Jesse Norman CSLI, 2006 Library of Congress BC136.N67 2006 | Dewey Decimal 160
What does it mean to have visual intuition? Can we gain geometrical knowledge by using visual reasoning? And if we can, is it because we have a faculty of intuition? In After Euclid, Jesse Norman reexamines the ancient and long-disregarded concept of visual reasoning and reasserts its potential as a formidable tool in our ability to grasp various kinds of geometrical knowledge. The first detailed philosophical case study of its kind, this text is essential reading for scholars in the fields of mathematics and philosophy.
The age of the Baroque—a time when great strides were made in science and mathematics—witnessed the construction of some of the world's most magnificent buildings. What did the work of great architects such as Bernini, Blondel, Guarini, and Wren have to do with Descartes, Galileo, Kepler, Desargues, and Newton? Here, George Hersey explores the ways in which Baroque architecture, with its dramatic shapes and playful experimentation with classical forms, reflects the scientific thinking of the time. He introduces us to a concept of geometry that encompassed much more than the science we know today, one that included geometrics (number and shape games), as well as the art of geomancy, or magic and prophecy using shapes and numbers.
Hersey first concentrates on specific problems in geometry and architectural design. He then explores the affinities between musical chords and several types of architectural form. He turns to advances in optics, such as artificial lenses and magic lanterns, to show how architects incorporated light, a heavenly emanation, into their impressive domes. With ample illustrations and lucid, witty language, Hersey shows how abstract ideas were transformed into visual, tactile form—the epicycles of the cosmos, the sexual mystique surrounding the cube, and the imperfections of heavenly bodies. Some two centuries later, he finds that the geometric principles of the Baroque resonate, often unexpectedly, in the work of architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. A discussion of these surprising links to the past rounds out this brilliant reexamination of some of the long-forgotten beliefs and practices that helped produce some of Europe's greatest masterpieces.
In this follow-up to his popular Science Secrets, Alberto A. Martínez discusses various popular myths from the history of mathematics: that Pythagoras proved the hypotenuse theorem, that Archimedes figured out how to test the purity of a gold crown while he was in a bathtub, that the Golden Ratio is in nature and ancient architecture, that the young Galois created group theory the night before the pistol duel that killed him, and more. Some stories are partly true, others are entirely false, but all show the power of invention in history. Pythagoras emerges as a symbol of the urge to conjecture and “fill in the gaps” of history. He has been credited with fundamental discoveries in mathematics and the sciences, yet there is nearly no evidence that he really contributed anything to such fields at all. This book asks: how does history change when we subtract the many small exaggerations and interpolations that writers have added for over two thousand years?
The Cult of Pythagoras is also about invention in a positive sense. Most people view mathematical breakthroughs as “discoveries” rather than invention or creativity, believing that mathematics describes a realm of eternal ideas. But mathematicians have disagreed about what is possible and impossible, about what counts as a proof, and even about the results of certain operations. Was there ever invention in the history of concepts such as zero, negative numbers, imaginary numbers, quaternions, infinity, and infinitesimals?
Martínez inspects a wealth of primary sources, in several languages, over a span of many centuries. By exploring disagreements and ambiguities in the history of the elements of mathematics, The Cult of Pythagoras dispels myths that obscure the actual origins of mathematical concepts. Martínez argues that an accurate history that analyzes myths reveals neglected aspects of mathematics that can encourage creativity in students and mathematicians.
In contrast to the vast literature on Euclidean geometry as a whole, little has been published on the relatively recent developments in the field of combinatorial geometry. Boltyanskii and Gohberg's book investigates this area, which has undergone particularly rapid growth in the last thirty years. By restricting themselves to two dimensions, the authors make the book uniquely accessible to interested high school students while maintaining a high level of rigor. They discuss a variety of problems on figures of constant width, convex figures, coverings, and illumination. The book offers a thorough exposition of the problem of cutting figures into smaller pieces. The central theorem gives the minimum number of pieces into which a figure can be divided so that all the pieces are of smaller diameter than the original figure. This theorem, which serves as a basis for the rest of the material, is proved for both the Euclidean plane and Minkowski's plane.
