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The Science of Search Engine Rankings
Why doesn't your home page appear on the first page of search results, even when you query your own name? How do other web pages always appear at the top? What creates these powerful rankings? And how? The first book ever about the science of web page rankings, Google's PageRank and Beyond supplies the answers to these and other questions and more.
The book serves two very different audiences: the curious science reader and the technical computational reader. The chapters build in mathematical sophistication, so that the first five are accessible to the general academic reader. While other chapters are much more mathematical in nature, each one contains something for both audiences. For example, the authors include entertaining asides such as how search engines make money and how the Great Firewall of China influences research.
The book includes an extensive background chapter designed to help readers learn more about the mathematics of search engines, and it contains several MATLAB codes and links to sample web data sets. The philosophy throughout is to encourage readers to experiment with the ideas and algorithms in the text.
Any business seriously interested in improving its rankings in the major search engines can benefit from the clear examples, sample code, and list of resources provided.
Solving the World's Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin
Guesstimation is a book that unlocks the power of approximation--it's popular mathematics rounded to the nearest power of ten! The ability to estimate is an important skill in daily life. More and more leading businesses today use estimation questions in interviews to test applicants' abilities to think on their feet. Guesstimation enables anyone with basic math and science skills to estimate virtually anything--quickly--using plausible assumptions and elementary arithmetic.
Lawrence Weinstein and John Adam present an eclectic array of estimation problems that range from devilishly simple to quite sophisticated and from serious real-world concerns to downright silly ones. How long would it take a running faucet to fill the inverted dome of the Capitol? What is the total length of all the pickles consumed in the US in one year? What are the relative merits of internal-combustion and electric cars, of coal and nuclear energy? The problems are marvelously diverse, yet the skills to solve them are the same. The authors show how easy it is to derive useful ballpark estimates by breaking complex problems into simpler, more manageable ones--and how there can be many paths to the right answer. The book is written in a question-and-answer format with lots of hints along the way. It includes a handy appendix summarizing the few formulas and basic science concepts needed, and its small size and French-fold design make it conveniently portable. Illustrated with humorous pen-and-ink sketches, Guesstimation will delight popular-math enthusiasts and is ideal for the classroom.
Every day, biologists in parkas, raincoats, and rubber boots go into the field to capture and mark a variety of animal species. Back in the office, statisticians create analytical models for the field biologists' data. But many times, representatives of the two professions do not fully understand one another's roles. This book bridges this gap by helping biologists understand state-of-the-art statistical methods for analyzing capture-recapture data. In so doing, statisticians will also become more familiar with the design of field studies and with the real-life issues facing biologists.
Reliable outcomes of capture-recapture studies are vital to answering key ecological questions. Is the population increasing or decreasing? Do more or fewer animals have a particular characteristic? In answering these questions, biologists cannot hope to capture and mark entire populations. And frequently, the populations change unpredictably during a study. Thus, increasingly sophisticated models have been employed to convert data into answers to ecological questions. This book, by experts in capture-recapture analysis, introduces the most up-to-date methods for data analysis while explaining the theory behind those methods. Thorough, concise, and portable, it will be immensely useful to biologists, biometricians, and statisticians, students in both fields, and anyone else engaged in the capture-recapture process.
L'univers de l'homme moderne, si pétri de rationalisme, si environné de technologies et d'artéfacts rassurants, est néanmoins imprégné de hasard, davantage que ne l'était celui de ses ancêtres. L'auteur traite des séries de nombres aléatoires, de leurs propriétés, leur test, leur génération, leur application dans l'estimation Monte Carlo, une méthode qui utilise massivement les capacités de calcul de l'ordinateur pour trouver des solutions numériques approximatives à des problèmes complexes.
A Scientific Biography
Henri Poincaré (1854-1912) was not just one of the most inventive, versatile, and productive mathematicians of all time--he was also a leading physicist who almost won a Nobel Prize for physics and a prominent philosopher of science whose fresh and surprising essays are still in print a century later. The first in-depth and comprehensive look at his many accomplishments, Henri Poincaré explores all the fields that Poincaré touched, the debates sparked by his original investigations, and how his discoveries still contribute to society today.
Math historian Jeremy Gray shows that Poincaré's influence was wide-ranging and permanent. His novel interpretation of non-Euclidean geometry challenged contemporary ideas about space, stirred heated discussion, and led to flourishing research. His work in topology began the modern study of the subject, recently highlighted by the successful resolution of the famous Poincaré conjecture. And Poincaré's reformulation of celestial mechanics and discovery of chaotic motion started the modern theory of dynamical systems. In physics, his insights on the Lorentz group preceded Einstein's, and he was the first to indicate that space and time might be fundamentally atomic. Poincaré the public intellectual did not shy away from scientific controversy, and he defended mathematics against the attacks of logicians such as Bertrand Russell, opposed the views of Catholic apologists, and served as an expert witness in probability for the notorious Dreyfus case that polarized France.
Richly informed by letters and documents, Henri Poincaré demonstrates how one man's work revolutionized math, science, and the greater world.
