Once Upon A Number

The Hidden Mathematical Logic Of Stories

Author: John Allen Paulos

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 9780786723997

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 8422

What two things could be more different than numbers and stories? Numbers are abstract, certain, and eternal, but to most of us somewhat dry and bloodless. Good stories are full of life: they engage our emotions and have subtlety and nuance, but they lack rigor and the truths they tell are elusive and subject to debate. As ways of understanding the world around us, numbers and stories seem almost completely incompatible.Once Upon a Number shows that stories and numbers aren't as different as you might imagine, and in fact they have surprising and fascinating connections. The concepts of logic and probability both grew out of intuitive ideas about how certain situations would play out. Now, logicians are inventing ways to deal with real world situations by mathematical means—by acknowledging, for instance, that items that are mathematically interchangeable may not be interchangeable in a story. And complexity theory looks at both number strings and narrative strings in remarkably similar terms.Throughout, renowned author John Paulos mixes numbers and narratives in his own delightful style. Along with lucid accounts of cutting-edge information theory we get hilarious anecdotes and jokes; instructions for running a truly impressive pyramid scam; a freewheeling conversation between Groucho Marx and Bertrand Russell (while they're stuck in an elevator together); explanations of why the statistical evidence against OJ Simpson was overwhelming beyond doubt and how the Unabomber's thinking shows signs of mathematical training; and dozens of other treats. This is another winner from America's favorite mathematician.

Mathematics and Humor

A Study of the Logic of Humor

Author: John Allen Paulos

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226650234

Category: Mathematics

Page: 124

View: 7538

John Allen Paulos cleverly scrutinizes the mathematical structures of jokes, puns, paradoxes, spoonerisms, riddles, and other forms of humor, drawing examples from such sources as Rabelais, Shakespeare, James Beattie, René Thom, Lewis Carroll, Arthur Koestler, W. C. Fields, and Woody Allen. "Jokes, paradoxes, riddles, and the art of non-sequitur are revealed with great perception and insight in this illuminating account of the relationship between humor and mathematics."—Joseph Williams, New York Times "'Leave your mind alone,' said a Thurber cartoon, and a really complete and convincing analysis of what humour is might spoil all jokes forever. This book avoids that danger. What it does. . .is describe broadly several kinds of mathematical theory and apply them to throw sidelights on how many kinds of jokes work."—New Scientist "Many scholars nowadays write seriously about the ludicrous. Some merely manage to be dull. A few—like Paulos—are brilliant in an odd endeavor."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

Author: John Allen Paulos,John Paulos

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465050670

Category: Mathematics

Page: 240

View: 8390

In this lively volume, mathematician John Allen Paulos employs his singular wit to guide us through an unlikely mathematical jungle—the pages of the daily newspaper. From the Senate and sex to celebrities and cults, Paulos takes stories that may not seem to involve math at all and demonstrates how mathematical naïveté can put readers at a distinct disadvantage. Whether he’s using chaos theory to puncture economic and environmental predictions, applying logic to clarify the hazards of spin doctoring and news compression, or employing arithmetic and common sense to give us a novel perspective on greed and relationships, Paulos never fails to entertain and enlighten.

Poetry of the Universe

Author: Robert Osserman

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 0307790584

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 9143

In the bestselling literary tradition of Lewis Thomas's Lives of a Cell and James Watson's The Double Helix, Poetry of the Universe is a delightful and compelling narrative charting the evolution of mathematical ideas that have helped to illuminate the nature of the observable universe. In a richly anecdotal fashion, the book explores teh leaps of imagination and vision in mathematics that have helped pioneer our understanding of the world around us.

A Mathematician Plays The Stock Market

Author: John Allen Paulos,John Paulos

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465009700

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 851

In A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market best-selling author John Allen Paulos demonstrates what the tools of mathematics can tell us about the vagaries of the stock market. Employing his trademark stories, vignettes, paradoxes, and puzzles (and even a film treatment), Paulos addresses every thinking reader's curiosity about the market: Is it efficient? Is it rational? Is there anything to technical analysis, fundamental analysis, and other supposedly time-tested methods of picking stocks? How can one quantify risk? What are the most common scams? What light do fractals, network theory, and common psychological foibles shed on investor behavior? Are there any approaches to investing that truly outperform the major indexes? Can a deeper knowledge of mathematics help beat the odds?All of these questions are explored with the engaging erudition that made Paulos's A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper and Innumeracy favorites with both armchair mathematicians and readers who want to think like them. Paulos also shares the cautionary tale of his own long and disastrous love affair with WorldCom. In the tradition of Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street and Jeremy Siegel's Stocks for the Long Run, this wry and illuminating book is for anyone, investor or not, who follows the markets-or knows someone who does.

