The Poetry of Mathematics and Other Essays

The Poetry of Mathematics and Other Essays

The Poetry of Mathematics and Other Essays

The Poetry of Mathematics and Other Essays

Excerpt

This collection of essays, designed to inaugurate the series The Scripta Mathematica Library, consists of a selection of articles published at various times in the American Mathematical Monthly, the Scripta Mathematica, and the Mathematics Teacher. These have here been revised and in most cases abridged, and their republication is made with the generous consent of the editors of the respective journals.

As in the case of the Scripta Mathematica this little volume is designed to furnish, at a nominal price, material which will interest not only teachers of mathematics but all who recall their contact with the subject in their school or college days. The articles are not themselves mathematical, but they relate to lines of interest which mathematics suggests. In particular they show the statesman Jefferson as deeply interested in mathematics, and the mathematician Monge as deeply interested in the affairs of state. The other essays concern the spirit in which the teacher may feel it desirable to approach the subject with his classes.

For example, the one who fails to see the relationship of the fine arts to mathematics misses an opportunity to increase the interest in each. Among these fine arts poetry holds high rank and hence this relationship is emphasized in the first of the essays. The purpose in this case is to show that mathematics is not a cold, barren, isolated subject, but is in itself . . .

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