Sunday, December 7, 2014
A Book Recommended
I mentioned last week (at MathTango) that Richard Elwes' 2013 book, "Chaotic Fishponds and Mirror Universes," was one of my very favorite reads of 2014. So this morning just a blurb from its Introduction, as the Sunday reflection, in hopes of encouraging you to check it out further:
"Of all the subjects studied, debated and fought over in the course of human history, I happen to believe that the most fascinating is mathematics. That's a bold claim -- perhaps mystifying to readers who were bored or baffled by the subject at school. Well, of course fascination is in the eye of the beholder, and certainly there will be those who need some persuading. I hope this book will go some way towards doing that.
"What is irrefutable, however, is that in modern life mathematics is both important and ever-present. Even the most entrenched maths-hater has an awareness that it plays a central role in today's world, touching our lives in more ways than ever before. But that is where the details are liable to become hazy... yes, important, but where exactly is it used, and in what ways?
"In response, I present in the pages that follow a selection of 35 diverse applications of mathematics. I attempt to unravel some of the principles that underlie aspects of our daily lives, as well as those that inform today's boldest thinkers....
"I hope that, by the end of this book, readers will have a more precise sense of where mathematics fits into modern life -- and, en route that some doubters become devotees of the subject that I find endlessly, gloriously, fascinating."