Synopses & Reviews
This annual anthology brings together the year's finest mathematics writing from around the world. Featuring promising new voices alongside some of the foremost names in the field, The Best Writing on Mathematics 2012 makes available to a wide audience many articles not easily found anywhere else--and you don't need to be a mathematician to enjoy them. These writings offer surprising insights into the nature, meaning, and practice of mathematics today. They delve into the history, philosophy, teaching, and everyday occurrences of math, and take readers behind the scenes of today's hottest mathematical debates. Here Robert Lang explains mathematical aspects of origami foldings; Terence Tao discusses the frequency and distribution of the prime numbers; Timothy Gowers and Mario Livio ponder whether mathematics is invented or discovered; Brian Hayes describes what is special about a ball in five dimensions; Mark Colyvan glosses on the mathematics of dating; and much, much more.
In addition to presenting the year's most memorable writings on mathematics, this must-have anthology includes a foreword by esteemed mathematician David Mumford and an introduction by the editor Mircea Pitici. This book belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in where math has taken us--and where it is headed.
Synopsis
This annual anthology brings together the year's finest mathematics writing from around the world. Featuring promising new voices alongside some of the foremost names in the field,
The Best Writing on Mathematics 2012 makes available to a wide audience many articles not easily found anywhere else--and you don't need to be a mathematician to enjoy them. These writings offer surprising insights into the nature, meaning, and practice of mathematics today. They delve into the history, philosophy, teaching, and everyday occurrences of math, and take readers behind the scenes of today's hottest mathematical debates. Here Robert Lang explains mathematical aspects of origami foldings; Terence Tao discusses the frequency and distribution of the prime numbers; Timothy Gowers and Mario Livio ponder whether mathematics is invented or discovered; Brian Hayes describes what is special about a ball in five dimensions; Mark Colyvan glosses on the mathematics of dating; and much, much more.
In addition to presenting the year's most memorable writings on mathematics, this must-have anthology includes a foreword by esteemed mathematician David Mumford and an introduction by the editor Mircea Pitici. This book belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in where math has taken us--and where it is headed.
Synopsis
This annual anthology brings together the year's finest mathematics writing from around the world. Featuring promising new voices alongside some of the foremost names in the field,
The Best Writing on Mathematics 2012 makes available to a wide audience many articles not easily found anywhere else--and you don't need to be a mathematician to enjoy them. These writings offer surprising insights into the nature, meaning, and practice of mathematics today. They delve into the history, philosophy, teaching, and everyday occurrences of math, and take readers behind the scenes of today's hottest mathematical debates. Here Robert Lang explains mathematical aspects of origami foldings; Terence Tao discusses the frequency and distribution of the prime numbers; Timothy Gowers and Mario Livio ponder whether mathematics is invented or discovered; Brian Hayes describes what is special about a ball in five dimensions; Mark Colyvan glosses on the mathematics of dating; and much, much more.
In addition to presenting the year's most memorable writings on mathematics, this must-have anthology includes a foreword by esteemed mathematician David Mumford and an introduction by the editor Mircea Pitici. This book belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in where math has taken us--and where it is headed.
About the Author
Mircea Pitici, a PhD candidate in mathematics education at Cornell University, teaches math and writing at Cornell and Ithaca College. He also edited the 2010 and 2011 editions of The Best Writing on Mathematics (both Princeton).
Table of Contents
Foreword: The Synergy of Pure and Applied Mathematics, of the Abstract and the Concrete David Mumford ix
Introduction Mircea Pitici xvii
Why Math Works Mario Livio 1
Is Mathematics Discovered or Invented? Timothy Gowers 8
The Unplanned Impact of Mathematics Peter Rowlett 21
An Adventure in the Nth Dimension Brian Hayes 30
Structure and Randomness in the Prime Numbers Terence Tao 43
The Strangest Numbers in String Theory John C. Baez and John Huerta 50
Mathematics Meets Photography: The Viewable Sphere David Swart and Bruce Torrence 61
Dancing Mathematics and the Mathematics of Dance Sarah-Marie Belcastro and Karl Schaffer 79
Can One Hear the Sound of a Theorem? Rob Schneiderman 93
Flat-Unfoldability and Woven Origami Tessellations Robert J. Lang 113
A Continuous Path from High School Calculus to University Analysis Timothy Gowers 129
Mathematics Teachers' Subtle, Complex Disciplinary Knowledge Brent Davis 135
How to Be a Good Teacher Is an Undecidable Problem Erica Flapan 141
How Your Philosophy of Mathematics Impacts Your Teaching Bonnie Gold 149
Variables in Mathematics Education Susanna S. Epp 163
Bottom Line on Mathematics Education David Mumford and Sol Garfunkel 173
History of Mathematics and History of Science Reunited? Jeremy Gray 176
Augustus De Morgan behind the Scenes Charlotte Simmons 186
Routing Problems: A Historical Perspective Giuseppe Bruno, Andrea Genovese, and Gennaro Improta 197
The Cycloid and Jean Bernoulli Gerald L. Alexanderson 209
Was Cantor Surprised? Fernando Q. Gouvêa 216
Why Is There Philosophy of Mathematics at All? Ian Hacking 234
Ultimate Logic: To Infinity and Beyond Richard Elwes 255
Mating, Dating, and Mathematics: It's All in the Game Mark Colyvan 262
Contributors 273
Notable Texts 281
Acknowledgments 285
Credits 287