the magical maze seeing the world through mathematical eyes

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The Magical Maze

Author : Ian Stewart
ISBN : UOM:39015047117398
Genre : Science
File Size : 24. 77 MB
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"Welcome to the maze. A logical maze, a magical maze. A maze of the mind. The maze is mathematics. The mind is yours. Let's see what happens when we put them together. What is mathematics? What do mathematicians do? What is a mathematician? Someone who does mathematics? Not exactly. That's too easy an answer, and it creates too simple a maze—a circular loop of self-referential logic. No, a mathematician is more than just somebody who does mathematics. Think of it this way: what is a businessperson? Someone who does business? Yes, but not just that. A businessperson is someone who sees an opportunity for doing business where the rest of us see nothing; while we're complaining that there's no restaurant in the area, he or she is organizing a telephone pizza delivery service. Similarly, a mathematician is someone who sees opportunities for doing mathematics that the rest of us miss. I want to open your mind to some of these opportunities."—from The Magical Maze Praise for Ian Stewart's Previous Books About Nature's Numbers: "Stewart achieves what other popular mathematics writers merely strive for: an accurate, informative portrayal of contemporary mathematics without a single equation in sight."—Nature About The Problems of Mathematics: "From one of mathematics' most gifted expositors . . . challenging and interesting. Those with no knowledge of the subject will be able to glimpse its beauty and appeal."—New Scientist About The Collapse of Chaos: "This ambitious book fearlessly asks some big questions, challenging us to look at science a new way."—San Francisco Chronicle About Another Fine Math You've Got Me Into: "Ian Stewart's quirky humor and imaginative storytelling entice readers into a fascinating world of mathematical curiosities."—Ivars Peterson author of The Jungles of Randomness Enter the magical maze of mathematics and explore the surprising passageways of a fantastical world where logic and imagination converge. For mathematics is a maze—a maze in your head—a maze of ideas, a maze of logic. And that maze in your mind is a powerful tool for understanding an even bigger maze—the maze of cause and effect that we call "the universe." That is its special kind of magic. Real magic. Strange magic. Infinitely fascinating magic. In this adventure of a book, acclaimed author Ian Stewart leads you swiftly and humorously through the junctions, byways, and secret passages of the magical maze to reveal its beauty, its surprise, and its power. Along the way, he reveals the infinite possibilities that arise from what he calls "the two-way trade between the natural world and the human mind." On your travels you will encounter number magic—both the stage-act variety and the deeper magic of animals, plants, and the physical world. You will come to understand the amazing pattern-forming abilities of the humble slime mold, the numerology of flowers, and the feeding habits of pigs and panthers. You will discover how to solve puzzles the algorithmic way, the artistic way, and the army way. You will be amazed by the deep connections between the founding of Carthage, soap bubbles, and communications networks. You will discover how to use a toy train set as a computer, and find out why this implies that there are unavoidable limits to mathematics. You will join the controversy over cars and goats, find out the terrible truth about confessions, and win endless bets about birthdays. You will see how a new idea about ferns can lead to a multi-million-dollar computer graphics company, and how Jupiter and Mars can combine forces to hurl cosmic rocks at Earth. And you will never again be able to watch a kitten, a kangaroo, or a Chihuahua without noticing the delightfully rhythmic patterns with which they move their feet. If you've always loved mathematics, you will find endless delights in the twists and turns of The Magical Maze. If you've always hated mathematics, a trip through this marvelous book will do much to change your mind.

Off The Main Sequence

Author : Tom Easton
ISBN : 9780809512058
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 58. 28 MB
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Tom Easton has served as the monthly book review columnist for Analog Science Fiction for almost three decades, having contributed during that span many hundreds of columns and over a million words of penetrating criticism on the best literature that science fiction has to offer. His reviews have been celebrated for their wit, humor, readability, knowledge, and incisiveness. His love of literature, particularly fantastic literature, is everywhere evident in his essays. Easton has ever been willing to cover small presses, obscure authors, and unusual publications, being the only major critic in the field to do so on a regular basis. He seems to delight in finding the rare gem among the backwaters of the publishing field. "A reviewer's job," he says, "is not to judge books for the ages, but to tell readers enough about a book to give them some idea of whether they would enjoy it." And this he does admirably, whether he's discussing the works of the great writers in the field, or touching upon the least amongst them. This companion volume to "Periodic Stars" (Borgo/Wildside) collects another 250 of Easton's best reviews from the last fifteen years of "The Reference Library." No one does it better, and no other guide provides such lengthy or discerning commentary on the best SF works of recent times. Complete with Introduction and detailed Index.