Twentieth-century developments in logic and mathematics have led many people to view Euclid’s proofs as inherently informal, especially due to the use of diagrams in proofs. In Euclid and His Twentieth-Century Rivals, Nathaniel Miller discusses the history of diagrams in Euclidean Geometry, develops a formal system for working with them, and concludes that they can indeed be used rigorously. Miller also introduces a diagrammatic computer proof system, based on this formal system. This volume will be of interest to mathematicians, computer scientists, and anyone interested in the use of diagrams in geometry.
In Exterior Differential Systems, the authors present the results of their ongoing development of a theory of the geometry of differential equations, focusing especially on Lagrangians and Poincaré-Cartan forms. They also cover certain aspects of the theory of exterior differential systems, which provides the language and techniques for the entire study. Because it plays a central role in uncovering geometric properties of differential equations, the method of equivalence is particularly emphasized. In addition, the authors discuss conformally invariant systems at length, including results on the classification and application of symmetries and conservation laws. The book also covers the Second Variation, Euler-Lagrange PDE systems, and higher-order conservation laws.
This timely synthesis of partial differential equations and differential geometry will be of fundamental importance to both students and experienced researchers working in geometric analysis.
Gabriel Weinreich University of Chicago Press, 1998 Library of Congress QC20.7.V4W45 1998 | Dewey Decimal 530.156182
Every advanced undergraduate and graduate student of physics must master the concepts of vectors and vector analysis. Yet most books cover this topic by merely repeating the introductory-level treatment based on a limited algebraic or analytic view of the subject.
Geometrical Vectors introduces a more sophisticated approach, which not only brings together many loose ends of the traditional treatment, but also leads directly into the practical use of vectors in general curvilinear coordinates by carefully separating those relationships which are topologically invariant from those which are not. Based on the essentially geometric nature of the subject, this approach builds consistently on students' prior knowledge and geometrical intuition.
Written in an informal and personal style, Geometrical Vectors provides a handy guide for any student of vector analysis. Clear, carefully constructed line drawings illustrate key points in the text, and problem sets as well as physical examples are provided.
Geometry and Chronometry in Philosophical Perspective was first published in 1968. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
In this volume Professor Grünbaum substantially extends and comments upon his essay "Geometry, Chronometry, and Empiricism," which was first published in Volume III of the Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Commenting on the essay when it first appeared J. J. C. Smart wrote in Mind (England): "In my opinion Adolf Grünbaum's paper ... supersedes nearly all that has been written on the logical status of physical geometry and chronometry." The full text of the essay is given here with the author's extension of it and his discussion of some of the critical comment it has evoked, particularly, a critique published by Hilary Putnam.
Adolph Grünbaum is Andrew Mellon Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh and the current president of the Philosophy of Science Association.
Geometry and Meaning
Dominic Widdows CSLI, 2005 Library of Congress QA564.W53 2004 | Dewey Decimal 516
From Pythagoras's harmonic sequence to Einstein's theory of relativity, geometric models of position, proximity, ratio, and the underlying properties of physical space have provided us with powerful ideas and accurate scientific tools. Currently, similar geometric models are being applied to another type of space—the conceptual space of information and meaning, where the contributions of Pythagoras and Einstein are a part of the landscape itself. The rich geometry of conceptual space can be glimpsed, for instance, in internet documents: while the documents themselves define a structure of visual layouts and point-to-point links, search engines create an additional structure by matching keywords to nearby documents in a spatial arrangement of content. What the Geometry of Meaning provides is a much-needed exploration of computational techniques to represent meaning and of the conceptual spaces on which these representations are founded.
