The Fictioning Horror Sale

Recently Viewed clear list

Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Interview

David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
  1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
3 Remote Warehouse Mathematics- Number Theory

More copies of this ISBN

Surreal Numbers


Surreal Numbers Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Nearly 30 years ago, John Horton Conway introduced a new way to construct numbers. Donald E. Knuth, in appreciation of this revolutionary system, took a week off from work on #LINK< The Art of Computer Programming ># to write an introduction to Conway's method. Never content with the ordinary, Knuth wrote this introduction as a work of fiction--a novelette. If not a steamy romance, the book nonetheless shows how a young couple turned on to pure mathematics and found total happiness.

The book's primary aim, Knuth explains in a postscript, is not so much to teach Conway's theory as "to teach how one might go about developing such a theory." He continues: "Therefore, as the two characters in this book gradually explore and build up Conway's number system, I have recorded their false starts and frustrations as well as their good ideas. I wanted to give a reasonably faithful portrayal of the important principles, techniques, joys, passions, and philosophy of mathematics, so I wrote the story as I was actually doing the research myself."... It is an astonishing feat of legerdemain. An empty hat rests on a table made of a few axioms of standard set theory. Conway waves two simple rules in the air, then reaches into almost nothing and pulls out an infinitely rich tapestry of numbers that form a real and closed field. Every real number is surrounded by a host of new numbers that lie closer to it than any other "real" value does. The system is truly "surreal." quoted from Martin Gardner, Mathematical Magic Show, pp. 16--19

Surreal Numbers, now in its 13th printing, will appeal to anyone who might enjoy an engaging dialogue on abstract mathematical ideas, and who might wish to experience how new mathematics is created.


About the Author

Donald E. Knuth is known throughout the world for his pioneering work on algorithms and programming techniques, for his invention of the Tex and Metafont systems for computer typesetting, and for his prolific and influential writing. Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University, he currently devotes full time to the completion of these fascicles and the seven volumes to which they belong.

Product Details

Knuth, D. E.
Addison-Wesley Professional
Knuth, Donald Ervin
Knuth, Donald E.
Reading, Mass. :
Computer Science
Technical Writing
Number Theory
Surreal numbers.
Mathematics-Number Theory
Edition Number:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
January 1974
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
8.18x5.36x.35 in. .39 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. The Chicago Guide to Writing About... Used Trade Paper $9.50
  2. El Principito Used Mass Market $3.95
  3. Ageless body, timeless mind :the... Used Hardcover $3.50
  4. Easy Cooking for Today Used Hardcover $2.25
  5. Alphabatics Used Trade Paper $2.50
  6. The Two of Them New Trade Paper $6.99

Related Subjects

Computers and Internet » Computers Reference » General
Computers and Internet » Personal Computers » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Physical
History and Social Science » World History » General
Reference » Writing » Writing as a Business
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » History
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Number Theory
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Popular Surveys and Recreational

Surreal Numbers New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$20.95 In Stock
Product details 128 pages Addison-Wesley Professional - English 9780201038125 Reviews:
  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at