Archive for the 'mathematics' Category

Elementary Probability with Applications

Friday, February 22, 2008

prob.jpgBy Larry Rabinowitz

Rabinowitz’s (mathematics, College of William and Mary) textbook is designed for use with non-math majors in a one semester or one quarter course in discrete probability. The text focuses on how probability models with underlying assumptions can be used to model real world situations. Coverage includes basic probability concepts; conditional probability and the multiplication rule; combining the addition and multiplication rules; random variables, distributions, and expected values; sampling without and with replacement; and simple statistical tests. (Description from


The Meaning of Relativity

Thursday, February 21, 2008

relativity.jpgBy Albert Einstein

In 1921, five years after the appearance of his comprehensive paper on general relativity and twelve years before he left Europe permanently to join the Institute for Advanced Study, Albert Einstein visited Princeton University, where he delivered the Stafford Little Lectures for that year. These four lectures constituted an overview of his then controversial theory of relativity. Princeton University Press made the lectures available under the title The Meaning of Relativity, the first book by Einstein to be produced by an American publisher. As subsequent editions were brought out by the Press, Einstein included new material amplifying the theory. A revised version of the appendix “Relativistic Theory of the Non-Symmetric Field,” added to the posthumous edition of 1956, was Einstein’s last scientific paper. (Description from Call number: QC6 .E43 2005

Mathematical Puzzles: a Connoisseur’s Collection

Thursday, February 14, 2008

puzzle.jpgBy Peter Winkler

A research mathematician/puzzle maven shares some 100 of the brain-teasers relevant to different areas of the field that he has long been collecting. He provides solutions to such puzzles as “the absent-minded pill-taker,” “deterministic poker,” and “Washingtons and feminists,” but some remain unsolved to date. (Description from Call number: QA95 .W646 2004

Euclid in the Rainforest

Thursday, February 14, 2008

euclid.jpgBy Joseph Mazur

Like Douglas Hofstadter’s Godel, Escher, Bach, and David Berlinski’s A Tour of theCalculus, Euclid in the Rainforest combines the literary with the mathematical to explore logic—the one indispensable tool in man’s quest to understand the world. Underpinning both math and science, it is the foundation of every major advancement in knowledge since the time of the ancient Greeks. Through adventure stories and historical narratives populated with a rich and quirky cast of characters, Mazur artfully reveals the less-than-airtight nature of logic and the muddled relationship between math and the real world. Ultimately, Mazur argues, logical reasoning is not purely robotic. At its most basic level, it is a creative process guided by our intuitions and beliefs about the world. (Description from  Call number: QA9 .M3935 2006

The Calculus Gallery: Masterpices from Newton to Lebesgue

Thursday, February 14, 2008

calc.jpgBy William Dunham

More than three centuries after its creation, calculus remains a dazzling intellectual achievement and the gateway into higher mathematics. This book charts its growth and development by sampling from the work of some of its foremost practitioners, beginning with Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in the late seventeenth century and continuing to Henri Lebesgue at the dawn of the twentieth. William Dunham lucidly presents the definitions, theorems, and proofs. “Students of literature read Shakespeare; students of music listen to Bach,” he writes. But this tradition of studying the major works of the “masters” is, if not wholly absent, certainly uncommon in mathematics. This book seeks to redress that situation.

Like a great museum, The Calculus Gallery is filled with masterpieces, among which are Bernoulli’s early attack upon the harmonic series (1689), Euler’s brilliant approximation of pi (1779), Cauchy’s classic proof of the fundamental theorem of calculus (1823), Weierstrass’s mind-boggling counterexample (1872), and Baire’s original “category theorem” (1899). Collectively, these selections document the evolution of calculus from a powerful but logically chaotic subject into one whose foundations are thorough, rigorous, and unflinching–a story of genius triumphing over some of the toughest, most subtle problems imaginable.

Anyone who has studied and enjoyed calculus will discover in these pages the sheer excitement each mathematician must have felt when pushing into the unknown. In touring The Calculus Gallery, we can see how it all came to be. (Description from Call number: QA303.2 .D86 2005

God Created the Integers

Thursday, February 14, 2008

integers.jpgEdited by Stephen Hawking

From e-commerce to flying in airplanes and spacecraft, mathematics enables almost every aspect of our lives in this post-industrial age. But exactly what are the areas of mathematics that make these things possible? And just what was it that made someone sit up and think, ‘I must solve this!’

In the follow-up volume to the best-selling On the Shoulders of Giants: The Great Works of Physics and Astronomy, world-renowned author and physicist Stephen Hawking presents 31 landmarks of mathematical thought. From basic geometry through the theory of transfinite numbers, this comprehensive volume traces the work of 17 mathematicians over 2,500 years. Each chapter is laid out in an accessible format:

–A biography of each mathematician which discusses the significance of the mathematical research
–The full proof of the work, reproduced from the original publication

And, in addition, three significant results are translated, for the first time, into English. Hawking posits that, if the wonders of the ancient world were physical (like the pyramids), then the wonders of our world are the works of the intellect. This volume gathers some of the brightest minds in one place and discusses the influences on and impact of their work. (Description from Call number: QA21 .G63 2005

Trigonometry for Dummies

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

By Mary Jane Sterling

Trigonometry For Dummies explains introductory trigonometry in clear language and with humor, while presenting a number of worked-out problems to help students understand the process. Among topics covered are trigonometric functions and cofunctions, the laws of sines and cosines, quadratic equations, logarithms, sequences, circular and harmonic motion, graphing, inverse functions, conic sections, vectors, polynomials, ellipses, and parabolas. In addition, this book will explain the “why” of trigonometry and use real-world examples and problems that illustrate the value of trigonometry in a variety of careers.  (Description from Call number: QA531 .S783 2005

Algebra II for Dummies

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

By Mary Jane Sterling

You’ve worked your way through Algebra I, and now you’re ready to take algebr5a to the next level. This friendly guide shows you how to get up to speed on exponential functions, laws of logarithms, conic sections, matrices, and other advanced algebra concepts – without even breaking a sweat. It’s just what  you need for Algebra II success! (Description from Call number: QA152.9 .S753 2006

Algebra for Dummies

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

By Mary Jane Sterling

Get the right solution every time — algebra the fun and easy wayTM!

Includes a great glossary of algebraic terms for easy reference

The pain-free way to explore algebra—and come out smilin’

Does the word polynomial make your hair stand on end? Let Mary Jane Sterling show you the easy way to tackle algebra. This friendly guide explains the basics—and the tougher stuff—in easy-to-understand, no-nonsense language. Whether you want to brush up on your math skills or help your children with their homework, this book gives you power—to the nth degree. (Description from Call number: QA155 .S74 2001

Calculus for Dummies

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

By Mark Ryan

Features the rules, definitions, and formulas you need to knowConquer your fear of calculus the fun and easy way®!

Confused by the complexities of calculus? This easy-to-understand guide takes the mystery out of key calculus concepts such as limits, differentiation, and integration. You’ll ease into the basics with clear explanations, clever shortcuts, and real-life examples to help you – and you’ll discover that calculus isn’t so tough after all.

The Dummies Way

  • Explanations in plain English
  • “Get in, get out” information
  • Icons and other navigational aids
  • Tear-out cheat sheet
  • Top ten lists
  • A dash of humor and fun

(Description from Call number: QA303.2 .R86 2003