Strange Curves, Counting Rabbits, and Other Mathematical Explorations by Keith Ball
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Strange Curves, Counting Rabbits, and Other Mathematical Explorations
By Keith Ball

Strange Curves, Counting Rabbits, and Other Mathematical Explorations

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Format: Paperback

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Strange Curves, Counting Rabbits, and Other Mathematical Explorations by Keith Ball

Book Awards

  • Shortlisted for Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award 2004.

Book Description

How does mathematics enable us to send pictures from space back to Earth? Where does the bell-shaped curve come from? Why do you need only 23 people in a room for a 50/50 chance of two of them sharing the same birthday? In Strange Curves, Counting Rabbits, and Other Mathematical Explorations, Keith Ball highlights how ideas, mostly from pure math, can answer these questions and many more. Drawing on areas of mathematics from probability theory, number theory, and geometry, he explores a wide range of concepts, some more light-hearted, others central to the development of the field and used daily by mathematicians, physicists, and engineers. Each of the book's ten chapters begins by outlining key concepts and goes on to discuss, with the minimum of technical detail, the principles that underlie them. Each includes puzzles and problems of varying difficulty. While the chapters are self-contained, they also reveal the links between seemingly unrelated topics. For example, the problem of how to design codes for satellite communication gives rise to the same idea of uncertainty as the problem of screening blood samples for disease. Accessible to anyone familiar with basic calculus, this book is a treasure trove of ideas that will entertain, amuse, and bemuse students, teachers, and math lovers of all ages.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691127972
ISBN-10: 0691127972
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 16-Oct-2006
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Keith Ball

Keith Ball is Professor of Mathematics at University College London and a Royal Society Leverhulme Research Fellow. Well known for his entertaining public lectures on mathematics, he is also the author of a graduate-level introduction to convex geometry in a textbook on geometry.

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