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The Puzzle Instinct Cover

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The Puzzle Instinct

The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life

Marcel Danesi

One of the most famous anagrams of all time was constructed in the Middle Ages. The unknown author contrived it as a Latin dialogue between Pilate and Jesus. Jesus' answer to Pilate's question "What is truth" is phrased as an ingenious anagram of the letters of that very question: Pilate: Quid est veritas? ("What is truth?") Jesus: Est virqui adest. ("It is the man before you.")

The origin of anagrams is shrouded in mystery. One thing is clear, however -- in the ancient world, they were thought to contain hidden messages from the gods. Legend has it that even Alexander the Great (356--323 b.c.) believed in their prophetic power.
-- from Chapter Two

The most obvious explanation for the popularity of puzzles is that they provide a form of constructive entertainment. But in The Puzzle Instinct Marcel Danesi contends that the fascination with puzzles throughout the ages suggests something much more profound. Puzzles serve a deeply embedded need in people to make sense of things. Emerging at the same time in human history as myth, magic, and the occult arts, the puzzle instinct, he claims, led to discoveries in mathematics and science, as well as revolutions in philosophical thought.

Puzzles fill an existential void by providing "small-scale experiences of the large-scale questions that Life poses. The puzzle instinct is, arguably, as intrinsic to human nature as is humor, language, art, music, and all the other creative faculties that distinguish humanity from all other species."

The Siddhāntasundara of Jñānarāja Cover

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The Siddhāntasundara of Jñānarāja

An English Translation with Commentary

Toke Lindegaard Knudsen

A treasure for anyone interested in early modern India and the history of mathematics, this first English translation of the Siddhāntasundara reveals the fascinating work of the scholar-astronomer Jñānarāja (circa 1500 C.E.). Toke Lindegaard Knudsen begins with an introduction to the traditions of ancient Hindu astronomy and describes what is known of Jñānarāja’s life and family. He translates the Sanskrit verses into English and offers expert commentary on the style and substance of Jñānarāja's treatise. The Siddhāntasundara contains a comprehensive exposition of the system of Indian astronomy, including how to compute planetary positions and eclipses. It also explores deep, probing questions about the workings of the universe and sacred Hindu traditions. In a philosophical discussion, the treatise seeks a synthesis between the cosmological model used by the Indian astronomical tradition and the cosmology of a class of texts sacred in Hinduism. In his discourse, which includes a discussion of the direction of down and adhesive antipodeans, Jñānarāja rejects certain principles from the astronomical tradition and reinterprets principles from the sacred texts. He also constructs a complex poem on the seasons, many verses of which have two layers of meaning, one describing a season, the other a god's activities in that season. The Siddhāntasundara is the last major treatise of Indian astronomy and cosmology to receive serious scholarly attention, Knudsen’s careful effort unveils the 500-year-old Sanskrit verses and shows the clever quirkiness of Jñānarāja's writing style, his keen use of mathematics, and his subtle philosophical arguments.

Sondage Cover

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Ccompilation et corrélation

Cet ouvrage présente la compilation d’un sondage et les différentes étapes nécessaires à sa réalisation : le codage, l’édition, la préparation des données brutes, l’interprétation des résultats en passant par corrélation, la sélection de sous-ensemble, etc. Il traite également de diverses programmes tels TABCOD, TABSOM, TABCHI, TAB et TABORD. Cette méthode de compilation permet, dans le contexte de l’informatique interactive, de créer instantanément une compilation donnée, et la faire dans une perspective de temps réel.

STEM the Tide Cover

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STEM the Tide

Reforming Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education in America

David E. Drew

One study after another shows American students ranking behind their international counterparts in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math. Businesspeople such as Bill Gates warn that this alarming situation puts the United States at a serious disadvantage in the high-tech global marketplace of the twenty-first century, and President Obama places improvement in these areas at the center of his educational reform. What can be done to reverse this poor performance and to unleash America’s wasted talent? David E. Drew has good news—and the tools America needs to keep competitive. Drawing on both academic literature and his own rich experience, Drew identifies proven strategies for reforming America’s schools, colleges, and universities, and his comprehensive review of STEM education in the United States offers a positive blueprint for the future. These research-based strategies include creative and successful methods for building strong programs in science and mathematics education and show how the achievement gap between majority and minority students can be closed. A crucial measure, he argues, is recruiting, educating, supporting, and respecting America’s teachers. To secure a competitive advantage both in the knowledge economy and in economic development more broadly, America needs a highly skilled, college-educated workforce and cutting-edge university research. Drew makes the case that reforming science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education to meet these demands, with an emphasis on reaching historically underserved students, is essential to the long-term prosperity of the United States. Accessible, engaging, and hard hitting, STEM the Tide is a clarion call to policymakers, administrators, educators, and everyone else concerned about students’ participation in the STEM fields and America’s competitive global position.

