50 Visions of Mathematics

ISBN : 9780198701811

Sam Parc; Dara O' Briain
208 ページ
195 x 254 mm

Relax: no one understands technical mathematics without lengthy training but we all have an intuitive grasp of the ideas behind the symbols. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), this book is designed to showcase the beauty of mathematics - including images inspired by mathematical problems - together with its unreasonable effectiveness and applicability, without frying your brain. The book is a collection of 50 original essays contributed by a wide variety of authors. It contains articles by some of the best expositors of the subject (du Sautoy, Singh and Stewart for example) together with entertaining biographical pieces and articles of relevance to our everyday lives (such as Spiegelhalter on risk and Elwes on medical imaging). The topics covered are deliberately diverse and involve concepts from simple numerology to the very cutting edge of mathematics research. Each article is designed to be read in one sitting and to be accessible to a general audience. There is also other content. There are 50 pictorial 'visions of mathematics' which were supplied in response to an open call for contributions from IMA members, Plus readers and the worldwide mathematics community. You'll also find a series of " of Phythagoras's Theorem - mathematical, literary and comedy - after this, you'll never think of Pythagoras the same way again.


1. What's the problem with mathematics?
2. The mathematics of messages
3. Decathlon: The art of scoring points
4. Queen Dido and the mathematics of the extreme
5. Can strings tie things together?
6. Grooves and knuckleballs
7. Pigs didn't fly but swine flu
8. Bill Tutte: Unsung Bletchley hero
9. What's the use of a quadratic equation?
10. Tony Hilton Royle Skyrme
11. The mathematics of obesity
12. It's a small world really
13. How does mathematics help at a murder scene?
14. Mathematics: The language of the universe
15. The troublesome geometry of CAT scanning
16. The mathematics of sports gambling
Pythagoras's Theorem: a2
17. A conversation with Freeman Dyson
18. A glass of bubbly
19. The influenza virus: It's all in the packaging
20. Mathematicians at the movies: Sherlock Holmes vs Professor Moriarty
21. Solving the Bristol bridge problem
22. All ravens are black: Puzzles and paradoxes in probability and statistics
23. The Tower of Hanoi: Where mathematics meets psychology
24. Career: A sample path
25. Sweets in the jar
26. Mary Cartwright
27. The fallibility of mathematics
28. Anecdotes of Dr Barrow
29. Finding Apollo
30. The golden ratio in astronomy and astrophysics
31. The high-power hypar
32. This is not a carrot: Paraconsistent mathematics
33. The mystery of Groombridge Place
Pythagoras's Theorem: b2
34. Mysterious number 6174
35. Percolating possibilities
36. Milestones on a non-Euclidean journey
37. Simpson's rule
38. Risking your life
39. Networks and illusions
40. Emmy Noether: Against the odds
41. Of catastrophes and creodes: How maths benefits from collaboration with other fields
42. Conic section hide and seek
43. Sir James Lighthill: A life in waves
44. Fail safe or fail dangerous
45. Leapfrogging into the future: How child's play is at the heart of weather and climate models
46. Motorway mathematics
47. The philosophy of applied mathematics
48. Mighty Morphogenesis
49. Called to the barcode
50. Roughly fifty-fifty?
Pythagoras's Theorem: c2


Sam Parc studied mathematics and engineering in the UK, Germany and Australia and has previously worked at the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Manchester and Newcastle and at Imperial College London. She works for the UK's Institute of Mathematics and its Applications where she provides a passion for popularising mathematics. Her previous work has involved writing a mathematical agony aunt column in a provincial newspaper and maintaining a popular online mathematical magazine. She lives in Southend-on-Sea with her large family and dog, Benji. This is her first book.