This book presents material suitable for an undergraduate course in elementary number theory from a computational perspective. It seeks to not only introduce students to the standard topics in elementary number theory, such as prime factorization and modular arithmetic, but also to develop their ability to formulate and test precise conjectures from experimental data. Each topic is motivated by a question to be answered, followed by some experimental data, and, finally, the statement and proof of a theorem. There are numerous opportunities throughout the chapters and exercises for the students to engage in (guided) open-ended exploration. At the end of a course using this book, the students will understand how mathematics is developed from asking questions to gathering data to formulating and proving theorems.
The mathematical prerequisites for this book are few. Early chapters contain topics such as integer divisibility, modular arithmetic, and applications to cryptography, while later chapters contain more specialized topics, such as Diophantine approximation, number theory of dynamical systems, and number theory with polynomials. Students of all levels will be drawn in by the patterns and relationships of number theory uncovered through data driven exploration.
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Benjamin Hutz, Saint Louis University, MO.
Quadratic reciprocity and primtive roots
Rational and irrational numbers
List of algorithms
List of notations
Dewey Decimal Classfication (DDC)