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Fearless Symmetry: Exposing the Hidden…

Fearless Symmetry: Exposing the Hidden Patterns of Numbers (2006)

by Avner Ash

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difficult ( )
  stevemwilliams | Mar 18, 2014 |
As a high school student, I found that this book struck an admirable balance between explaining in detail the simple concepts and explaining in essence the sweep of grand theorems. I will likely reread parts of this book for gems to contemplate.
  ftong | Jun 16, 2012 |
I understood it up to chapter 12, and found that fascinating. After that I gradually lost the plot until it had vanished completely at chapter 19. I skim-read the book after that. I really liked the infectious way the authors explain the "amazing" concepts, but found it annoying in the latter tough stages of the book that they would slip in a explanation of something trivial amongst the advanced maths. ( )
  jvgravy | Sep 28, 2010 |
Enjoyable, technical treatment of a fragment of modern number theory involving group representations, Galois theory, elliptic curves, reciprocity laws, and other esoterica that went into the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. "Popular"-level, but by three-quarters of the way through I had reached conceptuo-abstractional overload.
  fpagan | Nov 16, 2007 |
Cracking book. Easy to follow and very clearly explained ( )
  starfighter | Dec 30, 2006 |
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(Preface to the hardcover edition:) Mathematical research flourished both in quality and quantity, and shows no sign of abating in the twenty-first century.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0691124922, Hardcover)

Mathematicians solve equations, or try to. But sometimes the solutions are not as interesting as the beautiful symmetric patterns that lead to them. Written in a friendly style for a general audience, Fearless Symmetry is the first popular math book to discuss these elegant and mysterious patterns and the ingenious techniques mathematicians use to uncover them.

Hidden symmetries were first discovered nearly two hundred years ago by French mathematician √Čvariste Galois. They have been used extensively in the oldest and largest branch of mathematics--number theory--for such diverse applications as acoustics, radar, and codes and ciphers. They have also been employed in the study of Fibonacci numbers and to attack well-known problems such as Fermat's Last Theorem, Pythagorean Triples, and the ever-elusive Riemann Hypothesis. Mathematicians are still devising techniques for teasing out these mysterious patterns, and their uses are limited only by the imagination.

The first popular book to address representation theory and reciprocity laws, Fearless Symmetry focuses on how mathematicians solve equations and prove theorems. It discusses rules of math and why they are just as important as those in any games one might play. The book starts with basic properties of integers and permutations and reaches current research in number theory. Along the way, it takes delightful historical and philosophical digressions. Required reading for all math buffs, the book will appeal to anyone curious about popular mathematics and its myriad contributions to everyday life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:51 -0400)

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