I Think, Therefore I Laugh

The Flip Side of Philosophy

Author: John Allen Paulos

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231119153

Category: Mathematics

Page: 178

View: 2016

The preeminent explicator of mathematical logic to non-mathematicians, John Allen Paulos is familiar to general readers not only from his bestselling books but also from his media appearances, including The David Letterman Show and National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation" and "Science Friday," as well as articles in Newsweek, Nature, Discover, Business Week, the New York Times Book Review, The Nation, New York Review of Books, and The London Review of Books. Paulos originally wrote this charming little book on analytic logic, its mathematics, and its puzzles in 1985. And as in his later books, he uses jokes, stories, parables, and anecdotes to elucidate difficult concepts, in this case, some of the fundamental problems in modern philosophy.

Once Before Time

A Whole Story of the Universe

Author: Martin Bojowald

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307594254

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 2509

In 2000, Martin Bojowald, then a twenty-seven-year-old post-doc at Pennsylvania State University, used a relatively new theory called loop quantum gravity—a cunning combination of Einstein’s theory of gravity with quantum mechanics—to create a simple model of the universe. Loop quantum cosmology was born, and with it, a theory that managed to do something even Einstein’s general theory of relativity had failed to do—illuminate the very birth of the universe. Ever since, loop quantum cosmology, or LQC, has been tantalizing physicists with the idea that our universe could conceivably have emerged from the collapse of a previous one. Now the theory is poised to formulate hypotheses we can actually test. If they are verified, the big bang will give way to the big bounce. Instead of a universe that emerged from a point of infinite density, we will have one that recycles, possibly through an eternal series of expansions and contractions, with no beginning and no end. Bojowald’s major realization was that unlike general relativity, the physics of LQC do not break down at the big bang. The greatest mystery surrounding the origin of the universe is what cosmologists call the big bang “singularity”—the point at the beginning of the universe, prior to the existence of space and time, when gravity, along with the temperature and density of the universe, becomes infinite. The equations of general relativity can’t cope with such infinities, and as a result big bang theory has never been able to give any explanation for the initial condition of our universe, succeeding only in describing and explaining the evolution of the universe from that instant onward. Bojowald’s theory takes us right up to the first moment of the universe—and then back, even before the big bang itself. From the Hardcover edition.

Calculating the Cosmos

How Mathematics Unveils the Universe

Author: Ian Stewart

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465096115

Category: Mathematics

Page: 360

View: 4328

A prize-winning popular science writer uses mathematical modeling to explain the cosmos. In Calculating the Cosmos, Ian Stewart presents an exhilarating guide to the cosmos, from our solar system to the entire universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it's all going to end. He considers parallel universes, the fine-tuning of the cosmos for life, what forms extraterrestrial life might take, and the likelihood of life on Earth being snuffed out by an asteroid. Beginning with the Babylonian integration of mathematics into the study of astronomy and cosmology, Stewart traces the evolution of our understanding of the cosmos: How Kepler's laws of planetary motion led Newton to formulate his theory of gravity. How, two centuries later, tiny irregularities in the motion of Mars inspired Einstein to devise his general theory of relativity. How, eighty years ago, the discovery that the universe is expanding led to the development of the Big Bang theory of its origins. How single-point origin and expansion led cosmologists to theorize new components of the universe, such as inflation, dark matter, and dark energy. But does inflation explain the structure of today's universe? Does dark matter actually exist? Could a scientific revolution that will challenge the long-held scientific orthodoxy and once again transform our understanding of the universe be on the way? In an exciting and engaging style, Calculating the Cosmos is a mathematical quest through the intricate realms of astronomy and cosmology.

