Math Gene by Keith Devlin
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Math Gene
By Keith Devlin

The Math Gene

How Mathematical Thinking Evolved and Why Numbers are Like Gossip

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Format: Paperback

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Math Gene by Keith Devlin

Book Description

This work about maths and language is from the NPR commentator Keith Devlin. Why is maths so hard? And why, despite this difficulty, are some people so good at it? If there is some inborn capacity for mathematical thinking which there must be, otherwise no one could do it, why can't we all do it well? Keith Devlin has answers to all these difficult questions, and in giving them shows us how mathematical ability evolved, why it's a part of language ability, and how we can make better use of this innate talent. He also offers a theory of language development - that language evolved in two stages, and its main purpose was not communication. Devlin goes on to show that the ability to think mathematically arose out of the same symbol-manipulating ability that was so crucial to the emergence of true language. Why, then, can't we do maths as well as we can speak? The answer, says Devlin, is that we can and do, we just don't recognize when we're using mathematical reasoning.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780465016198
ISBN-10: 0465016197
Format: Paperback
(204mm x 135mm x 23mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 26-Apr-2001
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Keith Devlin

Man of Numbers by Keith Devlin Man of Numbers, Paperback (November 2012)

The story of the man who introduced Hindu-Arabic numerals and the concept of zero to Europe that transformed business in the late Middle Ages and paved the way for the commercial and cultural explosion of the Renaissance

Mathematician's Lament by Keith Devlin Mathematician's Lament, Paperback (May 2009)

A manifesto for freeing math from the drudgery of traditional teaching by a brilliant mathematician.

» View all books by Keith Devlin


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Author Biography - Keith Devlin

Keith Devlin is the Dean of the School of Social Science at St. Mary's College, Moraga, California, and a Senior Researcher at the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University. He is the author of 22 books, one interactive CD-ROM, and over 65 technical research papers in mathematics. His voice is heard regularly on National Public Radio, on such programs as "Weekend Edition," "Talk of the Nation," "Science Friday," "Sounds Like Science," and "To the Best of Our Knowledge." His previous books include Life by the Numbers, the companion to a PBS series that aired in April and May, 1998; Goodbye Descartes: The End of Logic; and The Language of Mathematics: Making the Invisible Visible.

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