Cover image for Weird math : a teenage genius & his teacher reveal the strange connections between math & everyday life / David Darling & Agnijo Banerjee.
Title:
Weird math : a teenage genius & his teacher reveal the strange connections between math & everyday life / David Darling & Agnijo Banerjee.
ISBN:
9781541644786
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, [2018]
Physical Description:
xiii, 302 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Abstract:
Everyone has stared at the crumpled page of a math assignment and wondered, where on Earth will I ever use this? It turns out, Earth is precisely the place. As teen math prodigy Agnijo Banerjee and his teacher David Darling reveal, complex math surrounds us. If we think long enough about the universe, we're left not with material stuff, but a ghostly and beautiful set of equations. Packed with puzzles and paradoxes, mind-bending concepts, and surprising solutions, Weird Math leads us from a lyrical exploration of mathematics in our universe to profound questions about God, chance, and infinity. A magical introduction to the mysteries of math, it will entrance beginners and seasoned mathematicians alike.
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Summary

Summary

A teenage genius and his teacher take readers on a wild ride to the extremes of mathematics
Everyone has stared at the crumpled page of a math assignment and wondered, where on Earth will I ever use this? It turns out, Earth is precisely the place. As teen math prodigy Agnijo Banerjee and his teacher David Darling reveal, complex math surrounds us. If we think long enough about the universe, we're left not with material stuff, but a ghostly and beautiful set of equations. Packed with puzzles and paradoxes, mind-bending concepts, and surprising solutions, Weird Math leads us from a lyrical exploration of mathematics in our universe to profound questions about God, chance, and infinity. A magical introduction to the mysteries of math, it will entrance beginners and seasoned mathematicians alike.


Author Notes

David Darling is a science writer and astronomer. He is the author of the acclaimed Equations of Eternity , among other books. He lives in Dundee, Scotland.
Agnijo Banerjee is a brilliant young mathematician and child genius. A student of Darling's, he lives near Dundee, Scotland.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Darling (Equations of Eternity), an astronomer and science writer, teams up with a student of his, teenage math prodigy Banerjee, in this enjoyable, wide-ranging volume of essays on such diverse mathematical topics as computing, music theory, prime numbers, and paradoxes. Even math-averse readers should find something to pique their interest here. The authors begin by covering how math is used to visualize multiple dimensions in such fields as popular fiction, modern art, and physics. They move on with a brief discussion of the statistics of random chance that shows how to figure out the odds of winning a lottery as well as understand quantum mechanics. In the most fascinating chapters, student and teacher explore Turing machines and computing, how to build a great chess-playing computer, and the math of really large numbers. They keep their discussion equation-free while delivering thoughtful and accessible explanations with a fair bit of history and many stimulating real world examples. "Mathematics," Darling and Banerjee write, "is an endless adventure into the weirdest and wildest places ever countenanced by the human intellect"-and there is plenty here to convince even the most skeptical reader that they have a good point. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

As its title suggests, Weird Math is a collection of mathematical topics but not those that one usually encounters in school. Specifically, this is not a mathematics book; it is a book about mathematics. Science writer Darling (Equations of Eternity) and his protégé Banerjee treat readers to some of the amazing facts that fascinate students of the subject. The material is organized into 13 chapters, each with a central theme that occasionally branches off into seemingly unrelated fields. Reflecting the growing importance of computers, much space is devoted to current investigations into game theory, computability, solvability, and mathematical logic. There are also sections on the notational uses of large numbers, transfinite arithmetic, and the difference between very large and infinite. The book contains some formulas but only a few proofs. Thus, the exposition may leave readers eager for more details and examples. Verdict A solid read for the student or educated layperson who is interested in mathematics and its connections to life's routines.-Harold D. Shane, Mathematics Emeritus, Baruch Coll. Lib., CUNY © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
A Note to the Readerp. xiii
1 The Math Behind the Worldp. 1
2 How to See in 4-Dp. 13
3 Chance Is a Fine Thingp. 35
4 Patterns at the Brink of Chaosp. 63
5 Turing's Fantastic Machinep. 85
6 Music of the Spheresp. 113
7 Prime Mysteriesp. 135
8 Can Chess Be Solved?p. 151
9 What Is and What Should Never Bep. 171
10 You Can't Get There from Herep. 187
11 The Biggest Number of Allp. 209
12 Bend It, Stretch It, Any Way You Want Toop. 233
13 God, Gödel, and the Search for Proofp. 255
Acknowledgementsp. 279
Indexp. 281