The Mathematical Universe: An Alphabetical Journey Through the Great Proofs, Problems, and Personalities / Edition 1

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"Dunham writes for nonspecialists, and they will enjoy his piquant anecdotes and amusing asides — Booklist

"Artfully, Dunham conducts a tour of the mathematical universe. . . he believes these ideas to be accessible to the audience he wants to reach, and he writes so that they are." — Nature

"If you want to encourage anyone's interest in math, get them The Mathematical Universe."
* New Scientist

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Like John Allen Paulos's Beyond Numeracy (LJ 4/1/91), this is an A-to-Z collection of mathematical essays. The advantage of this format is that it lets the author hit the highlights in essays that can be read independently. This collection is less cantankerous than Paulos's, and it is also somewhat more focused and mathematically challenging, though still written for a popular audience. Dunham (Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics, Wiley, 1990) is winner of the 1993 George Polya Award for excellence in math writing, an honor he richly deserves. He is fascinated by the nature of mathematical genius, and the theme of these essays is the personality and eccentricities of mathematicians and the brilliance of their discoveries. For sophisticated readers who don't mind equations (including algebra, geometry, and calculus), this is a rewarding and entertaining look at the history of mathematics.-Amy Brunvand, Fort Lewis Coll. Lib., Durango, Col.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471176619
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 383,000
  • Product dimensions: 6.15 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM DUNHAM, Ph.D., is the Truman Koehler Professor ofMathematics at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Theauthor of the acclaimed Journey Through Genius, he was awarded the1993 George Pólya Award of the Mathematical Association ofAmerica for excellence in expository writing about mathematics. Heis also the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for theHumanities.

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Table of Contents


Bernoulli Trials.


Differential Calculus.



Greek Geometry.


Isoperimetric Problem.


Knighted Newton.

Lost Leibniz.

Mathematical Personality.

Natural Logarithm.


Prime Number Theorem.


Russell's Paradox.

Spherical Surface.



Venn Diagram.

Where Are the Women?

X-Y Plane.





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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2003

    math student,nac

    Good read!I now have had this book for about 2 years.I'm still amazed at how insightful the author is.In telling with storyteller's magic (as it were) the great proofs of science .Written with rye humor and wit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

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    Posted December 14, 2012

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