The Language of Mathematics: Making the Invisible Visible

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Macmillan, Mar 13, 2000 - Mathematics - 344 pages
8 Reviews

"The great book of nature," said Galileo, "can be read only by those who know the language in which it was written. And this language is mathematics." In The Language of Mathematics, award-winning author Keith Devlin reveals the vital role mathematics plays in our eternal quest to understand who we are and the world we live in. More than just the study of numbers, mathematics provides us with the eyes to recognize and describe the hidden patterns of life—patterns that exist in the physical, biological, and social worlds without, and the realm of ideas and thoughts within.

Taking the reader on a wondrous journey through the invisible universe that surrounds us—a universe made visible by mathematics—Devlin shows us what keeps a jumbo jet in the air, explains how we can see and hear a football game on TV, allows us to predict the weather, the behavior of the stock market, and the outcome of elections. Microwave ovens, telephone cables, children's toys, pacemakers, automobiles, and computers—all operate on mathematical principles. Far from a dry and esoteric subject, mathematics is a rich and living part of our culture. An exploration of an often woefully misunderstood subject, The Language of Mathematics celebrates the simplicity, the precision, the purity, and the elegance of mathematics.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mobill76 - LibraryThing

Not bad - sort of an introduction to the major themes of mathematics. It has some history but it doesn't get bogged down by trying to stay chronological or include every historical detail. It sort of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmarun - LibraryThing

Yes, I did feel real sad after reading this book. Reason: Why weren't we taught Mathematics the way the author teaches in this book? Author's work on making users understand Calculus is simply amazing ... Read full review

Selected pages


What Is Mathematics?
Why Numbers Count
Patterns of the Mind
Mathematic in Motion
Mathematics Gets into Shape
The Mathematics of Beauty
What Happens When Mathematics Gets into Position
How Mathematicians Figure the Odds
Uncovering the Hidden Patterns of the Universe

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About the author (2000)

Keith Devlin is Dean of the School of Science at Saint Mary's College of California and Senior Researcher at Stanford University's center for the Study of Language and Information. A key participant in the six-part PBS television series "Life by the Numbers," he is the author of Life by Numbers; Goodbye, Descartes; Logic and Information; Mathematics: The New Golden Age; and InfoSense: Turning Information into Knowledge.

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