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› Find signed collectible books: 'Chases and Escapes: The Mathematics of Pursuit and Evasion (New in Paper) (Princeton Puzzlers)'
We all played tag when we were kids. The rules couldn't be easier--one player is designated "it" and must try to tag out one of the others. What most of us don't realize is that this simple chase game is in fact an application of pursuit theory, and that the same principles of games like tag, dodgeball, and hide-and-seek are at play in military strategy, high-seas chases by the Coast Guard, even romantic pursuits. In Chases and Escapes, Paul Nahin gives us the first complete history of this fascinating area of mathematics.
Writing in an accessible style that has been enjoyed by popular-math enthusiasts everywhere, Nahin traces the development of modern pursuit theory from its classical analytical beginnings to the present day. Along the way, he informs his mathematical discussions with fun facts and captivating stories. Nahin invites readers to explore the different approaches to solving various chase-and-escape problems. He draws upon game theory, geometry, linear algebra, target-tracking algorithms--and much more. Nahin offers an array of challenging puzzles for beginners on up, providing historical background for each problem and explaining how each one can be applied more broadly. Chases and Escapes includes solutions to all problems and provides computer programs that readers can use for their own cutting-edge analysis.
This informative and entertaining book is the first comprehensive treatment of the subject, one that is sure to appeal to anyone interested in the mathematics that underlie the all-too-human endeavor of pursuit and evasion.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Digital Dice: Computational Solutions to Practical Probability Problems (New in Paperback) (Princeton Puzzlers)'
Some probability problems are so difficult that they stump the smartest mathematicians. But even the hardest of these problems can often be solved with a computer and a Monte Carlo simulation, in which a random-number generator simulates a physical process, such as a million rolls of a pair of dice. This is what Digital Dice is all about: how to get numerical answers to difficult probability problems without having to solve complicated mathematical equations.
Popular-math writer Paul Nahin challenges readers to solve twenty-one difficult but fun problems, from determining the odds of coin-flipping games to figuring out the behavior of elevators. Problems build from relatively easy (deciding whether a dishwasher who breaks most of the dishes at a restaurant during a given week is clumsy or just the victim of randomness) to the very difficult (tackling branching processes of the kind that had to be solved by Manhattan Project mathematician Stanislaw Ulam). In his characteristic style, Nahin brings the problems to life with interesting and odd historical anecdotes. Readers learn, for example, not just how to determine the optimal stopping point in any selection process but that astronomer Johannes Kepler selected his second wife by interviewing eleven women.
The book shows readers how to write elementary computer codes using any common programming language, and provides solutions and line-by-line walk-throughs of a MATLAB code for each problem.
Digital Dice will appeal to anyone who enjoys popular math or computer science.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula: Cures Many Mathematical Ills (New in Paper)'
I used to think math was no fun
'Cause I couldn't see how it was done
Now Euler's my hero
For I now see why zero
Equals e[pi] i+1
--Paul Nahin, electrical engineer
In the mid-eighteenth century, Swiss-born mathematician Leonhard Euler developed a formula so innovative and complex that it continues to inspire research, discussion, and even the occasional limerick. Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula shares the fascinating story of this groundbreaking formula--long regarded as the gold standard for mathematical beauty--and shows why it still lies at the heart of complex number theory.
This book is the sequel to Paul Nahin's An Imaginary Tale: The Story of I [the square root of -1], which chronicled the events leading up to the discovery of one of mathematics' most elusive numbers, the square root of minus one. Unlike the earlier book, which devoted a significant amount of space to the historical development of complex numbers, Dr. Euler begins with discussions of many sophisticated applications of complex numbers in pure and applied mathematics, and to electronic technology. The topics covered span a huge range, from a never-before-told tale of an encounter between the famous mathematician G. H. Hardy and the physicist Arthur Schuster, to a discussion of the theoretical basis for single-sideband AM radio, to the design of chase-and-escape problems.
The book is accessible to any reader with the equivalent of the first two years of college mathematics (calculus and differential equations), and it promises to inspire new applications for years to come. Or as Nahin writes in the book's preface: To mathematicians ten thousand years hence, "Euler's formula will still be beautiful and stunning and untarnished by time."
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers'
What are your chances of dying on your next flight, being called for jury duty, or winning the lottery? We all encounter probability problems in our everyday lives. In this collection of twenty-one puzzles, Paul Nahin challenges us to think creatively about the laws of probability as they apply in playful, sometimes deceptive, ways to a fascinating array of speculative situations. Games of Russian roulette, problems involving the accumulation of insects on flypaper, and strategies for determining the odds of the underdog winning the World Series all reveal intriguing dimensions to the workings of probability. Over the years, Nahin, a veteran writer and teacher of the subject, has collected these and other favorite puzzles designed to instruct and entertain math enthusiasts of all backgrounds.