Our Mathematical Universe

My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

Author: Max Tegmark

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 038535049X

Category: Science

Page: 432

View: 4617

Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind-boggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist. Fascinating from first to last—this is a book that has already prompted the attention and admiration of some of the most prominent scientists and mathematicians.


A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up

Author: John Allen Paulos

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780809059188

Category: Mathematics

Page: 176

View: 1402

Argues that there is no logical reason to believe in God, refuting twelve arguments commonly proposed to prove the existence of God, while offering commentary on such topics as miracles, cognitive illusions, and creationist probability.


Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences

Author: John Allen Paulos

Publisher: Hill and Wang

ISBN: 1429934387

Category: Mathematics

Page: 144

View: 5359

Why do even well-educated people understand so little about mathematics? And what are the costs of our innumeracy? John Allen Paulos, in his celebrated bestseller first published in 1988, argues that our inability to deal rationally with very large numbers and the probabilities associated with them results in misinformed governmental policies, confused personal decisions, and an increased susceptibility to pseudoscience of all kinds. Innumeracy lets us know what we're missing, and how we can do something about it. Sprinkling his discussion of numbers and probabilities with quirky stories and anecdotes, Paulos ranges freely over many aspects of modern life, from contested elections to sports stats, from stock scams and newspaper psychics to diet and medical claims, sex discrimination, insurance, lotteries, and drug testing. Readers of Innumeracy will be rewarded with scores of astonishing facts, a fistful of powerful ideas, and, most important, a clearer, more quantitative way of looking at their world.

Beyond Numeracy

Author: John Allen Paulos

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 030783333X

Category: Mathematics

Page: 304

View: 7256

From the author of the national bestseller Innumeracy, a delightful exploration and explanation of mathematical concepts from algebra to zero in easily accessible alphabetical entries. "Paulos . . . does for mathematics what The Joy of Sex did for the boudoir. . . ."--Washington Post Book World. First time in paperback.

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy

A Novel in Clues

Author: Nova Jacobs

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501175122

Category: Fiction

Page: 352

View: 9225

The Family Fang meets The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry in this literary mystery about a struggling bookseller whose recently deceased grandfather, a famed mathematician, left behind a dangerous equation for her to track down—and protect—before others can get their hands on it. Just days after mathematician and family patriarch Isaac Severy dies of an apparent suicide, his adopted granddaughter Hazel, owner of a struggling Seattle bookstore, receives a letter from him by mail. In it, Isaac alludes to a secretive organization that is after his final bombshell equation, and he charges Hazel with safely delivering it to a trusted colleague. But first, she must find where the equation is hidden. While in Los Angeles for Isaac’s funeral, Hazel realizes she’s not the only one searching for his life’s work, and that the equation’s implications have potentially disastrous consequences for the extended Severy family, a group of dysfunctional geniuses unmoored by the sudden death of their patriarch. As agents of an enigmatic company shadow Isaac’s favorite son—a theoretical physicist—and a long-lost cousin mysteriously reappears in Los Angeles, the equation slips further from Hazel’s grasp. She must unravel a series of maddening clues hidden by Isaac inside one of her favorite novels, drawing her ever closer to his mathematical treasure. But when her efforts fall short, she is forced to enlist the help of those with questionable motives.

Principia Mathematica

Author: Alfred North Whitehead,Bertrand Russell

Publisher: N.A


Category: Logic, Symbolic and mathematical

Page: N.A

View: 9211

The mathematical universe

an alphabetical journey through the great proofs, problems, and personalities

Author: William Dunham

Publisher: Wiley


Category: Mathematics

Page: 314

View: 6256

Travels through mathematical concepts from Arithmetic to Zero to explore the wonders of the Fibonacci series, Russell's Paradox, and the theory of Pythagorus, in a witty and enthusiastic investigation of the great proofs, conundrums, disputes, and solutions in mathematics today.

