Joy of X A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity

ISBN-10: 0547517653
ISBN-13: 9780547517650
Edition: 2012
List price: $27.00
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Description: In 2010, award-winning professor Steven Strogatz wrote a series for theNew York Timesonline called “The Elements of Math.” It was a huge success. Each piece climbed the most emailed list and elicited hundreds of comments. Readers begged for more,  More...

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Book details

List price: $27.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date: 10/2/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.430
Language: English

In 2010, award-winning professor Steven Strogatz wrote a series for theNew York Timesonline called “The Elements of Math.” It was a huge success. Each piece climbed the most emailed list and elicited hundreds of comments. Readers begged for more, and Strogatz has now delivered. In this fun, fast-paced book, he offers us all a second chance at math.Each short chapter ofThe Joy of Xprovides an “Aha!” moment, starting with why numbers are helpful, and moving on to such topics as shapes, calculus, fat tails, and infinity. Strogatz explains the ideas of math gently and clearly, with wit, insight, and brilliant illustrations. Assuming no knowledge, only curiosity, he shows how math connects to literature, philosophy, law, medicine, art, business, even pop culture and current events. For example, did O.J. do it? How should you flip your mattress to get the maximum wear out of it? How does Google search the Internet? How many people should you date before settling down? Strogatz is the math teacher you wish you’d had, and The Joy of X is the book you’ll want to give to all your smart and curious friends.

Preface
Numbers
From Fish to Infinity
An introduction to numbers, pointing out their upsides (they're efficient) as well as their downsides (they're ethereal)
Rock Groups
Treating numbers concretely-think rocks-can make calculations less baffling.
The Enemy of My Enemy
The disturbing concept of subtraction, and how we deal with the fact that negative numbers seem so… negative
Commuting
When you buy jeans on sale, do you save more money if the clerk applies the discount after the tax, or before?
Division and Its Discontents
Helping Verizon grasp the difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents
Location, Location, Location
How the place-value system for writing numbers brought arithmetic to the masses
Relationships
The Joy of x
Arithmetic becomes algebra when we begin working with unknowns and formulas.
Finding Your Roots
Complex numbers, a hybrid of the imaginary and the real, are the pinnacle of number systems.
My Tub Runneth Over
Turning peril to pleasure in word problems
Working Your Quads
The quadratic formula may never win any beauty contests, but the ideas behind it are ravishing.
Power Tools
In math, the function of functions is to transform.
Shapes
Square Dancing
Geometry, intuition, and the long road from Pythagoras to Einstein
Something from Nothing
Like any other creative act, constructing a proof begins with inspiration.
The Conic Conspiracy
The uncanny similarities between parabolas and ellipses suggest hidden forces at work.
Sine Qua Non
Sine waves everywhere, from Ferris wheels to zebra stripes
Take It to the Limit
Archimedes recognized the power of the infinite and in the process laid the groundwork for calculus.
Change
Change We Can Believe In
Differential calculus can show you the best path from A to B, and Michael Jordan's dunks help explain why.
It Slices, It Dices
The lasting legacy of integral calculus is a Veg-O-Matic view of the universe.
All about e
How many people should you date before settling down? Your grandmother knows-and so does the number e.
Loves Me, Loves Me Not
Differential equations made sense of planetary motion. But the course of true love? Now that's confusing.
Step Into the Light
A light beam is a pas de deux of electric and magnetic fields, and vector calculus is its choreographer.
Data
The New Normal
Bell curves are out. Fat tails are in.
Chances Are
The improbable thrills of probability theory
Untangling the Web
How Google solved the Zen riddle of Internet search using linear algebra
Frontiers
The Loneliest Numbers
Prime numbers, solitary and inscrutable, space themselves apart in mysterious ways.
Group Think
Group theory, one of the most versatile parts of math, bridges art and science.
Twist and Shout
Playing with M�bius strips and music boxes, and a betterway to cut a bagel
Think Globally
Differential geometry reveals the shortest route between two points on a globe or any other curved surface.
Analyze This!
Why calculus, once so smug and cocky, had to put itself on the couch
The Hilbert Hotel
An exploration of infinity as this book, not being infinite, comes to an end
Acknowledgments
Notes
Credits
Index

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