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Authors of year's best books in mathematics honored

January 05, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - Prizes for the year's best books in mathematics were awarded to Ian Stewart and Tim Chartier by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) on Jan. 5 in Atlanta at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, the world's largest gathering of mathematicians.

Stewart received the MAA Euler Book Prize, given to an author of an outstanding book about mathematics, for In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World. Chartier, professor of mathematics at Davidson College, was honored with the MAA Beckenbach Book Prize that recognizes the author of a distinguished, innovative book published by MAA Press, for his book When Life is Linear: From Computer Graphics to Bracketology.

Euler Book Prize

In Pursuit of the Unknown is a journey through the equations that shaped history and gave us mathematics as we know it today. The book is a collection of individual essays, each dedicated to a different equation, like the wave equation and normal distribution, to draw the reader into broader mathematical fields.

"The conversational style of Stewart's writing makes complicated mathematical concepts accessible to a broad audience, all the while maintaining a high standard of technical expertise that we expect from the Euler Book Prize winner," said Francis Su, president of the MAA. "This award honors Stewart for his positive impact on the public's understanding of mathematics."

Stewart is professor emeritus at Warwick University, and has published more than two dozen mathematical books, including Game, Set and Math, and How to Cut a Cake.

Beckenbach Book Prize

When many students react to linear algebra as dull or useless, Chartier's When Life is Linear: From Computer Graphics to Bracketology is a relevant and exciting exception. Novel content like Netflix algorithms, sports rankings, analyzing handwriting, and Google PageRank fuel ideas and challenge students with problems relevant to their daily lives.

"This innovative book brings linear algebra alive in a refreshing and creative way. The MAA is proud to celebrate mathematicians like Chartier who demonstrate the real-world applications of mathematics in everyday life," said Su.

Tim Chartier is second Vice President of the MAA and specializes in numerical linear algebra. His expertise on data analytics has led frequent consultation requests for ESPN's Sport Science program, National Basketball Association, and NASCAR teams.
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