50 Visions of Mathematics

Sam Parc

“Untrained individuals cannot comprehend technical mathematics, yet we all have a basic understanding of the concepts hidden behind the symbols. This book intends to demonstrate the beauty of mathematics, including imagery derived from mathematical problems, and its improbable usefulness and applicability, without frying your brain, in honor of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) 50th anniversary.

The book is a compilation of 50 unique pieces written by many authors. It includes essays by some of the top subject experts (du Sautoy, Singh, and Stewart, for instance), as well as amusing biographical pieces and essays that have practical application to our daily lives (Spiegelhalter’s essay on risk and Elwes’ essay on medical imaging). The range of issues explored includes everything from basic numerology to the most recent developments in mathematical research. Each piece is meant to be read in a single sitting and is written with a broad audience in mind.

There is additional content, too. A request for submissions from IMA members, Plus readers, and the global mathematics community resulted in the submission of 50 visual “visions of mathematics.” You can also find a number of mathematical, literary, and comedic “proofs” of Pythagoras’ Theorem; after reading these, you’ll never think of him in the same way again.”