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Group Theory In The Bedroom And Hardcover – Apr 1 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Fsg Adult; First Edition edition (April 7 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780809052196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809052196
  • ASIN: 0809052199
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 2.9 x 22.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,692,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Publishers Weekly

In charming prose that more or less makes up for the relative lack of rigor in many of his explorations, about which Hayes is refreshingly honest (I see no reason to doubt this assumption, at least as an approximation, but I also have no evidence to support it), science and technology journalist Hayes (Infrastructure) explains the engineering and arithmetic of clocks and gears, wracks his brain over questions of how best to flip a mattress and visits the prettiest wrong idea in all of twentieth-century science... the vision of piglets suckling on messenger RNA. As he examines huge calculating tables rendered obsolete by computers, Hayes cannot help wondering which of my labors will appear equally quaint and pathetic to some future reader. This observation is echoed by the afterwords where Hayes addresses pointed questions and observations from readers, displaying a brave willingness to admit error and acknowledge advances made since these pieces were first published in the Sciences and American Scientist. Present-day readers would do best to approach this collection more for its literary merits than its revelation of obscure history or cutting-edge mathematical theory. 41 b&w illus. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“As much as any book I can name, Group Theory in the Bedroom conveys to a general audience the playfulness involved in doing mathematics: how questions arise as a form of play, how our first attempts at answering questions usually seem naive in hindsight but are crucial for finding eventual solutions, and how a good solution just feels right.” —David Austin, Notices of the AMS
Group Theory in the Bedroom and Other Mathematical Diversions is a marvelous collection of thought-provoking essays that both inform and entertain. You’ll be amazed by the things you’ll discover in these stories.” —Ron Graham, professor of mathematics, computer science and engineering, University of California, San Diego, former chief scientist of AT&T, and past president of the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America and the International Jugglers Association
“Brian Hayes’s book is a refreshing collection of superb mathematical essays. Ranging from choosing up sides to choosing names, the topics are intriguingly nonstandard. Moreover, the writing is clean, the explanations are pellucid, and the effect on the reader is exhilarating. First-rate all the way through.” —John Allen Paulos, author of Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences and the forthcoming Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up
"Every essay in this book is a gem of science writing on its highest level—accurate, up to date, brimming with surprising information, deep insights, and a profound love of mathematics. Its scope is awesome. Topics include a fantastic clock in Strasbourg, randomness, poverty, war, geology, genetics, gear ratios, partitions, nomenclature, group theory, and the ambiguity of the equals sign. There isn't a dull page in the book." —Martin Gardner, author of The Colossal Book of Short Puzzles and Problems and more than 60 other titles

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Most helpful customer reviews on 3.7 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
K. Scott Proctor
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent Book on Perspective and Framing Problems
August 15, 2008 - Published on
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17 people found this helpful.
Peter Webb
2.0 out of 5 starsLittle about group theory; lots about mattresses
October 22, 2009 - Published on
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Brooklyn Resident
5.0 out of 5 starsA little gem, shame about the title
August 6, 2009 - Published on
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