9780312421878

Imagining Numbers (particularly the square root of minus fifteen)

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780312421878

  • ISBN10:

    0312421877

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-02-01
  • Publisher: Picador
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Summary

Barry Mazur invites lovers of poetry to make a leap into mathematics. Through discussions of the role of the imagination and imagery in both poetry and mathematics, Mazur reviews the writings of the early mathematical explorers and reveals the early bafflement of these Renaissance thinkers faced with imaginary numbers. Then he shows us, step-by-step, how to begin imagining these strange mathematical objects ourselves.

Author Biography

Barry Mazur does his mathematics at Harvard University and lives in Cambridge, Massachussetts, with the writer Grace Dane Mazur.

Table of Contents

"A poetic and profound meditation on the mathematical imagination." --The Christian Science Monitor

"[A] quizzing, quizzical little book...The window which Mazur cuts into the world of imaginary numbers is just as exciting, and almost as provocative, as anything in Phillip Pullman." --The Observer (London)

"Through anecdotes, poetry, and philosophy, Mazur...makes a delightful case for the pleasures of abstract thought."--New Scientist

"This absorbing and in itself most imaginative book lies in the grand tradition of explanations of what mathematical imagination is...and will appeal particularly to lovers of literature."--John Hollander

"Barry Mazur's Imagining Numbers is quite literally a charming book; it has brought even me, in a dazed state, to the brink of mathematical play." --Richard Wilbur, author of Mayflies: New Poems and Translations

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