If idiots A and B alternately take aim at each other with a six-shot revolver containing one bullet, what is the probability idiot A will win? What are the chances it will snow on your birthday in any given year? How can researchers use coin flipping and the laws of probability to obtain honest answers to embarrassing survey questions? The solutions are presented here in detail, and many contain a profound element of surprise. And some puzzles are beautiful illustrations of basic mathematical concepts: "The Blind Spider and the Fly," for example, is a clever variation of a "random walk" problem, and "Duelling Idiots" and "The Underdog and the World Series" are straightforward introductions to binomial distributions.
Written in an informal way and containing a plethora of interesting historical material, Duelling Idiots is ideal for those who are fascinated by mathematics and the role it plays in everyday life and in our imaginations.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers (Princeton Puzzlers)'
What are your chances of dying on your next flight, being called for jury duty, or winning the lottery? We all encounter probability problems in our everyday lives. In this collection of twenty-one puzzles, Paul Nahin challenges us to think creatively about the laws of probability as they apply in playful, sometimes deceptive, ways to a fascinating array of speculative situations. Games of Russian roulette, problems involving the accumulation of insects on flypaper, and strategies for determining the odds of the underdog winning the World Series all reveal intriguing dimensions to the workings of probability. Over the years, Nahin, a veteran writer and teacher of the subject, has collected these and other favorite puzzles designed to instruct and entertain math enthusiasts of all backgrounds.
If idiots A and B alternately take aim at each other with a six-shot revolver containing one bullet, what is the probability idiot A will win? What are the chances it will snow on your birthday in any given year? How can researchers use coin flipping and the laws of probability to obtain honest answers to embarrassing survey questions? The solutions are presented here in detail, and many contain a profound element of surprise. And some puzzles are beautiful illustrations of basic mathematical concepts: "The Blind Spider and the Fly," for example, is a clever variation of a "random walk" problem, and "Duelling Idiots" and "The Underdog and the World Series" are straightforward introductions to binomial distributions.
Written in an informal way and containing a plethora of interesting historical material, Duelling Idiots is ideal for those who are fascinated by mathematics and the role it plays in everyday life and in our imaginations.
More editions of Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers (Princeton Puzzlers):
› Find signed collectible books: 'An Imaginary Tale: The Story of "i" [the square root of minus one]'
Today complex numbers have such widespread practical use--from electrical engineering to aeronautics--that few people would expect the story behind their derivation to be filled with adventure and enigma. In An Imaginary Tale, Paul Nahin tells the 2000-year-old history of one of mathematics' most elusive numbers, the square root of minus one, also known as i. He recreates the baffling mathematical problems that conjured it up, and the colorful characters who tried to solve them.
In 1878, when two brothers stole a mathematical papyrus from the ancient Egyptian burial site in the Valley of Kings, they led scholars to the earliest known occurrence of the square root of a negative number. The papyrus offered a specific numerical example of how to calculate the volume of a truncated square pyramid, which implied the need for i. In the first century, the mathematician-engineer Heron of Alexandria encountered I in a separate project, but fudged the arithmetic; medieval mathematicians stumbled upon the concept while grappling with the meaning of negative numbers, but dismissed their square roots as nonsense. By the time of Descartes, a theoretical use for these elusive square roots--now called "imaginary numbers"--was suspected, but efforts to solve them led to intense, bitter debates. The notorious i finally won acceptance and was put to use in complex analysis and theoretical physics in Napoleonic times.
Addressing readers with both a general and scholarly interest in mathematics, Nahin weaves into this narrative entertaining historical facts and mathematical discussions, including the application of complex numbers and functions to important problems, such as Kepler's laws of planetary motion and ac electrical circuits. This book can be read as an engaging history, almost a biography, of one of the most evasive and pervasive "numbers" in all of mathematics.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age'
Boolean algebra, also called Boolean logic, is at the heart of the electronic circuitry in everything we use--from our computers and cars, to our kitchen gadgets and home appliances. How did a system of mathematics established in the Victorian era become the basis for such incredible technological achievements a century later? In The Logician and the Engineer, best-selling popular math writer Paul Nahin combines engaging problems and a colorful historical narrative to tell the remarkable story of how two men in different eras--mathematician and philosopher George Boole (1815-1864) and electrical engineer and pioneering information theorist Claude Shannon (1916-2001)--advanced Boolean logic and became founding fathers of the electronic communications age.
Presenting the dual biographies of Boole and Shannon, Nahin examines the history of Boole's innovative ideas, and considers how they led to Shannon's groundbreaking work on electrical relay circuits and information theory. Along the way, Nahin presents logic problems for readers to solve and talks about the contributions of such key players as Georg Cantor, Tibor Rado, and Marvin Minsky--as well as the crucial role of Alan Turing's "Turing machine"--in the development of mathematical logic and data transmission. Nahin takes readers from fundamental concepts to a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of how a modern digital machine such as the computer is constructed. Nahin also delves into the newest ideas in quantum mechanics and thermodynamics in order to explore computing's possible limitations in the twenty-first century and beyond.
