The Number Mysteries: A Mathematical Odyssey through Everyday Life

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Macmillan, May 24, 2011 - Mathematics - 272 pages
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Every time we download music, take a flight across the Atlantic or talk on our cell phones, we are relying on great mathematical inventions. In The Number Mysteries, one of our generation's foremost mathematicians Marcus du Sautoy offers a playful and accessible examination of numbers and how, despite efforts of the greatest minds, the most fundamental puzzles of nature remain unsolved. Du Sautoy tells about the quest to predict the future—from the flight of asteroids to an impending storm, from bending a ball like Beckham to forecasting population growth. He brings to life the beauty behind five mathematical puzzles that have contributed to our understanding of the world around us and have helped develop the technology to cope with it. With loads of games to play and puzzles to solve, this is a math book for everyone.

 

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User Review  - GalenWiley - LibraryThing

Every time we download music, take a flight across the Atlantic or talk on our cell phones, we are relying on great mathematical inventions. In The Number Mysteries, one of our generation's foremost ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

An undemanding effort, written at a simple level using British idiom and assuming a British milieu. Areas of math -- er, maths -- covered are prime numbers, shapes, chance, secret codes, and prediction. Read full review

Contents

oNe The curious incident of the Neverending Primes
5
Two The story of the elusive shape
55
Three The secret of the winning streak
109
Four The case of the uncrackable code
157
FiVe The Quest to Predict the Future
209
Picture Credits
253
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About the author (2011)

Marcus du Sautoy is a professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford and currently holds the same chair that Richard Dawkins once did. He is active in reaching out the public, speaking at TED Conferences, writing for The Times (London) and The Guardian, and has appeared in specials on both BBC and PBS. He is the author of The Music of the Primes and Symmetry: A Journey into the Patterns of Nature. He has been named one of the UK's leading scientists by The Independent on Sunday and in 2001 he won the Berwick Prize of the London Mathematical Society, which is awarded every two years to reward the best mathematical research by a mathematician under forty.

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