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The joy of X : a guided tour of math, from one to infinity

Author: Steven H Strogatz
Publisher: Boston : Mariner Books, 2013.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : First Mariner books editionView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Many people take math in high school and promptly forget much of it. But math plays a part in all of our lives all of the time, whether we know it or not. In The Joy of x, Steven Strogatz expands on his hit New York Times series to explain the big ideas of math gently and clearly, with wit, insight, and brilliant illustrations. Whether he is illuminating how often you should flip your mattress to get the maximum  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Popular works
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Steven H Strogatz
ISBN: 9780544105850 0544105850 9780547517650 0547517653
OCLC Number: 859543883
Notes: "An Eamon Dolan book."
Description: xii, 316 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Contents: pt. 1. Numbers. From fish to infinity: An introduction to numbers, pointing out their upsides (they're efficient) as well as their downsides (they're ethereal) --
Rock groups: Treating numbers concretely--think rocks--can make calculations less baffling --
The enemy of my enemy: The disturbing concept of subtraction, and how we deal with the fact that negative numbers seem so negative --
Commuting: When you buy jeans on sale, do you save more money if the clerk applies the discount after the tax, or before? --
Division and its discontents: Helping Verizon grasp the difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents --
Location, location, location: How the place-value system for writing numbers brought arithmetic to the masses --
pt. 2. Relationships. The joy of x: Arithmetic becomes algebra when we begin working with unknowns and formulas --
Finding your roots: Complex numbers, a hybrid of the imaginary and the real, are the pinnacle of number systems --
My tub runneth over: Turning peril to pleasure in word problems --
Working your quads: The quadratic formula may never win any beauty contests, but the ideas behind it are ravishing --
Power tools: In math, the function of functions is to transform --
pt. 3. Shapes. Square dancing: Geometry, intuition, and the long road from Pythagoras to Einstein --
Something from nothing: Like any other creative act, constructing a proof begins with inspiration --
The conic conspiracy: The uncanny similarities between parabolas and ellipses suggest hidden forces at work --
Sine qua non: Sine waves everywhere, from Ferris wheels to zebra stripes --
Take it to the limit: Archimedes recognized the power of the infinite and in the process laid the groundwork for calculus. pt. 4. Change. Change we can believe in: Differential calculus can show you the best path from A to B, and Michael Jordan's dunks help explain why --
It slices, it dices: The lasting legacy of integral calculus is a Veg-O-Matic view of the universe --
All about e: How many people should you date before settling down? Your grandmother knows, and so does the number e --
Loves me, loves me not: Differential equations made sense of planetary motion. But the course of true love? Now that's confusing --
Step into the light: A light beam is a pas de deux of electric and magnetic fields, and vector calculus is its choreographer --
pt. 5. Data. The new normal: Bell curves are out. Fat tails are in --
Chances are: The improbable thrills of probability theory --
Untangling the Web: How Google solved the Zen riddle of Internet search using linear algebra --
pt. 6. Frontiers. The loneliest numbers: Prime numbers, solitary and inscrutable, space themselves apart in mysterious ways --
Group think: Group theory, one of the most versatile parts of math, bridges art and science --
Twist and shout: Playing with Möbius strips and music boxes, and a better way to cut a bagel --
Think globally: Differential geometry reveals the shortest route between two points on a globe or any other curved surface --
Analyze this!: Why calculus, once so smug and cocky, had to put itself on the couch --
The Hilbert Hotel : An exploration of infinity as this book, not being infinite, comes to an end.
Responsibility: Steven Strogatz.

Abstract:

"Many people take math in high school and promptly forget much of it. But math plays a part in all of our lives all of the time, whether we know it or not. In The Joy of x, Steven Strogatz expands on his hit New York Times series to explain the big ideas of math gently and clearly, with wit, insight, and brilliant illustrations. Whether he is illuminating how often you should flip your mattress to get the maximum lifespan from it, explaining just how Google searches the internet, or determining how many people you should date before settling down, Strogatz shows how math connects to every aspect of life. Discussing pop culture, medicine, law, philosophy, art, and business, Strogatz is the math teacher you wish you'd had. Whether you aced integral calculus or aren't sure what an integer is, you'll find profound wisdom and persistent delight in The Joy of x."--Page 4 of cover.

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