The mathematical universe : an alphabetical journey through the great proofs, problems, and personalities / William Dunham.

By: Dunham, William, 1947-Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Wiley & Sons, c1994Description: vi, 314 p. : ill. ; 25 cmISBN: 0471536563 (acidfree paper)Subject(s): Mathematics -- History | Mathematicians -- HistoryLOC classification: QA21 | .D785 1994
Contents:
Arithmetic -- Bernoulli trials -- Circle -- Differential calculus -- Euler -- Fermat -- Greek geometry -- Hypotenuse -- Isoperimetric problem -- Justification -- Knighted Newton -- Lost Leibniz -- Mathematical personality -- Natural logarithm -- Origins -- Prime number theorum -- Quotient -- Russell's paradox -- Spherical surface -- Trisection -- Utility -- Venn diagram -- Where are the women? -- X-Y plane -- Z.
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QA21 .D785 1994 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001317882

Includes bibliographical references (p. 297-307) and index.

Arithmetic -- Bernoulli trials -- Circle -- Differential calculus -- Euler -- Fermat -- Greek geometry -- Hypotenuse -- Isoperimetric problem -- Justification -- Knighted Newton -- Lost Leibniz -- Mathematical personality -- Natural logarithm -- Origins -- Prime number theorum -- Quotient -- Russell's paradox -- Spherical surface -- Trisection -- Utility -- Venn diagram -- Where are the women? -- X-Y plane -- Z.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Like John Allen Paulos's Beyond Numeracy (LJ 4/1/91), this is an A-to-Z collection of mathematical essays. The advantage of this format is that it lets the author hit the highlights in essays that can be read independently. This collection is less cantankerous than Paulos's, and it is also somewhat more focused and mathematically challenging, though still written for a popular audience. Dunham (Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics, Wiley, 1990) is winner of the 1993 George Polya Award for excellence in math writing, an honor he richly deserves. He is fascinated by the nature of mathematical genius, and the theme of these essays is the personality and eccentricities of mathematicians and the brilliance of their discoveries. For sophisticated readers who don't mind equations (including algebra, geometry, and calculus), this is a rewarding and entertaining look at the history of mathematics.-Amy Brunvand, Fort Lewis Coll. Lib., Durango, Col. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Dunham has provided 25 chapters pertaining to mathematics, all but one alphabetized by the initial letter of the first word in the title (the exception is the chapter "X-Y Plane."). Along the way there are fascinating presentations of the three "fundamental theorems" ("Arithmetic" in the first chapter; "Calculus" in a middle chapter; "Algebra" in the last). Some of the chapter titles are predictable; e.g., "Bernoulli Trials," "Euler," "Fermat." Others are not: "Justification" (on proof and its nature), "Where are the Women?," "Z" (a smattering of complex analysis). Within each chapter Dunham moves in a nonlinear but ultimately connected fashion from topic to topic. Most of the topics refuse to stand still for classification; like mathematics itself, they offer the delighted reader a variety of facets and personalities. The level of presentation presumes intelligence (and interest and determination) but no more than a modest high school background. Nevertheless, professionals can find material of interest pertaining to areas removed from their specialties. Highly recommended. All levels. R. J. Wernick; emeritus, SUNY College at Oswego

Author notes provided by Syndetics

WILLIAM DUNHAM, Ph.D., is the Truman Koehler Professor of Mathematics at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The author of the acclaimed Journey Through Genius, he was awarded the 1993 George Polya Award of the Mathematical Association of America for excellence in expository writing about mathematics. He is also the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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