Mathematics and the Real World
The Remarkable Role of Evolution in the Making of MathematicsBook - 2014
In this illuminating study of how the science of mathematics developed, a veteran math researcher and educator looks at the ways in which our evolutionary makeup is both a help and a hindrance to the study of math. Artstein chronicles the discovery of important mathematical connections between mathematics and the real world from ancient times to the present. He then describes some of the contemporary applications of mathematics, for example, in probability theory, in the study of human behavior, and in combination with computers, which give mathematics unprecedented power. He concludes with an insightful discussion of why mathematics, for most people, is so frustrating. He argues that the rigorous logical structure of math goes against the grain of our predisposed ways of thinking as shaped by evolution, and offers ways to overcome these innate impediments in the teaching of math.
Publisher: Amherst, NY : Prometheus Books, 2014
Characteristics: 426 p. : ill. ; 24 cm