Biologists have long dismissed mathematics as being unable to meaningfully contribute to our understanding of living beings. Within the past ten years, however, mathematicians have proven that they hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of our world--and ourselves. In The Mathematics of Life, Ian Stewart provides a fascinating overview of the vital but little-recognized role mathematics has played in pulling back the curtain on the hidden complexities of the natural world--and how its contribution will be even more vital in the years ahead. In his characteristically clear and entertaining fashion, Stewart explains how mathematicians and biologists have come to work together on some of the most difficult scientific problems that the human race has ever tackled, including the nature and origin of life itself.
This is a very successful textbook for undergraduate students of pure mathematics. Students often find the subject of complex analysis very difficult. Here the authors, who are experienced and well-known expositors, avoid many of such difficulties by using two principles: (1) generalising concepts familiar from real analysis; (2) adopting an approach which exhibits and makes use of the rich geometrical structure of the subject. An opening chapter provides a brief history of complex analysis which sets it in context and provides motivation.
School maths is not the interesting part. The real fun is elsewhere. Like a magpie, Ian Stewart has collected the most enlightening, entertaining and vexing 'curiosities' of maths over the years... Now, the private collection is displayed in his cabinet. There are some hidden gems of logic, geometry and probability -- like how to extract a cherry from a cocktail glass (harder than you think), a pop up dodecahedron, the real reason why you can't divide anything by zero and some tips for making money by proving the obvious. Scattered among these are keys to unlocking the mysteries of Fermat's last theorem, the Poincaré Conjecture, chaos theory, and the P/NP problem for which a million dollar prize is on offer. There are beguiling secrets about familiar names like Pythagoras or prime numbers, as well as anecdotes about great mathematicians. Pull out the drawers of the Professor's cabinet and who knows what could happen...
Shares what the author wishes he had known when he was a student, such as the relationship between logic and proof, the function of beauty in mathematical thinking, and how to handle the peculiarities of the mathematical community.
In a day-to-day account of life as a war correspondent, a journalist recounts being ambushed by rebels while on assignment in Africa, an ambush that left him critically wounded and one of his colleagues dead.
There are some mathematical problems whose significance goes beyond the ordinary - like Fermat's Last Theorem or Goldbach's Conjecture - they are the enigmas which define mathematics. The Great Mathematical Problems explains why these problems exist, why they matter, what drives mathematicians to incredible lengths to solve them and where they stand in the context of mathematics and science as a whole. It contains solved problems - like the Poincaré Conjecture, cracked by the eccentric genius Grigori Perelman, who refused academic honours and a million-dollar prize for his work, and ones which, like the Riemann Hypothesis, remain baffling after centuries. Stewart is the guide to this mysterious and exciting world, showing how modern mathematicians constantly rise to the challenges set by their predecessors, as the great mathematical problems of the past succumb to the new techniques and ideas of the present.
Welcome back to Ian Stewart's magical world of mathematics! This is a strange world of never-ending chess games, empires on the moon, furious fireflies, and, of course, disputes over how best to cut a cake. Each quirky tale presents a fascinating mathematical puzzle — challenging, fun, and also introducing the reader to a significant mathematical problem in an engaging and witty way.
Sixteen columns from the French edition of Scientific American feature oddball characters and wacky wordplay in a mathematical wonderland of puzzles and games that also imparts significant mathematical ideas. 1992 edition.
Ian Stewart's Galois Theory has been in print for 30 years. Resoundingly popular, it still serves its purpose exceedingly well. Yet mathematics education has changed considerably since 1973, when theory took precedence over examples, and the time has come to bring this presentation in line with more modern approaches. To this end, the story now begins with polynomials over the complex numbers, and the central quest is to understand when such polynomials have solutions that can be expressed by radicals. Reorganization of the material places the concrete before the abstract, thus motivating the general theory, but the substance of the book remains the same.