How Euler Did It

Author: C. Edward Sandifer

Publisher: MAA

ISBN: 9780883855638

Category: Mathematics

Page: 237

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How Euler Did It is a collection of 40 monthly columns that appeared on MAA Online between November 2003 and February 2007 about the mathematical and scientific work of the great 18th century Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler. Almost every column is self-contained and gives the context, significance and some of the details of a particular facet of his work. First we find interesting stories about Euler's work in geometry. In a discussion of the Euler polyhedral formula the author speculates about whether Descartes had a role in Euler's discovery and analyzes the flaw in Euler's proof. We also learn of Euler's solution to Cramer's paradox and its role in the early days of linear algebra. Number theory is well-represented. We see Euler's first proof of Fermat's little theorem for which he used mathematical induction, as well as his discovery of over a hundred pairs of amicable numbers, and his work on odd perfect numbers, about which little is known even today. Elsewhere in the book we learn of the development of what we now call Venn diagrams, what Euler knew about orthogonal matrices, Euler's ideas on the foundations of calculus (before the days of limits, epsilons and deltas), and his proof that mixed partial derivatives are equal.Professor Sandifer based his columns on Euler's own words in the original language in which they were written. In this way, the author was able to uncover many details that are not found in other sources. For example, we see how Euler used differential equations and continued fractions to prove that the constant e is irrational, several years before Lambert, who is usually credited with this discovery. Euler also made an observation equivalent to saying that the number of primes less than a number x is approximately x/Inx, an observation usually attributed to Gauss some 15 years after Euler died.The collection ends with a somewhat playful, but factual, account of Euler's role in the discovery on America.
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Tales of Impossibility

The 2000-Year Quest to Solve the Mathematical Problems of Antiquity

Author: David S. Richeson

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691192960

Category: Mathematics

Page: 456

View: 8092

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A comprehensive look at four of the most famous problems in mathematics Tales of Impossibility recounts the intriguing story of the renowned problems of antiquity, four of the most famous and studied questions in the history of mathematics. First posed by the ancient Greeks, these compass and straightedge problems—squaring the circle, trisecting an angle, doubling the cube, and inscribing regular polygons in a circle—have served as ever-present muses for mathematicians for more than two millennia. David Richeson follows the trail of these problems to show that ultimately their proofs—demonstrating the impossibility of solving them using only a compass and straightedge—depended on and resulted in the growth of mathematics. Richeson investigates how celebrated luminaries, including Euclid, Archimedes, Viète, Descartes, Newton, and Gauss, labored to understand these problems and how many major mathematical discoveries were related to their explorations. Although the problems were based in geometry, their resolutions were not, and had to wait until the nineteenth century, when mathematicians had developed the theory of real and complex numbers, analytic geometry, algebra, and calculus. Pierre Wantzel, a little-known mathematician, and Ferdinand von Lindemann, through his work on pi, finally determined the problems were impossible to solve. Along the way, Richeson provides entertaining anecdotes connected to the problems, such as how the Indiana state legislature passed a bill setting an incorrect value for pi and how Leonardo da Vinci made elegant contributions in his own study of these problems. Taking readers from the classical period to the present, Tales of Impossibility chronicles how four unsolvable problems have captivated mathematical thinking for centuries.
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Speech Spectrum Analysis

Author: Sean A. Fulop

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9783642174780

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 206

View: 1979

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The accurate determination of the speech spectrum, particularly for short frames, is commonly pursued in diverse areas including speech processing, recognition, and acoustic phonetics. With this book the author makes the subject of spectrum analysis understandable to a wide audience, including those with a solid background in general signal processing and those without such background. In keeping with these goals, this is not a book that replaces or attempts to cover the material found in a general signal processing textbook. Some essential signal processing concepts are presented in the first chapter, but even there the concepts are presented in a generally understandable fashion as far as is possible. Throughout the book, the focus is on applications to speech analysis; mathematical theory is provided for completeness, but these developments are set off in boxes for the benefit of those readers with sufficient background. Other readers may proceed through the main text, where the key results and applications will be presented in general heuristic terms, and illustrated with software routines and practical "show-and-tell" discussions of the results. At some points, the book refers to and uses the implementations in the Praat speech analysis software package, which has the advantages that it is used by many scientists around the world, and it is free and open source software. At other points, special software routines have been developed and made available to complement the book, and these are provided in the Matlab programming language. If the reader has the basic Matlab package, he/she will be able to immediately implement the programs in that platform---no extra "toolboxes" are required.
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Euler as Physicist

Author: Dieter Suisky

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 3540748652

Category: Science

Page: 338

View: 4617

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The subject of the book is the development of physics in the 18th century centered upon the fundamental contributions of Leonhard Euler to physics and mathematics. This is the first book devoted to Euler as a physicist. Classical mechanics are reconstructed in terms of the program initiated by Euler in 1736 and its completion over the following decades until 1760. The book examines how Euler coordinated his progress in mathematics with his progress in physics.
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Proof and Other Dilemmas

Mathematics and Philosophy

Author: Roger Simons

Publisher: MAA

ISBN: 9780883855676

Category: Mathematics

Page: 346

View: 7700

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For the majority of the twentieth century, philosophers of mathematics focused their attention on foundational questions. However, in the last quarter of the century they began to return to basics, and two new schools of thought were created: social constructivism and structuralism. The advent of the computer also led to proofs and development of mathematics assisted by computer, and to questions concerning the role of the computer in mathematics. This book of sixteen original essays is the first to explore this range of new developments in the philosophy of mathematics, in a language accessible to mathematicians. Approximately half the essays were written by mathematicians, and consider questions that philosophers have not yet discussed. The other half, written by philosophers of mathematics, summarise the discussion in that community during the last 35 years. A connection is made in each case to issues relevant to the teaching of mathematics.
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