99 Variations on a Proof

Princeton University Press
  • erschienen am 5. Februar 2019
  • Buch
  • |
  • Hardcover
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  • 168 Seiten
978-0-691-15883-9 (ISBN)
This lively and compelling book offers a unique, multifaceted perspective on mathematics by demonstrating 99 different proofs of the same theorem. Each chapter solves an otherwise unremarkable equation in distinct historical, formal, and imaginative styles that range from "Medieval," "Topological," and "Doggerel" to "Chromatic," "Electrostatic," and "Psychedelic." Along the way, Philip Ording weaves these variations into an accessible and wide-ranging narrative on the nature and practice of mathematics. Inspired by the experiments of the Paris-based writing group known as the Oulipo--whose members included Raymond Queneau, Italo Calvino, and Marcel Duchamp--Ording explores new ways to examine the aesthetic possibilities of mathematical activity. This mathematical take on Queneau's Exercises in Style--a collection of 99 retellings of the same story--draws unexpected connections to everything from mysticism and technology to architecture and sign language and includes diagrams, notations, and other imagery that are as amusing as they are edifying. With a rare blend of humor and scholarly aplomb, Ording illustrates the inherent creative potential and flexibility of mathematical language despite its reputation for precision and rigor.
  • Englisch
  • New Jersey
  • |
  • USA
  • Standardbindung
25 b&w illus.
  • Höhe: 236 mm
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  • Breite: 217 mm
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  • Dicke: 27 mm
  • 906 gr
978-0-691-15883-9 (9780691158839)
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Philip Ording is professor of mathematics at Sarah Lawrence College. He is the coeditor of Simplicity: Ideals of Practice in Mathematics and the Arts.
"Ording presents ninety-nine proofs that a specific cubic equation has two real roots. The theorem itself is fairly uninteresting, but the proofs are the stars and each of them seeks to show a different aspect of the theory, history, or culture of mathematics."---Geoffrey Dietz, MAA Reviews "Winner of the PROSE Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Association of American Publishers" "A deep and thoughtful examination of the nature of mathematical arguments, of mathematical style, and of proof itself."---Chris Sangwin, London Mathematical Newsletter "This book is an insightful addition to mathematical literature."---Robert Maddox-Harle, Leonardo Reviews "This rather unusual book shows that . . . the essentials for communicating mathematical contents is not formulas, let alone numbers, but a more or less precise reasoning in a convincing language."---Jurgen Appell, Zentralblatt MATH "A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year" "Winner of the PROSE Award in Mathematics, Association of American Publishers"

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