The Oxford Handbook of Undergraduate Psychology Education

Author: N.A

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199933812


Page: 952

View: 7139

The Oxford Handbook of Undergraduate Psychology Education is dedicated to providing comprehensive coverage of teaching, pedagogy, and professional issues in psychology. The Handbook is designed to help psychology educators at each stage of their careers, from teaching their first courses and developing their careers to serving as department or program administrators. The goal of the Handbook is to provide teachers, educators, researchers, scholars, and administrators in psychology with current, practical advice on course creation, best practices in psychology pedagogy, course content recommendations, teaching methods and classroom management strategies, advice on student advising, and administrative and professional issues, such as managing one's career, chairing the department, organizing the curriculum, and conducting assessment, among other topics. The primary audience for this Handbook is college and university-level psychology teachers (at both two and four-year institutions) at the assistant, associate, and full professor levels, as well as department chairs and other psychology program administrators, who want to improve teaching and learning within their departments. Faculty members in other social science disciplines (e.g., sociology, education, political science) will find material in the Handbook to be applicable or adaptable to their own programs and courses.

Investing: The Last Liberal Art

Author: Robert G. Hagstrom

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 023153101X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 216

View: 8431

Robert G. Hagstrom is one of the best-known authors of investment books for general audiences. Turning his extensive experience as a portfolio manager at Legg Mason Capital Management into valuable guidance for professionals and nonprofessionals alike, he is the author of six successful books on investment, including The Warren Buffett Way, a New York Times best-seller that has sold more than a million copies. In this updated second edition of Investing: The Last Liberal Art, Hagstrom explores basic and fundamental investing concepts in a range of fields outside of economics, including physics, biology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and literature. He discusses, for instance, how the theory of evolution disrupts the notion of the efficient market and how reading strategies for literature can be gainfully applied to investing research. Building on Charlie Munger's famous "latticework of mental models" concept, Hagstrom argues that it is impossible to make good investment decisions based solely on a strong knowledge of finance theory alone. He reinforces his concepts with additional data and a new chapter on mathematics, and updates his text throughout to reflect the developments of the past decade, particularly the seismic economic upheaval of 2008. He has also added a hundred new titles to the invaluable reading list concluding the book. Praise for the first edition: "I read this book in one sitting: I could not put it down."—Peter L. Bernstein, author of Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk "Elegant and irresistible. Robert G. Hagstrom makes the complex clear as he confidently crisscrosses through the disciplines of finance, biology, physics, and literature. The only way to understand investing better, [Investing] shows, is to understand the world better. Ideas spark off the page at every turn. This is simply a gem of a book."—James Surowiecki, New Yorker "Investing is a brisk and engaging read, and it is a pleasure to be in the presence of Hagstrom's agile mind."—International Herald Tribune

Proofs and Refutations

The Logic of Mathematical Discovery

Author: Imre Lakatos

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316425339

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 7703

Imre Lakatos's Proofs and Refutations is an enduring classic, which has never lost its relevance. Taking the form of a dialogue between a teacher and some students, the book considers various solutions to mathematical problems and, in the process, raises important questions about the nature of mathematical discovery and methodology. Lakatos shows that mathematics grows through a process of improvement by attempts at proofs and critiques of these attempts, and his work continues to inspire mathematicians and philosophers aspiring to develop a philosophy of mathematics that accounts for both the static and the dynamic complexity of mathematical practice. With a specially commissioned Preface written by Paolo Mancosu, this book has been revived for a new generation of readers.

Wake Me Up When the Data Is Over

How Organizations Use Stories to Drive Results

Author: Lori L. Silverman

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0787988073

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 320

View: 3055

This book includes real-life examples from over 70 respected organizations, small and large, representing a multitude of industries using stories to drive results. Leaders from organizations such as Microsoft, Lands’ End, Verizon, U.S. Air Force, and World Vision demonstrate the strong positive influence stories can have. No abstract theories or platitudes are conveyed here. The book spells out how Kevin Roberts, CEO worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, achieved sustained sales growth after several mergers and downsizings caused the organization to fall on hard times. It also shows how Erik Shaw, president and CEO of FivePoint Federal Credit Union, overcame resistance to an organizational name change, resulting in membership growth exceeding the national average.

The Art of the Infinite

The Pleasures of Mathematics

Author: Robert Kaplan,Ellen Kaplan

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1608198693

Category: Mathematics

Page: 416

View: 7597

Traces the development of mathematical thinking and describes the characteristics of the "republic of numbers" in terms of humankind's fascination with, and growing knowledge of, infinity.