The Logician and the Engineer shows how a form of mathematical logic and the innovations of two men paved the way for the digital technology of the modern world.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Mrs. Perkins's Electric Quilt: And Other Intriguing Stories of Mathematical Physics'
What does quilting have to do with electric circuit theory? The answer is just one of the fascinating ways that best-selling popular math writer Paul Nahin illustrates the deep interplay of math and physics in the world around us in his latest book of challenging mathematical puzzles, Mrs. Perkins's Electric Quilt. With his trademark combination of intriguing mathematical problems and the historical anecdotes surrounding them, Nahin invites readers on an exciting and informative exploration of some of the many ways math and physics combine to create something vastly more powerful, useful, and interesting than either is by itself.
In a series of brief and largely self-contained chapters, Nahin discusses a wide range of topics in which math and physics are mutually dependent and mutually illuminating, from Newtonian gravity and Newton's laws of mechanics to ballistics, air drag, and electricity. The mathematical subjects range from algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and calculus to differential equations, Fourier series, and theoretical and Monte Carlo probability. Each chapter includes problems--some three dozen in all--that challenge readers to try their hand at applying what they have learned. Just as in his other books of mathematical puzzles, Nahin discusses the historical background of each problem, gives many examples, includes MATLAB codes, and provides complete and detailed solutions at the end.
Mrs. Perkins's Electric Quilt will appeal to students interested in new math and physics applications, teachers looking for unusual examples to use in class--and anyone who enjoys popular math books.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Number-Crunching: Taming Unruly Computational Problems from Mathematical Physics to Science Fiction'
How do technicians repair broken communications cables at the bottom of the ocean without actually seeing them? What's the likelihood of plucking a needle out of a haystack the size of the Earth? And is it possible to use computers to create a universal library of everything ever written or every photo ever taken? These are just some of the intriguing questions that best-selling popular math writer Paul Nahin tackles in Number-Crunching. Through brilliant math ideas and entertaining stories, Nahin demonstrates how odd and unusual math problems can be solved by bringing together basic physics ideas and today's powerful computers. Some of the outcomes discussed are so counterintuitive they will leave readers astonished.
Nahin looks at how the art of number-crunching has changed since the advent of computers, and how high-speed technology helps to solve fascinating conundrums such as the three-body, Monte Carlo, leapfrog, and gambler's ruin problems. Along the way, Nahin traverses topics that include algebra, trigonometry, geometry, calculus, number theory, differential equations, Fourier series, electronics, and computers in science fiction. He gives historical background for the problems presented, offers many examples and numerous challenges, supplies MATLAB codes for all the theories discussed, and includes detailed and complete solutions.
Exploring the intimate relationship between mathematics, physics, and the tremendous power of modern computers, Number-Crunching will appeal to anyone interested in understanding how these three important fields join forces to solve today's thorniest puzzles.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Oliver Heaviside: Sage in Solitude : The Life, Work, and Times of an Electrical Genius of the Victorian Age'
Biography of Oliver Heaviside, who was a self-taught English electrical engineer, mathematician, and physicist who adapted complex numbers to the study of electrical circuits, and invented mathematical techniques to the solution of differential equations.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Oliver Heaviside: The Life, Work, and Times of an Electrical Genius of the Victorian Age'
"He was a man who often was incapable of conducting himself properly in the most elementary social interactions. His only continuing contacts with women were limited to his mother, nieces, and housekeepers. He was a man who knew the power of money and desired it, but refused to work for it, preferring to live off the sweat of his family and long-suffering friends, whom he often insulted even as they paid his bills."from the book
This, then, was Oliver Heaviside, a pioneer of modern electrical theory. Born into a low social class of Victorian England, Heaviside made advances in mathematics by introducing the operational calculus; in physics, where he formulated the modern-day expressions of Maxwell's Laws of electromagnetism; and in electrical engineering, through his duplex equations. Now available in paperback with a new preface by the author, this acclaimed biography will appeal to historians of technology and science, as well as to scientists and engineers who wish to learn more about this remarkable man.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'The Science of Radio'
"Instead of being an abstraction, the math in this book comes alive as the tool that EEs have always thought it to be...It has a place in the libraries of experienced EEs: It does a good job not only of teaching the underlying theory of radio, but also of entertaining readers." EDN Explore the fascinating world of AM radio with this unique book and master key concepts in electrical engineering and physics. Unlike most texts that begin with a deluge of scientific detail, The Science of Radio takes a "top down" approach. It starts from a global perspective and gradually introduces theory and formula. Dr. Nahin also employs a "just in time" strategy, introducing new mathematical and physical theories only as they are needed to understand a topic. Paul Nahin's engaging style is accessible to any student who's completed a first- year calculus and physics course. About the Author Paul J. Nahin is Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of New Hampshire. Along with dozens of nationally published science fiction stories, he is the author of the AIP Press bestseller Time Machines.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Time Machines: Time Travel in Physics, Metaphysics, and Science Fiction'
