The Nature and Power of Mathematics
This captivating book explains some of the most fascinating ideas of mathematics to nonspecialists, focusing on non-Euclidean geometry, number theory, and fractals. Numerous illustrations. 1993 edition.
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This captivating book explains some of mathematics' most fascinating ideas to nonspecialists. It explores items of philosophical and historical interest, discusses the often-surprising applicability of mathematics, and reveals the subject's intrinsic beauty. Author Donald M. Davis focuses on three main areas: non-Euclidean geometry, a basis for relativity theory; number theory, a major component of cryptography; and fractals, the key elements of computer-generated art. He also discusses related topics, such as the relevance of Greek mathematics to Kepler's laws of planetary motion, and the theoretical work that led to the development of computers. Only a background in basic algebra and geometry is necessary to appreciate this volume, which features exercises that further develop some of its important concepts. Graded according to difficulty, these exercises are designed to improve readers' skills in logic, and to enable them to experience mathematics at increasingly advanced levels. Supplementary materials at the end of each chapter include intriguing examples of the subjects' applications, as well as biographical sketches of Archimedes, Einstein, Newton, and other luminaries of mathematics.
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