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The Best Writing on Mathematics 2013 Paperback – 24 Jun 2016

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Product details

  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 2013 ed. edition (24 Jun. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691160414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691160412
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 548,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "[A] wonderful and varied bouquet of texts. . . . I highly recommend this book to everyone with an interest in mathematics."--Stephen Buckley, "Irish Mathematical Society Bulletin"

Praise for Princetons previous editions: "[A] volume of unexpectedly fascinating mathematical research, musings, and studies that explore subjects from art to medicine. . . . [R]eaders from many disciplines will find much to pique their interest."--"Publishers Weekly"

Praise for Princetons previous editions: "Entertaining and informative."--Ian D. Gordon, "Library Journal"

Praise for Princetons previous editions: "Wonderful. . . . [C]annot be recommended highly enough!"--Robert Schaefer, "New York Journal of Books"

Praise for Princetons previous editions: "[A] wonderful and varied bouquet of texts. . . . I highly recommend this book to everyone with an interest in mathematics."--Stephen Buckley, "Irish Mathematical Society Bulletin"

Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "[A] volume of unexpectedly fascinating mathematical research, musings, and studies that explore subjects from art to medicine. . . . [R]eaders from many disciplines will find much to pique their interest."--"Publishers Weekly"

Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "Entertaining and informative."--Ian D. Gordon, "Library Journal"

Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "Wonderful. . . . [C]annot be recommended highly enough!"--Robert Schaefer, "New York Journal of Books"

"A marvelous selection of papers about mathematics written by the best. . . . Highly recommended to all with a broad interest in science, history, art, education, philosophy . . . which is almost anybody."--A. Bultheel, "European Mathematical Society Reviews"

"In addition to presenting the year's most memorable writings on mathematics, this must-have anthology includes a foreword by esteemed physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson. This book belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in where math has taken us--and where it is headed."--"World Book Industry"

"These selections provide a sampling of the state of the art through topics ranging from math anxiety to modern applications to the history of mathematics. With great emphasis on the interactions of mathematics with modern civilization, the arts, and philosophy, these articles can be a source of intellectual stimulation for educated lay readers and will provide, for working mathematicians or scientists, exposure to parts of the subject outside of their research range. . . . A well-chosen collection supplemented by an outstanding bibliography of suggested further reading."--Harold D. Shane, "Library Journal"

"[T]his is a marvelous selection of papers about mathematics written by the best. They do not draw the reader into the mathematical jargon that is only of interest to the mathematical literate. In fact practically no mathematics is needed and formulas are almost completely absent. It is the best possible way of communicating mathematics to the non-mathematician and even the ones suffering from mathematical anxiety will enjoy reading the booklet. Of course this is only a relatively small selection but for the reader longing for more, Pitici gives in his introduction an even longer list of books, papers, websites and blogs that are equally worth reading. Pitici did once more an excellent job, and the result is highly recommended to all with a broad interest in science, history, art, education, philosophy . . . which is almost anybody."--A. Bultheel, "European Mathematical Society"

"The list of titles of the essays reprinted in this volume would be almost enough to persuade many people that they will enjoy reading it, and indeed that they could profitably put it in front of anyone who wants to know what mathematics is about. It's a partial and selective picture, of course, but it's fresh, varied, and as its title might suggest, well written."--Jeremy Gray, "LMS Newsletter"

"Most of the articles presented here are entertaining and enlightening, and the book should be recommended to everyone interested in mathematics."--"Zentralblatt MATH"

Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "A wonderful and varied bouquet of texts. . . . I highly recommend this book to everyone with an interest in mathematics."--Stephen Buckley, "Irish Mathematical Society Bulletin"

About the Author

Mircea Pitici holds a PhD mathematics education from Cornell University, where he teaches math and writing. He has edited The Best Writing on Mathematics since 2010.


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When I read the number of maths contributers to this book I just had to buy it and it didn't disappoint. It covers maths from all angles from understanding maths anxieties and why they develop to bridges, string art and bezier curves.
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The phrase "best writing" in the title refers to the best expository writing, nearly all of the content of all of the articles can be understood by the mathematically sophisticated high school student. Many different areas are covered, from mathematical history to probability, the philosophy of mathematics and how to best teach it, dealing with math anxiety to mathematics in the modern culture of 24/7 multimedia.
It is reasonable to say that any person that starts at page one and reads through to the end will find some essays fascinating and others somewhat boring. However, different people will find their sets of fascinating and boring to be different; such is the nature of the human, mathematical animal. My favorite essay was "High Fashion Meets Mathematics" by Kelly Delp. It opens with the geometry of surfaces and describes how some unusual surfaces can fashionably be draped on a female body.
The real strength of this book is how it demonstrates the breadth of mathematics and how it permeates our very existence, both in allowing us to understand nature and make things that conform to nature's laws as well as how the human brain processes information.

Published in Journal of Recreational Mathematics, reprinted with permission
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I’ve always been fond of Mathematics, and as a theoretical Physicist have taken a fair number of Math courses in college and grad school. However, since getting out of grad school my exposure to the Math world has been rather cursory to nonexistent. That’s why I was really excited to come across this volume of interesting and insightful essays on various Math topics.

The nature of topics covered in this volume is very diverse. It ranges from insights into the pure contemporary abstract mathematics, to the applied Math of early scientific instruments. Mathematics touches almost every aspect of scientific, cultural and even artistic life, and the selection of topics in this book reflects the protean nature of this metadiscipline. Most of the essays are written in an accessible and easy to follow style, and this book ought to be readable by the widest imaginable audience. For a book on Mathematics there are surprisingly few equations and numbers. This collection will especially appeal to readers who appreciate the cultural, pedagogical, and historical aspects of Mathematics.

One thing that I wish is that this collection contained more articles on recent research and development in Mathematics. Like many sciences, Mathematics has become too complex and fragmented even for most of its practitioners. A collection of essays that is aimed at an advanced layperson explaining what is exciting about the recent mathematical research would probably have a lot of appeal to a wide audience.

Another thing that I didn’t like about this collection is that there were two or three essays that I found completely rambling. Their authors seemed to relish a pseudo-intellectual discourse and tried to come across as very philosophical and intellectually profound.
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Nice articles, but I was simply expecting a higher level.
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