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Curves for the Mathematically Curious

An Anthology of the Unpredictable, Historical, Beautiful, and Romantic

Julian Havil author


Publisher:Princeton University Press

Published:2nd Nov '21


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Curves for the Mathematically Curious cover

Ten amazing curves personally selected by one of today's most important math writers

Curves for the Mathematically Curious is a thoughtfully curated collection of ten mathematical curves, selected by Julian Havil for their significance, mathematical interest, and beauty. Each chapter gives an account of the history and definition of one curve, providing a glimpse into the elegant and often surprising mathematics involved in its creation and evolution. In telling the ten stories, Havil introduces many mathematicians and other innovators, some whose fame has withstood the passing of years and others who have slipped into comparative obscurity. You will meet Pierre Bézier, who is known for his ubiquitous and eponymous curves, and Adolphe Quetelet, who trumpeted the ubiquity of the normal curve but whose name now hides behind the modern body mass index. These and other ingenious thinkers engaged with the challenges, incongruities, and insights to be found in these remarkable curves—and now you can share in this adventure.

Curves for the Mathematically Curious is a rigorous and enriching mathematical experience for anyone interested in curves, and the book is designed so that readers who choose can follow the details with pencil and paper. Every curve has a story worth telling.

"This is not your father’s – or grandfather’s – standard collection of conic sections."---Jim Stein, New Books Network
"Undoubtedly [this book], written in the same entertaining unmistakable style of the author and containing a lot of information - mathematical, historical and general - will attract, as the previous ones, a large audience."---S. Cobzas, Studia Mathematica
"What a beautiful book!"---Jonathan Shock,
"A wonderful addition to libraries where the mathematically curious find their reading." * Choice *
"Havil’s narrative for each curve is a cornucopia of fun facts and rigorous explanation."---Andrew J. Simoson, Mathematical Intelligencer
"Overall, the book was a delight to read. The writing is witty and entertaining, the history is at times peculiar and surprising, and the mathematics is rich and engaging. It would make a fine addition to a classroom bookcase or home coffee table, but while there are plenty of elegant diagrams and intriguing stories to give every curious reader the chance to glimpse mathematical beauty, only those with the ability to dig beneath the surface will understand just how much beauty this book has to offer."---Samuel Hewitt, Mathematical Gazette

ISBN: 9780691206134

Dimensions: unknown

Weight: unknown

280 pages