The Math Explorer

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Overview

This stress-free layperson's introduction to the intriguing world of numbers is designed to acquaint the general reader with the elegance and wonder of mathematics. Unlike the typical boot-camp experience of a high school or college calculus course, Jefferson Hane Weaver's approach is more like a relaxing and educational walking tour. Along the way, tour-guide Weaver points out, explains, and invites readers to sample some of the most interesting topics.
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Overview

This stress-free layperson's introduction to the intriguing world of numbers is designed to acquaint the general reader with the elegance and wonder of mathematics. Unlike the typical boot-camp experience of a high school or college calculus course, Jefferson Hane Weaver's approach is more like a relaxing and educational walking tour. Along the way, tour-guide Weaver points out, explains, and invites readers to sample some of the most interesting topics.
Even the most math-phobic among us will be lulled into appreciation by Weaver's creative and disarming discussions of this supposedly formidable intellectual discipline. He covers all the basics: irrational and imaginary numbers, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, differential and integral calculus, the concepts of zero and infinity, vectors, set theory, chance and probability, and much more.
In conclusion, he provides five fascinating historical profiles, reviewing the life and work of Copernicus, Descartes, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton. More than anyone else, these five geniuses were responsible for creating the mathematical foundations of the physical sciences, which continue to make possible extraordinary discoveries and technological achievements.
This enjoyable volume gives readers a working knowledge of math's most important concepts, an appreciation of its elegant logical structure, and an understanding of its historical significance in creating our contemporary world.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
People for whom "mathematics has an air of mystery with its sometimes forbidding nomenclature and its hieroglyphic symbols" can begin to overcome their math phobia with this smart primer. An experienced science writer, Weaver (What Are the Odds?) takes readers on what he calls a "walking tour" of mathematics, touching on some of the highlights from the field's ancient beginnings up through the post-Newtonian world. Weaver's writing is clear and reassuring to the novice, as his tour traverses the fairly easy ground of algebra and geometry and the rougher terrain of trigonometry, probability and statistics. And he humanizes his subject, not only by showing how it relates to daily life but by offering portraits of five men who advanced mathematics: Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes and Newton. Weaver skillfully opens up this "intellectual wonderland" to the curious. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591021377
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 10/25/2003
  • Pages: 325
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Jefferson Hane Weaver (Fort Lauderdale, FL) is the highly acclaimed author of many popular science books, including Conquering Statistics, The Story of Physics, and The Story of Mathematics.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2005

    A Math Book of Errors: Withdraw This Book Until Corrected

    Chapter Five: Algebra for Everyone is so crammed with errors--typographical and factual--clearly shows the author's lack of care and probably lack of mathematical ability. Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman and Professor Paul Nahin could not have read this book for its mathematical content from the lauditary statements they gave the book on its' cover. The imaginary numbers given as examples are not imaginary numbers. Incorrect solutions to equations are given. The author's discussion of polynomials is a 'jumble of confusion' is the nicest thing to be said for it. Do not expect to arrive at an understanding of math by studying this book as it currently stands. Please Prometheus Books, please remove this book from the shelves until it has been thoroughly revised. The writing--except where the author is confused by the math--isn't bad.

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