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The Best Writing on Mathematics


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Table of Contents

*FrontMatter, pg. i*Contents, pg. vii*Foreword: Recreational Mathematics, pg. xi*Introduction, pg. xvii*What is Mathematics For?, pg. 1*A Tisket, a Tasket, an Apollonian Gasket, pg. 13*The Quest for God's Number, pg. 27*Meta-morphism: From Graduate Student to Networked Mathematician, pg. 35*One, Two, Many: Individuality and Collectivity in Mathematics, pg. 43*Reflections on the Decline of Mathematical Tables, pg. 51*Under-Represented Then Over-Represented:, pg. 55*Did Over-Reliance on Mathematical Models for Risk Assessment Create the Financial Crisis?, pg. 67*Fill in the Blanks:, pg. 75*The Great Principles of Computing, pg. 82*Computer Generation of Ribbed Sculptures, pg. 93*Lorenz System Offers Manifold Possibilities for Art, pg. 115*Celebrating Mathematics in Stone and Bronze, pg. 150*Mathematics Education, pg. 169*Thinking and Comprehending in the Mathematics Classroom, pg. 188*Teaching Research: Encouraging Discoveries, pg. 203*Reflections of an Accidental Theorist, pg. 219*The Conjoint Origin of Proof and Theoretical Physics, pg. 236*What Makes Mathematics Mathematics?, pg. 257*What Anti-realism in Philosophy of Mathematics Must Offer, pg. 286*Seeing Numbers, pg. 312*Autism and Mathematical Talent, pg. 330*How Much Math is Too Much Math?, pg. 336*Hidden Dimensions, pg. 347*Playing with Matches, pg. 356*Notable Texts, pg. 367*Contributors, pg. 371*Acknowledgments, pg. 379*Credits, pg. 381

About the Author

Mircea Pitici is a PhD candidate in mathematics education at Cornell University. He teaches mathematics courses and writing seminars at Cornell and Ithaca College.


"Mathematics instructor Pitici turns out a second volume of unexpectedly fascinating mathematical research, musings, and studies that explore subjects from art to medicine... From a discussion of the utility of mathematics in stone and bronze sculptures to a study of computing and its interaction with the sciences, readers from many disciplines will find much to pique their interest."--Publishers Weekly "This wonderful book is not just a collection of essays; there are also references including a list of notable texts, links to mathematics websites, and biographies of the contributors, which may prove to be as valuable to the reader as the essays themselves. The Best Writing on Mathematics 2011 cannot be recommended highly enough!"--Robert Schaefer, New York Journal of Books "[E]ntertaining and informative."--Ian D. Gordon, Library Journal "I invite the reader of this review to read the book; it contains many more interesting aspects of the interplay between mathematics and the real life than the ones I can explain."--European Mathematical Society "The volume is a single-shot source to keep in touch with all that is going on in the world of mathematics."--Vaidehi Nathan, Organiser "To my mind, though, there is circumstantial evidence that the contributions in this booklet are pretty close to what the title promises. This volume is the very ticket for any mathematician and--beyond that--for anybody who enjoys a sense of delight in the beauty of writing."--J. Lang, International Mathematical News

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