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The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life
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."
An English Translation with Commentary
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.
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.
Reforming Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education in America
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.
A History of Algebra from Antiquity to the Early Twentieth Century
What is algebra? For some, it is an abstract language of x’s and y’s. For mathematics majors and professional mathematicians, it is a world of axiomatically defined constructs like groups, rings, and fields. Taming the Unknown considers how these two seemingly different types of algebra evolved and how they relate. Victor Katz and Karen Parshall explore the history of algebra, from its roots in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, China, and India, through its development in the medieval Islamic world and medieval and early modern Europe, to its modern form in the early twentieth century.
Defining algebra originally as a collection of techniques for determining unknowns, the authors trace the development of these techniques from geometric beginnings in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and classical Greece. They show how similar problems were tackled in Alexandrian Greece, in China, and in India, then look at how medieval Islamic scholars shifted to an algorithmic stage, which was further developed by medieval and early modern European mathematicians. With the introduction of a flexible and operative symbolism in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, algebra entered into a dynamic period characterized by the analytic geometry that could evaluate curves represented by equations in two variables, thereby solving problems in the physics of motion. This new symbolism freed mathematicians to study equations of degrees higher than two and three, ultimately leading to the present abstract era.
Taming the Unknown follows algebra’s remarkable growth through different epochs around the globe.
The Evolution and Science of Ballistics
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
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.
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.
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.