- Paperback: 546 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (December 28, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521568234
- ISBN-13: 978-0521568234
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.1 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Pleasures of Counting 1st Edition
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"Körner provides interesting insights to the solving of Enigma messages and cryptology generally, and to other fascinating non-cryptologic subjects." Cryptologia
"This extremely enjoyable book aims to introduce the casual or 'mathematics for poets' reader to some interesting ways in which mathematics arises in the real world...contains a large number of entertaing anecdotes and quotations, especially about military history, as well as a list of recommendations for further reading and full source of information about the quotations." J.S. Joel, Mathematical Reviews
"Korner provides interesting insights to the solving of Enigma messages and cryptology generally, and to other fascinating non-cryptologic subjects." Cryptologia
"Korner, is an experienced teacher, and he has written his book in the expectation that once snared by mathematics, the reader will be forever enslaved....It is an entirely commendable project, one that Korner executes very well." David Berlinski, The Sciences
"...a wonderful book, a must for all those interested in mathematics and a treasure trove for those who want to enthuse future generations of youngsters for the beauty of our field." Paul Embrechts, JASA
Ranging from the design of anchors and the Battle of the Atlantic to the outbreak of cholera in Victorian Soho, this text describes a variety of lively topics that continue to intrigue professional mathematicians. Relatively simple terms and ideas are used.
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Top customer reviews
Now there are two types of readers for this book. One type could just glance over the formulas applied to these real life scenarios, and just acquire a general sense of what the formulas accomplish (that's me). But there are also analytical questions and problems that can be worked through with a calculator for the math readers who love math. So for me this book was more enrichment. But, if you are a college student majoring in math or a life learner of math this would definitely be a nice summer read for you. This book has such a wide range of topics that are expressed through math, almost like a history book through formulas. For example, the book showed how variables could represent a real life problem and how logically and realistically time could be shortened or wars could be one or a certain type of strategy could be applied because it was just proven by a definitive math problem. And that was pretty neat to see. T.W. Korner made the chapters flow effortlessly and kept my attention and it was easy to follow as it just went chronologically through history. And it is really fitting for Korner to write this because he's a math professor and spends time working with math every day and his enthusiasm for math really could be seen. All in all, this book really seemed to tell the full intent and purpose of math. That math is more useful than just a type of counting system; that it can be more in depth than that and hold a higher cause.
By the end of the week, I had crossed out my name, leaving the comment: 'I have just bought my own copy'.
This is a great book to dip into on a wet evening. The chapters can stand alone, though many themes recur throughout the book. Each chapter combines a well-written narrative, examples that expand on the underlying mathematics, and numerous sidebars of the highest quality. I particularly liked the one about the extrovert mathematician.
Dr Korner's aim with this book is to lure unsuspecting teenagers into enjoying mathematics. He uses the technique of showing lots of real-world applications, most of which can be readily grasped (and some that are totally gripping). These range from tracing the source of a cholera epidemic, through submarine warfare and Enigma codebreaking, to understanding how the cells that form the walls of blood vessels know when to divide, so as to make the blood vessel just the right size. In most cases the mathematics involved is fairly straightforward: enough to challenge, without intimidating. Some of the mathematical material is developed in the narrative, more in the examples. Just about every page has enough text per equation to ensure readability.
There is a good annotated bibliography, and plenty of references, among which I found many books I had already read and enjoyed. However, the references lack ISBNs.
The book - my copy is the paperback - is well laid-out and presented, with a clear typeface and robust binding. It should stand up well to the repeated use it is likely to get.
Buy this book!