Starting from the foundations, the author presents an almost entirely
self-contained treatment of differentiable spaces of nonpositive
curvature, focusing on the symmetric spaces in which every geodesic lies
in a flat Euclidean space of dimension at least two. The book builds to
a discussion of the Mostow Rigidity Theorem and its generalizations, and
concludes by exploring the relationship in nonpositively curved spaces
between geometric and algebraic properties of the fundamental group.
This introduction to the geometry of symmetric spaces of non-compact
type will serve as an excellent guide for graduate students new to the
material, and will also be a useful reference text for mathematicians
already familiar with the subject.
Uyechi presents an extremely thorough and formal empirical description of the various features of ASL signs, of interest to any theoretician in developing a theory of sign phonology or in testing claims in the theory of the phonology of spoken languages against data from a signed language. The author also presents a formalism for representing signs and makes a number of theoretical proposals based on this formalism. The volume's analysis indicates that the properties of core constructs of the spoken-language phonology, namely the segment and the syllable, differ from the properties of the core constructs in a formal framework of visual phonology. The Geometry of Visual Phonology also differs from other analyses in concluding that such differences are not immediately reconcilable. This volume provides a framework for discussing crucial differences between signs and speech.
The study of group actions is more than a hundred years old but remains to this day a vibrant and widely studied topic in a variety of mathematic fields. A central development in the last fifty years is the phenomenon of rigidity, whereby one can classify actions of certain groups, such as lattices in semi-simple Lie groups. This provides a way to classify all possible symmetries of important spaces and all spaces admitting given symmetries. Paradigmatic results can be found in the seminal work of George Mostow, Gergory Margulis, and Robert J. Zimmer, among others.
The papers in Geometry, Rigidity, and Group Actions explore the role of group actions and rigidity in several areas of mathematics, including ergodic theory, dynamics, geometry, topology, and the algebraic properties of representation varieties. In some cases, the dynamics of the possible group actions are the principal focus of inquiry. In other cases, the dynamics of group actions are a tool for proving theorems about algebra, geometry, or topology. This volume contains surveys of some of the main directions in the field, as well as research articles on topics of current interest.
This original study considers the effects of language and meaning on the brain. Jens Erik Fenstad—an expert in the fields of recursion theory, nonstandard analysis, and natural language semantics—combines current formal semantics with a geometric structure in order to trace how common nouns, properties, natural kinds, and attractors link with brain dynamics.
Robert J. Zimmer is best known in mathematics for the highly influential conjectures and program that bear his name. Group Actions in Ergodic Theory, Geometry, and Topology: Selected Papers brings together some of the most significant writings by Zimmer, which lay out his program and contextualize his work over the course of his career. Zimmer’s body of work is remarkable in that it involves methods from a variety of mathematical disciplines, such as Lie theory, differential geometry, ergodic theory and dynamical systems, arithmetic groups, and topology, and at the same time offers a unifying perspective. After arriving at the University of Chicago in 1977, Zimmer extended his earlier research on ergodic group actions to prove his cocycle superrigidity theorem which proved to be a pivotal point in articulating and developing his program. Zimmer’s ideas opened the door to many others, and they continue to be actively employed in many domains related to group actions in ergodic theory, geometry, and topology.
In addition to the selected papers themselves, this volume opens with a foreword by David Fisher, Alexander Lubotzky, and Gregory Margulis, as well as a substantial introductory essay by Zimmer recounting the course of his career in mathematics. The volume closes with an afterword by Fisher on the most recent developments around the Zimmer program.
I. Ya. Bakel'man University of Chicago Press, 1975 Library of Congress QA473.B3413 | Dewey Decimal 516.1
In this book, I. Ya. Bakel'man introduces inversion transformations in the Euclidean plane and discusses the interrelationships among more general mathematical concepts. The author begins by defining and giving examples of the concept of a transformation in the Euclidean plane, and then explains the "point of infinity" and the "stereographic projection" of the sphere onto the plane. With this preparation, the student is capable of applying the theory of inversions to classical construction problems in the plane.
