Relax: no one understands technical mathematics without lengthy training but we all have an intuitive grasp of the ideas behind the symbols. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), this book is designed to showcase the beauty of mathematics - including images inspired by mathematical problems - together with its unreasonable effectiveness and applicability, without frying your brain.
The book is a collection of 50 original essays contributed by a wide variety of authors. It contains articles by some of the best expositors of the subject (du Sautoy, Singh and Stewart for example) together with entertaining biographical pieces and articles of relevance to our everyday lives (such as Spiegelhalter on risk and Elwes on medical imaging). The topics covered are deliberately diverse and involve concepts from simple numerology to the very cutting edge of mathematics research. Each
article is designed to be read in one sitting and to be accessible to a general audience.
There is also other content. There are 50 pictorial 'visions of mathematics' which were supplied in response to an open call for contributions from IMA members, Plus readers and the worldwide mathematics community. You'll also find a series of "proofs " of Phythagoras's Theorem - mathematical, literary and comedy - after this, you'll never think of Pythagoras the same way again.
Sam Parc studied mathematics and engineering in the UK, Germany and Australia and has previously worked at the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Manchester and Newcastle and at Imperial College London. She works for the UK's Institute of Mathematics and its Applications where she provides a passion for popularising mathematics. Her previous work has involved writing a mathematical agony aunt column in a provincial newspaper and maintaining a popular online mathematical magazine. She lives in Southend-on-Sea with her large family and dog, Benji. This is her first book.
1. What's the problem with mathematics? ; 2. The mathematics of messages ; 3. Decathlon: The art of scoring points ; 4. Queen Dido and the mathematics of the extreme ; 5. Can strings tie things together? ; 6. Grooves and knuckleballs ; 7. Pigs didn't fly but swine flu ; 8. Bill Tutte: Unsung Bletchley hero ; 9. What's the use of a quadratic equation? ; 10. Tony Hilton Royle Skyrme ; 11. The mathematics of obesity ; 12. It's a small world really ; 13. How does mathematics help at a murder scene? ; 14. Mathematics: The language of the universe ; 15. The troublesome geometry of CAT scanning ; 16. The mathematics of sports gambling ; Pythagoras's Theorem: a2 ; 17. A conversation with Freeman Dyson ; 18. A glass of bubbly ; 19. The influenza virus: It's all in the packaging ; 20. Mathematicians at the movies: Sherlock Holmes vs Professor Moriarty ; 21. Solving the Bristol bridge problem ; 22. All ravens are black: Puzzles and paradoxes in probability and statistics ; 23. The Tower of Hanoi: Where mathematics meets psychology ; 24. Career: A sample path ; 25. Sweets in the jar ; 26. Mary Cartwright ; 27. The fallibility of mathematics ; 28. Anecdotes of Dr Barrow ; 29. Finding Apollo ; 30. The golden ratio in astronomy and astrophysics ; 31. The high-power hypar ; 32. This is not a carrot: Paraconsistent mathematics ; 33. The mystery of Groombridge Place ; Pythagoras's Theorem: b2 ; 34. Mysterious number 6174 ; 35. Percolating possibilities ; 36. Milestones on a non-Euclidean journey ; 37. Simpson's rule ; 38. Risking your life ; 39. Networks and illusions ; 40. Emmy Noether: Against the odds ; 41. Of catastrophes and creodes: How maths benefits from collaboration with other fields ; 42. Conic section hide and seek ; 43. Sir James Lighthill: A life in waves ; 44. Fail safe or fail dangerous ; 45. Leapfrogging into the future: How child's play is at the heart of weather and climate models ; 46. Motorway mathematics ; 47. The philosophy of applied mathematics ; 48. Mighty Morphogenesis ; 49. Called to the barcode ; 50. Roughly fifty-fifty? ; Pythagoras's Theorem: c2