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Mathematics and the real world : the remarkable role of evolution in the making of mathematics

Author: Zvi Artstein; Alan Hercberg
Publisher: Amherst, New York : Prometheus Books, 2014.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In this illuminating study of how the science of mathematics developed, a veteran math researcher and educator looks at the ways in which our evolutionary makeup is both a help and a hindrance to the study of math. Artstein chronicles the discovery of important mathematical connections between mathematics and the real world from ancient times to the present. He then describes some of the contemporary applications of  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Zvi Artstein; Alan Hercberg
ISBN: 9781616140915 1616140917
OCLC Number: 871061584
Language Note: Translation of: Hakesher hamatemati : hamatematika shell hateva, hateva shell hamatematika ve-hazika la-evolutzia.
Description: 426 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Evolution, mathematics, and the evolution of mathematics --
Mathematics and the Greeks' view of the world --
Mathematics and the view of the world in early modern times --
Mathematics and the modern view of the world --
The mathematics of randomness --
The mathematics of human behavior --
computations and computers --
Is there really no doubt? --
The nature of research in mathematics --
Why is teaching and learning mathematics so hard?
Other Titles: Ha-ḳesher ha-matemaṭi.
Responsibility: Zvi Artstein ; translated from Hebrew by Alan Hercberg.

Abstract:

In this illuminating study of how the science of mathematics developed, a veteran math researcher and educator looks at the ways in which our evolutionary makeup is both a help and a hindrance to the study of math. Artstein chronicles the discovery of important mathematical connections between mathematics and the real world from ancient times to the present. He then describes some of the contemporary applications of mathematics, for example, in probability theory, in the study of human behavior, and in combination with computers, which give mathematics unprecedented power. He concludes with an insightful discussion of why mathematics, for most people, is so frustrating. He argues that the rigorous logical structure of math goes against the grain of our predisposed ways of thinking as shaped by evolution, and offers ways to overcome these innate impediments in the teaching of math.--From publisher description.

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