978-1-4730-0797-0 (.epub)

mathematicsn. pl. (also treated assing.) (pure) ∼, abstract science of space, number, and quantity; (applied) ∼, this applied to branches of physics, astronomy, etc.; (aspl.) use of mathematics in calculation etc.; somathemati’ciann.

Mathematicsis a body of knowledge expressed in a language of symbols.Puremathematics studies the propositions that can be deduced in this language by applying definite rules of reasoning to sets of axioms. InAppliedmathematics, the mathematical language is used, often with great effect to discuss problems of the real world, such as mechanics, statistics and science generally. In range, subtlety, complexity and depth mathematics is unsurpassed among the intellectual disciplines and its study has attracted some of the most brilliant men (sic) in history.

Mathematics is in many ways the most elaborated and sophisticated of the sciences—or so it seems to me, as a mathematician. So I find both a special pleasure and constraint in describing the progress of mathematics, because it has been part of so much human speculation: a ladder for mystical as well as rational thought in the intellectual ascent of man.

All my life it remained a puzzle to me why it was that I never managed to get my bearings in mathematics when there was no doubt that I could calculate properly.

The teacher pretended that algebra was a perfectly natural affair, to be taken for granted, whereas I didn't even know what numbers were.

Oddly enough my class mates could handle these things … I finally grasped that what was aimed at was a kind of system of abbreviation, with which many quantities could be put into a short formula. Equations I could comprehend only by inserting specific numerical values in place of the letters … I was so intimidated by my incomprehension that I did not dare to ask any questions.

Pure mathematics: abstract science of space, number, and quantity. Pure mathematics studies the propositions that can be deduced in this language by applying definite rules of reasoning to sets of axioms.

The natural world is full of irregularity and random alteration, but in the antiseptic, dust-free, shadowless, brightly lit, abstract realm of the mathematicians they like their cabbages spherical, please.

Saturday: | Guitar frets, think-of-a-number games, clock arithmetic. |

Sunday: | Formula for the age of a tree, daylight length. |

Monday: | Cauliflorets (self similarity*). |

Tuesday: | Graphs in a newspaper. |

Wednesday: | How many translators? |

Thursday: | Phone bill, Time zones, Types of maps. |

Friday: | OU Logo, rainbows. |

express numbers in scientific notation, and understand how this notation is displayed by the calculator.

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