- Taschenbuch: 1376 Seiten
- Verlag: Running Press; Auflage: New (9. Oktober 2007)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0762430044
- ISBN-13: 978-0762430048
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,1 x 5,1 x 22,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 178.203 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
God Created The Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs that Changed History (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 9. Oktober 2007
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"God created the integers," wrote mathematician Leopold Kronecker, "All the rest is the work of Man." In this collection of landmark mathematical works, editor Stephen Hawking has assembled the greatest feats humans have ever accomplished using just numbers and their brains. Each of the 17 sections opens with a historical introduction of the featured author, and proceeds to a faithful translation of their most famous work. While most mathematicians will already have complete editions of Isaac Newton's Principia or Georg Cantor's Contributions to the Founding of the Theory of Transfinite Numbers, this book is unique in presenting just the best bits of these and other theoretical works. The collection spans 2,500 years and covers a vast range of theories: the parallel postulate, Boolean logic, differential calculus, and the philosophy of the unknowable among them. Dense with numbers, formulae, and ideas, God Created the Integers is quite challenging, but Hawking rewards curious readers with a look at how mathematics has been built. In contrast to the towering physical edifices of great civilizations of the past, Hawking writes, "The greatest wonder of the modern world is our understanding." --Therese Littleton -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
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This book could be useful, for example, for someone who likes math and wants a 'sampler' of different areas of study. It could also be useful for someone reading up on the history of mathematics who wants to dig deeper into certain areas and see the original works.
All that said, I have to agree with another reviewer about the editing. It's awful (yes, awful) that such typographical errors could exist in a math book. The first section I looked at in this book, Riemann's original paper on the zeta function, had four typos ON THE SAME PAGE. This is disasterous to someone trying to learn the material for the first time, or someone trying to follow a tight line of argument. If this was a college text book, I'd probably burn it, because learning math is difficult enough, without having to contend with typos. To the editors of this book: COME ON GUYS, YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED (YES, ASHAMED) OF YOURSELVES (you're just COPYING something someone else wrote--and yet you managed to mess that up)! At least put an errata page somewhere online.
HOWEVER, the errors contained in this book is intolerable. It doesn't make sense anymore to give those mathematical details as you can hardly follow them due to the errors.
For example, on page 5 it prints:
If (2^n - 1) is a prime number then 2^(n-1)*(2^(n-1)-1) is a perfect number and that even perfect numbers must have this form.
it obveriously should be 2^(n-1)*(2^n - 1) instead of what has been printed. As other readers have suggested, you would expect more similar errors along the way.
Don't buy this book and wait for the 2nd edition if the publisher ever want to make an effort to make this book readable. I'm so very disappointed.
Recently I've tried to fill in the gaps in my math and science education. I thought the idea of Hawkings choosing landmark math texts and commenting on them was fantastic. After spending three days trying to understand the Euclidian proof of the Pythagorean theorem, and concluding I was just too dumb, I turned the page and discovered that according to the commentary the proof was for an isosceles right triangle, while the illustration was not isosceles.
Other reviewers have commented on the egregious errors and typos. I'd like to add that the whole publication is a typographical horror. The publisher should be ashamed. The font size is miniscule. The illustrations are often misleading. Hawkings may have chosen the texts, but the publisher apparently selected the editions based not on quality of translation but whether the copyright had expired: most appear to be nineteenth-century and to include outdated commentaries. At first I thought the commentaries were by Hawkings, but they aren't, and this was not only a disappointment but also a source of my confusion at several points where I couldn't understand them.
I would be surprised if even ten percent of the book is authored by Hawkings. Given this, the ghastly page layout, inaccurate reprints of outdated texts, and amateurish copyediting, this book is overpriced.
IF YOU'RE MATHEMATICALLY LITERATE, you will likely find Hawkings' material a joy to read. Even I -- with my limited background -- am able to appreciate some of it. But the minute after I want to shout for joy when I understand something beautiful in the book, I want to throw it across the room for something like spelling Leonardo da Vinci "Lionardo" or typos like "Archimedes's asked." With glaringly obvious typos like those, I can only assume there are less obvious typos where it really counts, in the math. It's not that I think typos out-weigh the value of Hawkings' insights, by any means. It's that mathematicians have to be precise in their formulas and proofs if they want to convince anyone they're right. God is also in the details.
Addendum: The more I read, the more disappointed I am in this book. I'm beginning to question whether Hawkings wrote even the introductions to the excerpts. Many of them are nothing but poorly written biographies of the mathematicians anthologized. The intro to Newton asserts that Newton falsely claimed priority over Leibniz for devising calculus, for example, but the book doesn't include anything written by Leibniz. The book excerpts Euler, but only mentions the constant e in one sentence in the Euler intro. I'm going to look for a good history of mathematics and give up on this volume. And when I'm ready, I'll look for good translations of the original texts.
There are a few fundamental problems with the book.
First, Someone is only going to buy a book this nerdy if they are really into the subject. If they're really into the subject, they will probably want the full texts, not highlighted excerpts. Highlighted excerpts are handy as a reference, but since there is no index, this cannot be considered a reference book.
Second - it's nice that these works have Hawking's Seal of Approval, but the fact that Hawking has is name on this seems like nothing more than a marketing ploy. Most people buy Hawking's books because he makes a difficult subject easy. This being a collection of others' work makes me think that the publishers used Hawking's reputation to move copies.
Third - no index. That's ridiculous for a book like this.
Overall, I'm happy with the book, but I think it fails because it hovers between a reference book and a historical collection.
If you're serious about studying the subjects covered, I would suggest spending your money on the Dover edition of what you're looking for. Buy this book if you're an enthusiast and want some stimulating reading.