Concepts of Modern Mathematics

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, Feb 1, 1995 - Mathematics - 339 pages
7 Reviews

Some years ago, "new math" took the country's classrooms by storm. Based on the abstract, general style of mathematical exposition favored by research mathematicians, its goal was to teach students not just to manipulate numbers and formulas, but to grasp the underlying mathematical concepts. The result, at least at first, was a great deal of confusion among teachers, students, and parents. Since then, the negative aspects of "new math" have been eliminated and its positive elements assimilated into classroom instruction.
In this charming volume, a noted English mathematician uses humor and anecdote to illuminate the concepts underlying "new math": groups, sets, subsets, topology, Boolean algebra, and more. According to Professor Stewart, an understanding of these concepts offers the best route to grasping the true nature of mathematics, in particular the power, beauty, and utility of pure mathematics. No advanced mathematical background is needed (a smattering of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry is helpful) to follow the author's lucid and thought-provoking discussions of such topics as functions, symmetry, axiomatics, counting, topology, hyperspace, linear algebra, real analysis, probability, computers, applications of modern mathematics, and much more.
By the time readers have finished this book, they'll have a much clearer grasp of how modern mathematicians look at figures, functions, and formulas and how a firm grasp of the ideas underlying "new math" leads toward a genuine comprehension of the nature of mathematics itself.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - austin.sears - LibraryThing

The book is well written and the explanations are well crafted. I found the beginning to be a little slow, and by the end it peters out as he attempts to cover more material than he really has space ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

An excellent tour...This book started me on a rampage of awesome reading about mathematics...I've been enraptured by the writings of Ian Stewart ever since. It's worth anyone's time.

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From Here to Infinity
Ian Stewart
No preview available - 1996
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About the author (1995)

Ian Stewart is Professor of Mathematics at Warwick University in England. His many books include Does God Play Dice?, The collapse of Chaos (with Jack Cohen), Game, Set and Math, and Fearful Symmetry: Is God a Geometer? (with Martin Golubitsky). He contributed to a wide range of newspapers and
magazines, and writes the "Mathematical Recreations" column of Scientific American.

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