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The Pleasures of Counting

The Pleasures of Counting


  • Date Published: December 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521568234

£ 51.00

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About the Authors
  • What is the connection between the outbreak of cholera in Victorian Soho, the Battle of the Atlantic, African Eve and the design of anchors? One answer is that they are all examples chosen by Dr Tom Körner to show how a little mathematics can shed light on the world around us, and deepen our understanding of it. Dr Körner, an experienced author, describes a variety of topics which continue to interest professional mathematicians, like him. He does this using relatively simple terms and ideas, yet confronting difficulties (which are often the starting point for new discoveries) and avoiding condescension. If you have ever wondered what it is that mathematicians do, and how they go about it, then read on. If you are a mathematician wanting to explain to others how you spend your working days (and nights), then seek inspiration here.

    • Very successful author
    • Does not require university-level mathematics
    • Not only explains what mathematics is about, but also how it's done
    • Lots of amusing and illustrative examples drawn from real world
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is real mathematics, not the watered down versions served in 'maths for liberal arts' courses … Not just maths lovers, but a much larger audience, should enjoy Körner's witty prose and enlightening comments, numerous historical passages and anecdotes. I would particularly recommend the book to all maths teachers.' Arturo Sangalli, New Scientist

    '… a glorious celebration of mathematics as a way of getting to grips with the world around us, employing a seamless mix of history, abstract thought and applications.' Ian Stewart, New Scientist

    '… a real gem of a book … I don't recommend a book this strongly very often - if you have any interest in maths at whatever level and for any reason go out and buy a copy!' Computer Shopper

    '… delightful.' Douglas Quadling, The Magazine of the Cambridge Society

    'This is a marvelous book which I commend to all mathematicians and students of mathematics.' C. M. Elliott, Mathematics Today

    'If you have ever wondered what it is that mathemeticians do and why they do it then this may be the book for you.' L'Enseignement Mathématique

    ' … well-researched book … It is aimed at anyone who is willing to remember school mathematics. A cracking good tale: buy it for your children and read it yourself.' Mathematika

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 1996
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521568234
    • length: 546 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 185 x 30 mm
    • weight: 1.07kg
    • contains: 74 b/w illus. 37 tables 170 music examples 170 exercises
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Uses of Abstraction:
    1. Unfeeling statistics
    2. Prelude to a battle
    3. Blackett
    4. Aircraft versus submarine
    Part II. Meditations on Measurement:
    5. Biology in a darkened room
    6. Physics in a darkened room
    7. Subtle is the Lord
    8. A Quaker mathematician
    9. Richardson on war
    Part III. The Pleasures of Computation:
    10. Some classic algorithms
    11. Some modern algorithms
    12. Deeper matters
    13. Enigma
    14. The Poles
    15. Bletchley
    16. Echoes
    Part IV. The Pleasures of Thought:
    17. Time and chance
    18. Two mathematics lessons
    19. Last thoughts
    Appendix A. Further reading
    Appendix B. Sources
    Appendix C. Some notations

  • Resources for

    The Pleasures of Counting

    T. W. Körner

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  • Author

    T. W. Körner, University of Cambridge

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