The Language of Mathematics: Making the Invisible Visible

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Macmillan, Mar 13, 2000 - Mathematics - 352 pages
17 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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Review: The Language of Mathematics: Making the Invisible Visible

User Review  - Tony Robinson - Goodreads

I thought this was a really well written book with helpful insight into the underlying principles of mathematics as well as its very interesting history. Defiantly made me appreciate my studies much more. Read full review

Review: The Language of Mathematics: Making the Invisible Visible

User Review  - Ken Gloeckner - Goodreads

Extremely interesting and surprisingly easy to read! Thoroughly enjoyed this broad (and acknowledgedly brief) survey of the history of mathematics and some of the big ideas and current trends. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

What Is Mathematics?
1
Why Numbers Count
13
Patterns of the Mind
51
Mathematic in Motion
95
Mathematics Gets into Shape
139
The Mathematics of Beauty
189
What Happens When Mathematics Gets into Position
221
How Mathematicians Figure the Odds
271
Uncovering the Hidden Patterns of the Universe
299
Postscript
337
Index
339
Copyright

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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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