Cows In The Maze

Author : Ian Stewart
ISBN : 9780199562077
Genre : Games
File Size : 37. 68 MB
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Following on the success of his books Math Hysteria and How to Cut a Cake, Ian Stewart is back with more stories and puzzles that are as quirky as they are fascinating, and each from the cutting edge of the world of mathematics. From the math of mazes, to cones with a twist, and the amazing sphericon--and how to make one--Cows in the Maze takes readers on an exhilarating tour of the world of mathematics. We find out about the mathematics of time travel, explore the shape of teardrops (which are not tear-drop shaped, but something much, much more strange), dance with dodecahedra, and play the game of Hex, among many more strange and delightful mathematical diversions. In the title essay, Stewart introduces readers to Robert Abbott's mind-bending "Where Are the Cows?" maze, which changes every time you pass through it, and is said to be the most difficult maze ever invented. In addition, he shows how a 90-year old woman and a computer scientist cracked a long-standing question about counting magic squares, describes the mathematical patterns in animal movement (walk, trot, gallop), looks at a fusion of art, mathematics, and the physics of sand piles, and reveals how mathematicians can--and do--prove a negative. Populated by amazing creatures, strange characters, and astonishing mathematics explained in an accessible and fun way, and illustrated with quirky cartoons by artist Spike Gerrell, Cows in the Maze will delight everyone who loves mathematics, puzzles and mathematical conundrums.

Nature S Numbers

Author : Ian Stewart
ISBN : 9781780227771
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 38. 74 MB
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A mathematical sightseeing tour of the natural world from the author of THE MAGICAL MAZE Why do many flowers have five or eight petals, but very few six or seven? Why do snowflakes have sixfold symmetry? Why do tigers have stripes but leopards have spots? Mathematics is to nature as Sherlock Holmes is to evidence. Mathematics can look at a single snowflake and deduce the atomic geometry of its crystals; it can start with a violin string and uncover the existence of radio waves. And mathematics still has the power to open our eyes to new and unsuspected regularities - the secret structure of a cloud or the hidden rhythms of the weather. There are patterns in the world we are now seeing for the first time - patterns at the frontier of science, yet patterns so simple that anybody can see them once they know where to look.

Success With Mathematics

Author : Heather Cooke
ISBN : 9781134426546
Genre : Education
File Size : 82. 17 MB
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Many students find the leap between school and university level mathematics to be significantly greater than they expected. Success with Mathematics has been devised and written especially in order to help students bridge that gap. It offers clear, practical guidance from experienced teachers of mathematics in higher education on such key issues as: * getting started * ways of studying * assessment * mathematical communication * learning by doing * using ICT * using calculators * what next. After reading this book, students will find themselves better prepared for the change in pace, rigour and abstraction they encounter in degree level mathematics. They will also find themselves able to broaden their learning strategies and improve their self-directed study skills. This book is essential reading for anyone following, or about to undertake, a degree in mathematics, or other degree courses with mathematical content.

Christmas At The Royal Institution

Author : Frank A. J. L. James
ISBN : 9789812771100
Genre : Chemistry
File Size : 90. 74 MB
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Since the mid-1820s, a series of lectures has been delivered each year over the Christmas period in the world-famous Faraday Lecture Theatre at The Royal Institution of Great Britain by prominent scientists, addressed specifically to an audience of children. Initially made accessible in book form, the lectures have been nationally televised throughout the UK and distributed worldwide since the 1960s, making them accessible to an even larger audience. The importance of these lectures in promoting science to a broad audience is perhaps best gauged by the fact that an image of one of Faraday''s lectures appeared on the Bank of England u20 note in the 1990s. This anthology brings together, for the first time, a carefully chosen selection of 11 lectures from the 1860s to the 1990s. The selection includes lectures by Michael Faraday, arguably the most important and influential 19th-century physicist, and Lawrence Bragg, the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Prize. Through this work, readers will come to grips with the changing nature of popular science lectures over the past 140 years. Sample Chapter(s). Introduction (7,804 KB). Chapter 1: The Correlation of the Physical Forces (957 KB). Chapter 2: Carbon or Charcoal-Coal Gas-Respiration and Its Analogy to the Burning of a Candle-Conclusion (345 KB). Chapter 3: The Forms of Water in Clouds and Rivers, Ice and Glaciers (422 KB). Chapter 4: Lessons in Electricity (781 KB). Contents: The Correlation of the Physical Forces (M Faraday); Carbon or Charcoal OCo Coal Gas OCo Respiration and Its Analogy to the Burning of a Candle OCo Conclusion (M Faraday); The Forms of Water in Clouds and Rivers, Ice and Glaciers (J Tyndall); Lessons in Electricity (J Tyndall); Stars (R S Ball); RAntgen Light (S P Thompson); The Great Extinct Reptiles OCo Dinosaurs from the Oolites OCo The Pariasaurus and Inostransevia from the Trias of North Russia and South Africa OCo Marine Reptiles (E R Lankester); The Atoms of Which Things Are Made (W H Bragg); Our Electrical Supply (W L Bragg); Objects and Pictures (R L Gregory); Gallery of Monsters (I Stewart). Readership: Scientists with an interest in communicating science; historians with an interest in the development of science communication; general public interested in science."

