Mathematics in 10 lessons

July 08, 2009

Mathematics is seen by many as an impossible subject to overcome. While many individuals trained in the humanities and liberal arts may respect mathematics as an essential scientific discipline, a lack of experience can make them feel intimidated by its rigors. In MATHEMATICS IN 10 LESSONS: THE GRAND TOUR (Prometheus Books. $18.95), Jerry P. King gives readers the opportunity to experience firsthand mathematics' aesthetic elegance and intellectual pleasures.

King has designed a grand tour of mathematics in ten essential lessons for the general reader who wants to better understand the concepts of mathematics. MATHEMATICS IN 10 LESSONS: A GRAND TOUR presents actual mathematics to non-technical readers from the point-of-view of the fundamental principles. Almost no prior mathematical knowledge is assumed--through lively exposition and lucid explanations, real mathematics is made not only palatable, but even enjoyable to the uninitiated.

Professor King begins by establishing two key points. First, all mathematics flows from a few fundamental principles. Second, aesthetic considerations provide both the motivation for mathematics research and the standards for evaluating that research. The book is structured so that the reader gradually builds up an ever-greater skill set as each lesson is mastered.

"King offers an opportunity to gain understandings symmetric to his own--that is, to grasp at a basic level the powerfully beautiful and beautifully powerful principles of mathematics," said JoAnne Growney, poet, author of "My Dance is Mathematics", editor of "Strange Attractors: Poems of Love and Mathematics", professor emerita of Mathematics, Bloomsburg University.

The essential concepts King introduces include: symbolic logic, infinity, rational numbers, number theory, real and imaginary numbers, function, probability, calculus, and the building of mathematical models in applied mathematics. Throughout his exposition, King provides brief historical digressions, which highlight key developments made by the giants in the field of mathematics.

"For the curious reader MATHEMATICS IN 10 LESSONS is must reading for its insight into truth and the mathematics world. King's style of writing is distinguished by its ease and clarity but most importantly by its elegance," said Gerald Higdon, associate professor of mathematics at Fitchburg State College. "No one does a better job of presenting mathematics to non-mathematicians."

Eloquently written and clearly presented, MATHEMATICS IN 10 LESSONS will inspire the reader to go on to learn more and will instill a true appreciation for mathematics as both an art and a science.
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Jerry P. King, PhD (Bethlehem, PA), is professor emeritus of mathematics and dean emeritus of the graduate school at Lehigh University, where he spent forty-five years teaching mathematics and was awarded the university's two most prestigious teaching awards. He is the author of the critically acclaimed "The Art of Mathematics" and numerous professional papers and reviews.

Prometheus Books

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