History and Philosophy of Modern Mathematics was first published in 1988. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The fourteen essays in this volume build on the pioneering effort of Garrett Birkhoff, professor of mathematics at Harvard University, who in 1974 organized a conference of mathematicians and historians of modern mathematics to examine how the two disciplines approach the history of mathematics. In History and Philosophy of Modern Mathematics, William Aspray and Philip Kitcher bring together distinguished scholars from mathematics, history, and philosophy to assess the current state of the field. Their essays, which grow out of a 1985 conference at the University of Minnesota, develop the basic premise that mathematical thought needs to be studied from an interdisciplinary perspective.
The opening essays study issues arising within logic and the foundations of mathematics, a traditional area of interest to historians and philosophers. The second section examines issues in the history of mathematics within the framework of established historical periods and questions. Next come case studies that illustrate the power of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of mathematics. The collection closes with a look at mathematics from a sociohistorical perspective, including the way institutions affect what constitutes mathematical knowledge.
What is the maximum number of pizza slices one can get by making four straight cuts through a circular pizza? How does a computer determine the best set of pixels to represent a straight line on a computer screen? How many people at a minimum does it take to guard an art gallery? Discrete mathematics has the answer to these—and many other—questions of picking, choosing, and shuffling. T. S. Michael's gem of a book brings this vital but tough-to-teach subject to life using examples from real life and popular culture. Each chapter uses one problem—such as slicing a pizza—to detail key concepts about counting numbers and arranging finite sets. Michael takes a different perspective in tackling each of eight problems and explains them in differing degrees of generality, showing in the process how the same mathematical concepts appear in varied guises and contexts. In doing so, he imparts a broader understanding of the ideas underlying discrete mathematics and helps readers appreciate and understand mathematical thinking and discovery. This book explains the basic concepts of discrete mathematics and demonstrates how to apply them in largely nontechnical language. The explanations and formulas can be grasped with a basic understanding of linear equations.
The Story of √-1
Today complex numbers have such widespread practical use--from electrical engineering to aeronautics--that few people would expect the story behind their derivation to be filled with adventure and enigma. In An Imaginary Tale, Paul Nahin tells the 2000-year-old history of one of mathematics' most elusive numbers, the square root of minus one, also known as i. He recreates the baffling mathematical problems that conjured it up, and the colorful characters who tried to solve them.
In 1878, when two brothers stole a mathematical papyrus from the ancient Egyptian burial site in the Valley of Kings, they led scholars to the earliest known occurrence of the square root of a negative number. The papyrus offered a specific numerical example of how to calculate the volume of a truncated square pyramid, which implied the need for i. In the first century, the mathematician-engineer Heron of Alexandria encountered I in a separate project, but fudged the arithmetic; medieval mathematicians stumbled upon the concept while grappling with the meaning of negative numbers, but dismissed their square roots as nonsense. By the time of Descartes, a theoretical use for these elusive square roots--now called "imaginary numbers"--was suspected, but efforts to solve them led to intense, bitter debates. The notorious i finally won acceptance and was put to use in complex analysis and theoretical physics in Napoleonic times.
Addressing readers with both a general and scholarly interest in mathematics, Nahin weaves into this narrative entertaining historical facts and mathematical discussions, including the application of complex numbers and functions to important problems, such as Kepler's laws of planetary motion and ac electrical circuits. This book can be read as an engaging history, almost a biography, of one of the most evasive and pervasive "numbers" in all of mathematics.
Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
China, the West, and Their First Encounter
Accounts of the seventeenth-century Jesuit Mission to China have often celebrated it as the great encounter of two civilizations. The Jesuits portrayed themselves as wise men from the West who used mathematics and science in service of their mission. Chinese literati-official Xu Guangqi (1562–1633), who collaborated with the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) to translate Euclid’s Elements into Chinese, reportedly recognized the superiority of Western mathematics and science and converted to Christianity. The writings relegate Xu and the Chinese to subsidiary roles as the Jesuits' translators, followers, and converts. Imagined Civilizations tells the story from the Chinese point of view. Using Chinese primary sources, Roger Hart focuses in particular on Xu, who was in a position of considerable power over Ricci. The result is a perspective startlingly different from that found in previous studies. Hart analyzes Chinese mathematical treatises of the period, revealing that Xu and his collaborators could not have believed their declaration of the superiority of Western mathematics. Imagined Civilizations explains how Xu’s West served as a crucial resource. While the Jesuits claimed Xu as a convert, he presented the Jesuits as men from afar who had traveled from the West to China to serve the emperor.
Fruit de la collaboration des professeur Walter Hengarther de l’Université Laval, Marcel Lambert et Corina Reischer de l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Introduction à l’analyse fonctionnelle se distingue tant par l’étendue de son contenu que par l’accessibilité de sa présentation. Sans céder quoi que ce soit sur la rigueur, il est parfaitement adapté à un premier cours d’analyse fonctionnelle. Tout en étant d’abord destiné aux étudiants en mathématiques, il pourra certes être utile aux étudiants de second cycle en sciences et en génie.