Their Arrows Will Darken the Sun Cover

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Their Arrows Will Darken the Sun

The Evolution and Science of Ballistics

Mark Denny

The science of ballistics has a long history and starts with one question: How does a projectile move through the air? Even before physicists worked that one out, military engineers had been tinkering with ballistic devices for centuries. The trebuchet of the Middle Ages has given way to rocket power, and the science of ballistics has evolved to match the technology. Mark Denny’s survey covers this dynamic subject from prehistory to the weapons of tomorrow. Taking the bang-whiz-thud approach, Denny first talks about internal ballistics—Bang!—from before gunpowder to the development of modern firearms. External ballistics—Whiz!—are next, with discussions about short- and long-range trajectories. Denny’s lesson ends with a Thud!—an explanation of terminal ballistics. Throughout, Denny conveys applicable physics principles in a way that will appeal to technology buffs and ballistics enthusiasts alike. His fun and factual explanations are free of complicated equations; notes cover the key aspects of ballistics physics for the more technically inclined. Denny has perfected this engaging balance of science and story. For study or hobby, Their Arrows Will Darken the Sun is an entertaining guide to the world of ballistics. Praise for Mark Denny "For a scientist, Denny's approach is delightfully down to earth."—The Age "Denny's writing is anything but dry and boring. He adeptly explains complex subject matter and does so with relatively simple language and minimal use of symbolic notation."—Bat Research News

Théorie des probabilités Cover

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Théorie des probabilités

Problèmes et solutions

Une approche qui propose aux lecteurs des modèles de démarche à suivre pour résoudre les problèmes et qui fournit des arguments de preuve ou de démonstration. Une importante banque d'exercices variés permettra aux étudiants de se familiariser avec les notions de probabilités qui soutiennent la formation des statisticiens, des actuaires et des ingénieurs.

Trois essais de méthodologie quantitative Cover

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Trois essais de méthodologie quantitative

Ce volume témoigne à sa façon de la fertilité du domaine de la méthodologie quantitative, en présentant trois textes qui relèvent d'applications très différentes : la corrélation, l'analyse de variance, la précision d'un estimateur statistique.

Une introduction à la biostatistique Cover

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Une introduction à la biostatistique

Introduction à la biostatistique, ce livre explore l’utilité de diverses méthodes statistiques et probabilistiques par l’entremise d’exemples simples et non techniques, permettant au lecteur de comprendre rapidement les nouveaux concepts pour ensuite pouvoir les appliquer à des situations plus complexes. Les étudiants en biologie y trouveront de précieuses explications sur le raisonnement et la modélisation statistique, des concepts clés de la biologie moderne.

Vectors, Matrices and Geometry Cover

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Vectors, Matrices and Geometry

K.T. Leung ,S.N. Suen

This book introduces the important concepts of finite-dimensional vector spaces through the careful study of Euclidean geometry. In turn, methods of linear algebra are then used in the study of coordinate transformations through which a complete classification of conic sections and quadric surfaces is obtained.

The World of Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Mathematician of God Cover

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The World of Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Mathematician of God

Massimo Mazzotti

She is best known for her curve, the witch of Agnesi, which appears in almost all high school and undergraduate math books. She was a child prodigy who frequented the salon circuit, discussing mathematics, philosophy, history, and music in multiple languages. She wrote one of the first vernacular textbooks on calculus and was appointed chair of mathematics at the university in Bologna. In later years, however, she became a prominent figure within the Catholic Enlightenment, gave up the academic world, and devoted herself to the poor, the sick, the hungry, and the homeless. Indeed, the life of Maria Agnesi reveals a complex and enigmatic figure—one of the most fascinating characters in the history of mathematics. Using newly discovered archival documents, Massimo Mazzotti reconstructs the wide spectrum of Agnesi's social experience and examines her relationships to various traditions—religious, political, social, and mathematical. This meticulous study shows how she and her fellow Enlightenment Catholics modified tradition in an effort to reconcile aspects of modern philosophy and science with traditional morality and theology. Mazzotti's original and provocative investigation is also the first targeted study of the Catholic Enlightenment and its influence on modern science. He argues that Agnesi's life is the perfect lens through which we can gain a greater understanding of mid-eighteenth-century cultural trends in continental Europe.

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