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The Language of Mathematics: Making the Invisible Visible [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Keith J. Devlin
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Kurzbeschreibung

1. Mai 2003
"The great book of nature," said Galileo, "can be read only by those who know the language in which it was written. And this language is mathematics." In The Language of Mathematics, award-winning author Keith Devlin reveals the vital role mathematics plays in our eternal quest to understand who we are and the world we live in. More than just the study of numbers, mathematics provides us with the eyes to recognize and describe the hidden patterns of life—patterns that exist in the physical, biological, and social worlds without, and the realm of ideas and thoughts within.

Taking the reader on a wondrous journey through the invisible universe that surrounds us—a universe made visible by mathematics—Devlin shows us what keeps a jumbo jet in the air, explains how we can see and hear a football game on TV, allows us to predict the weather, the behavior of the stock market, and the outcome of elections. Microwave ovens, telephone cables, children's toys, pacemakers, automobiles, and computers—all operate on mathematical principles. Far from a dry and esoteric subject, mathematics is a rich and living part of our culture. An exploration of an often woefully misunderstood subject, The Language of Mathematics celebrates the simplicity, the precision, the purity, and the elegance of mathematics.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 352 Seiten
  • Verlag: Henry Holt; Auflage: Reissue (1. Mai 2003)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0805072543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805072549
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,4 x 16,2 x 2,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 83.631 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

Keith Devlin is trying to be the Carl Sagan of mathematics, and he is succeeding. He writes: "Though the structures and patterns of mathematics reflect the structure of, and resonate in, the human mind every bit as much as do the structures and patterns of music, human beings have developed no mathematical equivalent of a pair of ears. Mathematics can be seen only with the eyes of the mind." All of his books are attempts to get around this problem, to "try to communicate to others some sense of what it is we experience--some sense of the simplicity, the precision, the purity, and the elegance that give the patterns of mathematics their aesthetic value."

Life by the Numbers, Devlin's companion book to the PBS series of the same name, is heavily illustrated and soothingly low on equations. But as he says, wanting mathematics without abstract notation "is rather like saying that Shakespeare would be much easier to understand if it were written in simpler language."

The Language of Mathematics is Devlin's second iteration of the approach he used in Mathematics: The Science of Patterns. It covers all the same ground (and uses many of the same words) as the latter, but with fewer glossy pictures, sidebars, and references. Devlin has also added chapters on statistics and on mathematical patterns in nature. --Mary Ellen Curtin -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Pressestimmen

"Keith Devlin's The Language of Mathematics is the perfect book for people who have questions about math they've always wanted to ask but were afraid they wouldn't understand the answers to."--Boston Book Review

"Devlin takes readers on a tour of the numeric underpinnings of everyday life."--Wired

"As Galileo put it, 'The great book of nature can be read only by those who know the language in which it was written. And this language is mathematics.' Keith Devlin is an apt teacher of the language."--Scientific American

"Devlin, who is able to write for generalists, embarks on the sea of numbers, shapes, and patterns. His voyage potentially had sixty or so destinations, the discrete topics that make up mathematics; to manage the trip Devlin limits the port of call to eight . . . Devlin's tour indeed achieves its purpose."--Booklist

"Those interested in a broad take on the history and current state of the art of math should look no further than The Language of Mathematics."--Publishers Weekly