A lively study of how time travel has been portrayed in fiction from the 18th century to the present. The author also discusses how modern physicists are now giving serious attention to what was once dismissed as sheer fantasy. Technical appendices, using only first college calculus, are supplied for those with a mathematical bent. This book is intended for general science readers.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Time Travel: A Writer's Guide to the Real Science of Plausible Time Travel (Science Fiction Writing Series)'
When Kurt Vonnegut needed protagonist Billy Pilgrim to time-travel in Slaughterhouse Five, he simply had him become "unstuck" in time--still perhaps the most poetic way to trip the chronological fantastic yet devised in literature. But electric engineering professor and science fiction writer Paul Nahin doesn't want you taking short cuts in your epoch-journeying yarns--at least, not because you were lazy about research. Subtitled A Writer's Guide to the Real Science of Plausible Time Travel, this is a tasty blend of quantum theory, worm holes, causal loops, and the famous "grandfather paradox"--the better to sell your heroine's time-skipping to even the most skeptical suspender of disbelief.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'When Least Is Best: How Mathematicians Discovered Many Clever Ways to Make Things as Small (or as Large) as Possible'
What is the best way to photograph a speeding bullet? Why does light move through glass in the least amount of time possible? How can lost hikers find their way out of a forest? What will rainbows look like in the future? Why do soap bubbles have a shape that gives them the least area?
By combining the mathematical history of extrema with contemporary examples, Paul J. Nahin answers these intriguing questions and more in this engaging and witty volume. He shows how life often works at the extremes--with values becoming as small (or as large) as possible--and how mathematicians over the centuries have struggled to calculate these problems of minima and maxima. From medieval writings to the development of modern calculus to the current field of optimization, Nahin tells the story of Dido's problem, Fermat and Descartes, Torricelli, Bishop Berkeley, Goldschmidt, and more. Along the way, he explores how to build the shortest bridge possible between two towns, how to shop for garbage bags, how to vary speed during a race, and how to make the perfect basketball shot.
Written in a conversational tone and requiring only an early undergraduate level of mathematical knowledge, When Least Is Best is full of fascinating examples and ready-to-try-at-home experiments. This is the first book on optimization written for a wide audience, and math enthusiasts of all backgrounds will delight in its lively topics.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Will You Be Alive Ten Years from Now?: And Numerous Other Curious Questions in Probability'
What are the chances of a game-show contestant finding a chicken in a box? Is the Hanukkah dreidel a fair game? Will you be alive ten years from now? These are just some of the one-of-a-kind probability puzzles that acclaimed popular math writer Paul Nahin offers in this lively and informative book.
Nahin brings probability to life with colorful and amusing historical anecdotes as well as an electrifying approach to solving puzzles that illustrates many of the techniques that mathematicians and scientists use to grapple with probability. He looks at classic puzzles from the past--from Galileo's dice-tossing problem to a disarming dice puzzle that would have astonished even Newton--and also includes a dozen challenge problems for you to tackle yourself, with complete solutions provided in the back of the book.
Nahin then presents twenty-five unusual probability puzzlers that you aren't likely to find anywhere else, and which range in difficulty from ones that are easy but clever to others that are technically intricate. Each problem is accompanied by an entertaining discussion of its background and solution, and is backed up by theory and computer simulations whenever possible in order to show how theory and computer experimentation can often work together on probability questions. All the MATLABŪ Monte Carlo simulation codes needed to solve the problems computationally are included in the book.With his characteristic wit, audacity, and insight, Nahin demonstrates why seemingly simple probability problems can stump even the experts.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'The Science of Radio: With MATLAB and Electronics Workbench Demonstrations, 2nd Edition'
The Science of Radio From the reviews: "! The notes and problems at the end of each chapter are very helpful. [!] In the final analysis, the book is definitely worth owning. [!] It is an extremely well written -- but unusual -- book that I highly recommend for all physicists." The Physics Teacher Full description
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Time Machines: Time Travel in Physics, Metaphysics, and Science Fiction'
This book explores the idea of time travel from the first account in English literature to the latest theories of physicists such as Kip Thorne and Igor Novikov. This very readable work covers a variety of topics including: the history of time travel in fiction; the fundamental scientific concepts of time, spacetime, and the fourth dimension; the speculations of Einstein, Richard Feynman, Kurt Goedel, and others; time travel paradoxes, and much more.
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