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By C. Pickover

ISBN-10: 0471690988

ISBN-13: 9780471690986

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The division symbol. The division symbol ÷ first appeared in print in Johann Heinrich Rahn’s Teutsche Algebra (1659). Donald Knuth (1938–) is a computer scientist and a mathematician. He is also a fine example of a mathematician who is interested in religion. For example, he has been an active Lutheran and a Sunday school teacher. His attractive book titled 3:16 consists entirely of commentary on chapter 3, verse 16, of each of the books in the Bible. Knuth also includes calligraphic renderings of the verses.

That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of our time” (John Stuart Mill, nineteenthcentury English philosopher). Counting and the mind. I quickly toss a number of marbles onto a pillow. You may stare at them for an instant to determine how many marbles are on the pillow. Obviously, if I were to toss just two marbles, you could easily determine that two marbles sit on the pillow. What is the largest number of marbles you can 16 A Passion for Mathematics quantify, at a glance, without having to individually count them?

Greek numerals. Did you know that the ancient Greeks had two systems of numerals? The earlier of these was based on the initial letters of the names of numbers: the number 5 was indicated by the letter pi; 10 by the letter delta; 100 by the antique form of the letter H; 1,000 by the letter chi; and 10,000 by the letter mu. Numbers, History, Society, and People 31 Our mathematical perceptions. “The three of you stare at the school of fish and watch them move in synchrony, despite their lack of eyes.

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A Passion for Mathematics by C. Pickover

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