Alex's Adventures in Numberland: Dispatches from the Wonderful World of Mathematics

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Alex's Adventures in Numberland: Dispatches from the Wonderful World of Mathematics

Alex's Adventures in Numberland: Dispatches from the Wonderful World of Mathematics

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Most of the anecdotes and stories about former mathematicians I already knew, but it’s nice to have them all in one place. In December 2009, the record for determining the digital expansion of pi was broken, and now stands at 2. For these folk, mathematics is a proud human endeavour more profound than science and more creative than art. Their lines tended to compress the distances between higher numbers — a logarithmic as opposed to linear depiction.

He commences by describing how different cultures use counting and numbers, and in many ways this is the most interesting part of the book. The chapter on Vedic Mathematics was insightful, but I still do not see how this method can be considered easier than the traditional method I was taught. I have had both, but even after careful reading, there were still many sections that left me puzzled. The current record for reciting the digital expansion of pi from memory is held by Akira Haraguchi, a 60 year old retired engineer from Japan.Probability, Number Theory, Geometry and Statistics follow, and in the limit as the page number tends to infinity, the book tends to resemble a maths textbook. Gamblers wanted to know how to beat the house and, by examining the mathematical patterns and probabilities in a game, were rewarded with intricate ways of gaining a tiny edge.

Instead, he effortlessly reveals the truth of just how fascinating, how human, how intensely interesting this subject (and its history) really is. This is yet another concept with which I struggled, this time as a university student in 1974, because the idea of anything normal in a world characterised by Vietnam, Watergate and the Bay City Rollers could only be, in the words of Spiro T. I found Simon Singh's 'Fermat's Last Theorem' a bit of a page turner which either makes me a right saddo or an intellectual genius.The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. Well, as amply demonstrated by Bellos, everything that is ever done in mathematics, be it silly games or idle curiosity, everything has been put to some use and had contributed to the progress of humanity.

Trading Address (Warehouse) Unit E, Vulcan Business Complex, Vulcan Road, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE5 3EB.At Books2Door, we believe that reading is a fundamental skill that every child should have to help improve their vocabulary, grammar, and critical thinking skills. He used a mnemonic technique, assigning syllables to each number from 0 to 9 and then translating pi's decimals into words, which in turn formed sentences. In this richly entertaining and accessible book, Alex Bellos explodes the myth that maths is best left to the geeks, and demonstrates the remarkable ways it's linked to our everyday lives. By working with correspondences between infinite sets he characterized some infinite sets as countable (aleph), and others as non-countable (beth).

At this point, the book also irritated my psoriasis, as it reminded me of two of my education failures: (1) the slide rule; and (2) logarithms. Mathematical thought is one of the great achievements of the human race, and arguably the foundation of all human progress.Strings of data are dull, you might think, percentages and sums best left to calculators (or, these days, Google).

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