The Unimaginable Mathematics Of Borges Library Of Babel

Author : William Goldbloom Bloch
ISBN : 9780199887309
Genre : Mathematics
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"The Library of Babel" is arguably Jorge Luis Borges' best known story--memorialized along with Borges on an Argentine postage stamp. Now, in The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel, William Goldbloom Bloch takes readers on a fascinating tour of the mathematical ideas hidden within one of the classic works of modern literature. Written in the vein of Douglas R. Hofstadter's Pulitzer Prize-winning G?del, Escher, Bach, this original and imaginative book sheds light on one of Borges' most complex, richly layered works. Bloch begins each chapter with a mathematical idea--combinatorics, topology, geometry, information theory--followed by examples and illustrations that put flesh on the theoretical bones. In this way, he provides many fascinating insights into Borges' Library. He explains, for instance, a straightforward way to calculate how many books are in the Library--an easily notated but literally unimaginable number--and also shows that, if each book were the size of a grain of sand, the entire universe could only hold a fraction of the books in the Library. Indeed, if each book were the size of a proton, our universe would still not be big enough to hold anywhere near all the books. Given Borges' well-known affection for mathematics, this exploration of the story through the eyes of a humanistic mathematician makes a unique and important contribution to the body of Borgesian criticism. Bloch not only illuminates one of the great short stories of modern literature but also exposes the reader--including those more inclined to the literary world--to many intriguing and entrancing mathematical ideas.

The Puzzle Instinct

Author : Marcel Danesi
ISBN : 0253217083
Genre : Games
File Size : 25. 80 MB
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"Humans are the only animals who create and solve puzzles—for the sheer pleasure of it—and there is no obvious genetic reason why we would do this. Marcel Danesi explores the psychology of puzzles and puzzling, with scores of classic examples. His pioneering book is both entertaining and enlightening." —Will Shortz, Crossword Editor, The New York Times "... Puzzle fanatics will enjoy the many riddles, illusions, cryptograms and other mind-benders offered for analysis." —Psychology Today "... a bristlingly clear... always intriguing survey of the history and rationale of puzzles.... [A] splendid study...." —Knight Ridder Newspapers

Mathematical Mind Benders

Author : Peter Winkler
ISBN : 9781568815077
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 25. 98 MB
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Peter Winkler is at it again. Following the enthusiastic reaction to Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur's Collection, Peter has compiled a new collection of elegant mathematical puzzles to challenge and entertain the reader. The original puzzle connoisseur shares these puzzles, old and new, so that you can add them to your own anthology. This book is for lovers of mathematics, lovers of puzzles, lovers of a challenge. Most of all, it is for those who think that the world of mathematics is orderly, logical, and intuitive-and are ready to learn otherwise! A pdf with errata is updated by the author and can be accessed here

Eye Of The Labyrinth

Author : Jennifer Fallon
ISBN : 9780307418050
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 49. 90 MB
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Since the Age of Shadows ended, the people of Ranadon have lived under the merciless heat of two suns and the tyranny of Antonov, the Lion of Senet. Consumed by his lust for power and his unshakable belief in the capricious, almighty Goddess, Antonov’s rule is absolute. Only one man has the intelligence and will to break that hold…a man who could be King. Suddenly widowed, Morna Provin, Duchess of Elcast, has lost her only protector. With her son banished for an unspeakable crime, she faces a horrifying fate at the hands of the Lion of Senet as retribution for her relationship with the heretic Johan Thorn. But it is only part of a cunning scheme to lure her son, Dirk Provin, back into the fold so Antonov can consolidate his power once and for all. With his mother’s life at stake, Dirk Provin must emerge from hiding in the Baenlands and return to Elcast—setting in motion a rebellion that will expose long-buried secrets and ignite festering hatreds. For a ruler’s fears and a madman’s prophecy will start Dirk on a quest for truth that will spark a fierce battle between two very different men: one who believes only what his five senses tell him, the other obsessed by his faith in the divine. It is a clash that will bring to light a revelation that may shatter them all. From the Paperback edition.

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