Number Story

From Counting to Cryptography

Authors: Higgins, Peter Michael

  • Written by the author of Mathematics for the Curious and Mathematics for the Imagination and inventor of Circular Sudoku
  • An accessible look at the history and development of numbers written in an easy-to-read style
  • Will appeal to readers across a range of abilities
  • Ideal background reading for high-school students interested in studying mathematics at university, and an invaluable source of material for school teachers and lecturers
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eBook $19.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-84800-001-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $25.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-84800-000-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Numbers have fascinated people for centuries. They are familiar to everyone, forming a central pillar of our understanding of the world, yet the number system was not presented to us "gift-wrapped" but, rather, was developed over millennia. Today, despite all this development, it remains true that a child may ask a question about numbers that no one can answer. Many unsolved problems surrounding number matters appear as quirky oddities of little account while others are holding up fundamental progress in mainstream mathematics.

Peter Higgins distills centuries of work into one delightful narrative that celebrates the mystery of numbers and explains how different kinds of numbers arose and why they are useful. Full of historical snippets and interesting examples, the book ranges from simple number puzzles and magic tricks, to showing how ideas about numbers relate to real-world problems, such as: How are our bank account details kept secure when shopping over the internet? What are the chances of winning at Russian roulette; or of being dealt a flush in a poker hand?

This fascinating book will inspire and entertain readers across a range of abilities. Easy material is blended with more challenging ideas about infinity and complex numbers, and a final chapter "For Connoisseurs" works through some of the particular claims and examples in the book in mathematical language for those who appreciate a complete explanation.

As our understanding of numbers continues to evolve, this book invites us to rediscover the mystery and beauty of numbers and reminds us that the story of numbers is a tale with a long way to run...

About the authors

Peter Higgins is a Professor of Mathematics at Essex University and inventor of Circular Sudoku. His previous books on mathematics include Mathematics for the Curious, Mathematics for the Imagination, and Nets, Puzzles and Postmen: An Exploration of Mathematical Connections.

Reviews

From the reviews:

"The target reader of this book is a senior high school student. It is well suited to such an audience; indeed, it is exactly the sort of work I would myself have devoured some 50+ years ago. … The different topics treated are all described exactly and succinctly." (Michael A. B. Deakin, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2008 j)

“The author gives a history of the development of numbers including the natural numbers, the rational numbers, the real numbers and the complex numbers. The text is written at a level appropriate for any educated person. Throughout the text the reasons for the development of various numbers are given along with a historical view of the intuitive struggles with these new ideas.” (Steven T. Dougherty, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1188, 2010)


Table of contents (3 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-84800-001-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $25.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-84800-000-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Number Story
Book Subtitle
From Counting to Cryptography
Authors
Copyright
2008
Publisher
Copernicus
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag London
eBook ISBN
978-1-84800-001-8
DOI
10.1007/978-1-84800-001-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-84800-000-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 323
Topics