The author also discusses the theory of pencils of circles, and he uses the acquired techniques in a proof of Ptolemy's theorem. In the final chapter, the idea of a group is introduced with applications of group theory to geometry. The author demonstrates the group-theoretic basis for the distinction between Euclidean and Lobachevskian geometry.
Paul Lockhart Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress QA447.L625 2012 | Dewey Decimal 516
Lockhart’s Mathematician’s Lament outlined how we introduce math to students in the wrong way. Measurement explains how math should be done. With plain English and pictures, he makes complex ideas about shape and motion intuitive and graspable, and offers a solution to math phobia by introducing us to math as an artful way of thinking and living.
The use of diagrams in logic and geometry has encountered resistance in recent years. For a proof to be valid in geometry, it must not rely on the graphical properties of a diagram. In logic, the teaching of proofs depends on sentenial representations, ideas formed as natural language sentences such as "If A is true and B is true...." No serious formal proof system is based on diagrams.
This book explores the reasons why structured graphics have been largely ignored in contemporary formal theories of axiomatic systems. In particular, it elucidates the systematic forces in the intellectual history of mathematics which have driven the adoption of sentential representational styles over diagrammatic ones. In this book, the effects of historical forces on the evolution of diagrammatically-based systems of inference in logic and geometry are traced from antiquity to the early twentieth-century work of David Hilbert. From this exploration emerges an understanding that the present negative attitudes towards the use of diagrams in logic and geometry owe more to implicit appeals to their history and philosophical background than to any technical incompatibility with modern theories of logical systems.
Buildings appear to rest on top of the earth's surface, yet the surface is actually permeated by the buildings' foundations-out of view. If a foundation's blueprints are unavailable, as in archaeology, excavation would be needed to discover what actually supports a specific building. Analogously, the fields of geometry and topology have easily observable concepts resting on the surface of theoretical underpinnings that have not been completely discovered, unearthed or understood. Moreover, geometrical and topological principles of superposition provide insight into probing the connections between accessible superstructures and their hidden underpinnings. This book develops and applies these insights broadly, from physics to mathematics to philosophy. Even analogies and abstractions can now be seen as foundational superpositions.
This book examines the dimensionality of surfaces, how superpositions can make stable frameworks, and gives a quasi-Leibnizian account of the relative `spaces' that are defined by these frameworks. Concluding chapters deal with problems concerning the spatio-temporal frameworks of physical theories and implications for theories of visual geometry. The numerous illustrations, while surprisingly simple, are satisfyingly clear.
In this book, Pierre de la Harpe provides a concise and engaging introduction to geometric group theory, a new method for studying infinite groups via their intrinsic geometry that has played a major role in mathematics over the past two decades. A recognized expert in the field, de la Harpe adopts a hands-on approach, illustrating key concepts with numerous concrete examples.
The first five chapters present basic combinatorial and geometric group theory in a unique and refreshing way, with an emphasis on finitely generated versus finitely presented groups. In the final three chapters, de la Harpe discusses new material on the growth of groups, including a detailed treatment of the "Grigorchuk group." Most sections are followed by exercises and a list of problems and complements, enhancing the book's value for students; problems range from slightly more difficult exercises to open research problems in the field. An extensive list of references directs readers to more advanced results as well as connections with other fields.
In Topics in the Foundations of General Relativity and Newtonian Gravitation Theory, David B. Malament presents the basic logical-mathematical structure of general relativity and considers a number of special topics concerning the foundations of general relativity and its relation to Newtonian gravitation theory. These special topics include the geometrized formulation of Newtonian theory (also known as Newton-Cartan theory), the concept of rotation in general relativity, and Gödel spacetime. One of the highlights of the book is a no-go theorem that can be understood to show that there is no criterion of orbital rotation in general relativity that fully answers to our classical intuitions. Topics is intended for both students and researchers in mathematical physics and philosophy of science.