveals the essence of intelligenceThe author, a mathematician, demonstrates that creativity is a basic feature of the world. The same phenomenon of creative intelligence underlies the theory of evolution, child development, learning, and scientific and mathematical research. Creativity is so natural that even babies are capable of it but so difficult that adults have great trouble with it. This book explains the reasons behind this apparent paradoxKeywords:Mathematics;Cognitive Development;Thinking;Education;Mathematics Education;Conceptual Systems

The Blind Spot

Science and the Crisis of Uncertainty

Author: William Byers

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 820

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.

Tricycle

The Buddhist Review

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Buddhism

Page:

View: 843

Library Journal

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Libraries

Page:

View: 511

Includes, beginning Sept. 15, 1954 (and on the 15th of each month, Sept.-May) a special section: School library journal, ISSN 0000-0035, (called Junior libraries, 1954-May 1961). Also issued separately.

Science News

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page:

View: 636

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