- Copertina flessibile: 320 pagine
- Editore: OUP Oxford (22 aprile 2010)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0199562075
- ISBN-13: 978-0199562077
- Peso di spedizione: 340 g
- Media recensioni: 4.0 su 5 stelle Visualizza tutte le recensioni (1 recensione cliente)
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Cows in the Maze: And other mathematical explorations (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 22 apr 2010
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His easy style...makes the explanation of maths behind black holes, animal gait and time travel simple to digest. (Dominic Lenton, Engineering and Technology)
Ian Stewart is Professor of Mathematics at Warwick University, and Director of the Mathematics Awareness Centre at Warwick. An active research mathematician, he is also a well-known popularizer of mathematics and related areas of science. In 1995 he was awarded the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Award for furthering the public understanding of science; his book Nature's Numbers was shortlisted for the 1996 Rhone-Poulenc Prize for Science Books; and he delivered the 1997 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, televised by the BBC. In 2001 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. His many books include Evolving the Alien (with Jack Cohen), The Science of Discworld, What Shape is a Snowflake? , Flatterland, The Magical Maze, Does God Play Dice? , and How to Cut a Cake.
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Stewart covers mathematics of time travel, explores the shape of teardrops (physics ?) ,strategies for the game of Hex, and the title "Where Are the Cows?" maze, which changes every time you pass through it. He also covers on how to count magic squares, describes the mathematical patterns in animal movement (with a story more about Tarzan and Jane than the actual problem ) and the physics of sand piles etc though all embellished with wit , humour and delightful cartoons.
Another gripe is on the quality of binding as the book has come apart within 4-5 days and also why has the book size has been reduced from the earlier comfortable standard 9 x 6 to 7 x 5 as in math hysteria and How to cut a cake . Most inconvenient.
It's off to a good start with "the Lore and Lure of Dice" - the context specific reflection on the question of probability, and the non-transitive dice. Then quickly passing Piet Hein's board game Hex.
Why we're introduced to Tarzan and Jane in the midst of an otherwise interesting subject, "Walking with quadropeds" - the patterns of the gaits of four legged animals, I have no idea.
Chapters 7, 8, and 9 touches upon time travel, which - as I recall it - is much more physics and sci-fi than mathematics. Luckily though chapter 10 serves a nice gem - Cone with a Twist - the sphericon.
Chapter 11 touches upon the shape of a drop, and in chapter 12 we're back to probability and fallacies in The Interrogator's Fallacy, where we now use Bayes' theorem and Mathews's formula. There's an error in the formula printed on page 173 at the top though, it should be:
P(A|C) = P(C|A) * P (A)/ P(C)
Then we get to the title chapter: Cows in the Maze. And while it has cows and is kind of a maze - it's not a standard maze, it's a maze of logic statements.
Leaving the maze on a Knight's Tour into Cat's Cradle over Klein bottles (and Möbius bands) into Voronoï celled craters into knots, which again I found a bit disappointing.
The construction of Most Perfect Squares are matched up with Mathematical impossibilities.
The final chapter of the book regards dancing with strings forming regular solids.