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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Right Brain Joins Party 27. Juni 2000
Format:Taschenbuch
By the time you get to exactly page 107 and see the logic of differential calculus hanging as beautifully as "Water Lilies", you might want to thank and slap those teachers who did in fact teach you mathematics (thanks!), but who did not give you even a little of the reason behind the math -- the fundamental problems or quests that give rise to mathematics.
All of this adds context that makes learning a big rush. It's possible that mathematics would not be so patently daunting if it were approached with deeper context instead of the abstraction beginning in chapter 1 of many school texts. This seems to be Mr. Devlin's approach in the book -- helping the reader appreciate then embrace the abstraction that is prerequisite for opening the mind's eye.
Both the author's and his reviewer's constant usage of terms such as power, elegance and simplicity is clearly in order. It's not just a left-brain affair and Mr. Devlin's book is a powerful exposition on that, especially as he details the creative cognitive leaps by many great minds over the course of thousands of years.
For the record, I don't mean to go slapping anybody - I just got happy; that's all.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Step into the shoes of a mathematician 18. April 1999
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I've always had a like-hate relationship with math; I didn't do well in it in college, but I've long been fascinated by physics. There are many books for the lay person about the cutting edge in physics; books like that are harder to find in the world of mathematics.
But Keith Devlin has done it. He surely captured me near the beginning when he described mathematics as the study of patterns; a wonderful description that starts to get at why mathematics seems to be the language underlying the physical universe.
This was not an easy book for a slightly math-averse person, but Devlin's explanations were always clear, and more importantly, always gave a sense of context of what he was discussing.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
5.0 von 5 Sternen Selten gute Darstellung der gesamten Mathematik 22. Mai 2013
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Devlin schafft einen derart freundlichen und klaren Zugang zur Mathematik, dass selbst der durch Schulunterricht arg Geschädigte Freude an diesen Fach bekommen kann.
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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Right Brain Joins Party 27. Juni 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Taschenbuch
By the time you get to exactly page 107 and see the logic of differential calculus hanging as beautifully as "Water Lilies", you might want to thank and slap those teachers who did in fact teach you mathematics, but who did not give you even a little of the reason behind the math -- the fundamental problems or quests that give rise to mathematics.
All of this adds context that makes learning a big rush. It's possible that mathematics would not be so patently daunting if it were approached with deeper context instead of the abstraction beginning in chapter 1 of many school texts. This seems to be Mr. Devlin's approach in the book -- helping the reader appreciate and embrace the abstraction that is a prerequisite for opening the mind's eye.
Both the author's and his reviewer's constant usage of terms such as power, elegance and simplicity is clearly in order. It's not just a left-brain affair and Mr. Devlin's book is a powerful exposition on that, especially as he details the creative cognitive leaps by many great minds over the course of thousands of years.
For the record, I don't mean to go slapping anybody - I just got happy; that's all.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen  45 Rezensionen
149 von 150 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Clear and engaging 2. Februar 2001
Von Mike Christie - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Keith Devlin is one of the best popular mathematics writers around, and this is one of his best works. The eight chapters cover number theory, set theory, calculus, group theory, topology, probability and the application of mathematics to the physical world. The discussion in each chapter, couched generally in English, not mathematics, is so clear that a math-phobic can understand it. By the end of each chapter a great deal of fascinating mathematics has been described, and in some cases the formal basis is sketched--but the emphasis is always on narration, and a lay reader who doesn't even want to understand mathematics can still read this and get a sense of the dramatic history of mathematics.
Devlin states at the end that he decided to exclude many areas of mathematics in order to focus more effectively on what he did cover. As a result there is little or no coverage of chaos theory, game theory, catastrophe theory, or a long list of other topics. The fact is there will always be holes in a book this size--mathematics has expanded so much in the last hundred years that even a book ten times this size could barely survey it. The decision to focus was a good one, and the subjects chosen are good: the truly exciting stories are here: Archimedes, Fermat, Gauss, Galois, Riemann, Wiles, and many more.
Potential purchasers should note, by the way, that this book was reworked from Devlin's "Mathematics: The Science Of Patterns". In Devlin's words (not from either book): "The Language of Mathematics is a restructuring of Science of Patterns that omits most of the color illustrations (a minus) but has two new chapters covering topics not in Science of Patterns (a plus). If you want lots of color, go for patterns; Language of Mathematics covers more ground." I've read both, and I have to say they're both worth getting. The two new chapters in this book are the ones on probability and the applications of mathematics in science; they're well done and interesting. However, the pictures in Science of Patterns are very high quality.
They're both fine books, and I can strongly recommend each of them. If you have to get one, I'd say get Science of Patterns. Even though Language of Mathematics does have some colour plates, Science of Patterns is really a gorgeous book to read with many good illustrations. I ended up buying both, and you may end up doing that too.
41 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Step into the shoes of a mathematician 18. April 1999
Von J. Paul Holbrook - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I've always had a like-hate relationship with math; I didn't do well in it in college, but I've long been fascinated by physics. There are many books for the lay person about the cutting edge in physics; books like that are harder to find in the world of mathematics.
But Keith Devlin has done it. He surely captured me near the beginning when he described mathematics as the study of patterns; a wonderful description that starts to get at why mathematics seems to be the language underlying the physical universe.
This was not an easy book for a slightly math-averse person, but Devlin's explanations were always clear, and more importantly, always gave a sense of context of what he was discussing.
34 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen we all agree 20. Oktober 2005
Von Wyote - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
The other reviewers have done a fine job reporting that this is a fun, engaging book. I want to say that my level of math includes two semesters of calculus, and that was more than enough to understand and enjoy the contents of this book.

I'd known that knot-theory and set-theory various other kinds of math existed out there, but I didn't know much else. I'd never heard of projective geometry, although after reading this book I've found some nice examples online. I was introduced to these and other forms of math very gently and provocatively by Devlin's book, so if you are in a position similar to me, this is the book you want to read.

I read dozens of books a year; and every year for Christmas I give my father the five best books I've read in that year, with the provision that they must be diverse and comprehensible to him: an intelligent man, though largely self-educated, with no papers to show, but a "working-man's PhD," as Aaron Tippin sang. As a testament to the comprehensibility of this book, it will be waiting for him this December.

As for myself, someday I hope to continue studying math at a universtity; for now my curiosity is sated with books like this, and it pleased me very much.
26 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Bring it on, baby! 19. September 2000
Von Adam Rutkowski - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Most people either misunderstand what math is all about, or see it as a collection of rather disjointed areas collected together under a single name. Devlin does an admirable job of re-educating us all, and showing how the different areas of mathematics are linked together, often in rather surprising ways.
This book is simply brilliant. The amount of information Devlin has managed to cram between two covers is amazing. Having spent years studying this stuff, it's rather depressing to see that most of the important things I've learned can fit into a 350 page book, but then this is surely a testament to Devlin's skill.
Although this book makes no formal educational expectations of the reader, I feel that a true beginner would have trouble following a lot of parts, although they would still get the general idea. This would be better then nothing, but I think that this book would be best appreciated by those with some formal math background. I would be curious to see what a high school student would make of this, since I really wish I'd had this book back then. When you see the beautiful ways that mathematics connects the most seemingly disparate ideas, you can't help but want to learn more!
18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Right Brain Joins Party 27. Juni 2000
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
By the time you get to exactly page 107 and see the logic of differential calculus hanging as beautifully as "Water Lilies", you might want to thank and slap those teachers who did in fact teach you mathematics, but who did not give you even a little of the reason behind the math -- the fundamental problems or quests that give rise to mathematics.
All of this adds context that makes learning a big rush. It's possible that mathematics would not be so patently daunting if it were approached with deeper context instead of the abstraction beginning in chapter 1 of many school texts. This seems to be Mr. Devlin's approach in the book -- helping the reader appreciate and embrace the abstraction that is a prerequisite for opening the mind's eye.
Both the author's and his reviewer's constant usage of terms such as power, elegance and simplicity is clearly in order. It's not just a left-brain affair and Mr. Devlin's book is a powerful exposition on that, especially as he details the creative cognitive leaps by many great minds over the course of thousands of years.
For the record, I don't mean to go slapping anybody - I just got happy; that's all.
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