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by
Ian Stewart

In *In Pursuit of the Unknown*, celebrated mathematician Ian Stewart uses a handful of mathematical equations to explore the vitally important connections between math and human progress. We often overlook the historical link between mathematics and technological advances, says Stewart—but this connection is integral to any complete understanding of human history.Equations a
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Hardcover, 352 pages

Published
March 13th 2012
by Basic Books
(first published 1996)

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Stewart is a prolific writer - according to the accompanying bumf he has authored more than 80 books, which is quite an oeuvre. That can't be bad ...more

(...) 17 ecuaciones que cambiaron el mundo no es un libro fácil en la medida en que su público potencial seremos lectores sin formación matemática profunda. Algunas partes requieren una lectura atenta y disciplinada y otras requerirán echar una mirada a capítulos precedentes para refrescar las nociones, ya que muchas ecuaciones se construyen a partir de ideas y conceptos ya presentados a los que el autor no vuelve. No es un manual o un libro de texto, ni m ...more

As the subtitle says, this book is about 17 equations that changed the world. As one who has a Ph.D. in Physics, I was familiar with all but one of these ...more

http://www.drgoulu.com/2014/03/16/17-...

If there ever was a book I wished I read earlier - this has to be it. If Ian Stewart had published this book pre-2003, maybe I wouldn't have skipped so many lectures after booze-induced somnolence.

Ian does justice covering 17 of the greatest mathematical equations responsible for mankind's progress. He starts off with Pythagoras..a^2 + b^2 ...more

Somewhere in chapter 12 it quotes novelist C.P. Snow, who warns that society is starting to slit into 2 groups, one of them being scientifically illiterate, says ...more

Part of the problem is the limited audience. Unless you already know some of this stuff already, the book will be rough going. It's not pitched at someone new to science and math. Luckily, I'm new to neither science nor math, so it wasn't a problem for m ...more

Newton's law of gravita ...more

Šīs grāmatas uzdevums ir parādīt kā matemātika un cilvēces progress iet roku rokā. Daudzas lietas mūsdienās mēs pieņemam kā pašsaprotamas, lietojam tās nemaz nenojaušot, kādi vēsturiski atklājumi matemātik ...more

Another is Shannon's information entropy equation (though Stewart labelled

Chapters one and two were amazingly useful, I invented a method to calculat ...more

Aug 09, 2014
Ricardo da Fonseca
rated it
4 of 5 stars
·
review of another edition

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O livro como o próprio nome deixa muito claro descreve 17 equações que tiveram grande impacto em nossa sociedade. A descrição de cada equação se inicia com tópicos que mostram claramente a importância dela para a humanidade de acordo com as aplicações dessa nos artefatos tecnológicos dos dias de hoje.

A descrição das equações é feita de forma muito interessante, ressaltando-se fatos históricos curiosos que levaram ao desenvolvimento da equação propriamente dita. A descrição da matemática, quando ...more

A descrição das equações é feita de forma muito interessante, ressaltando-se fatos históricos curiosos que levaram ao desenvolvimento da equação propriamente dita. A descrição da matemática, quando ...more

Jul 31, 2015
Vikram
rated it
4 of 5 stars

Recommends it for:
science lover, mathematics, history of science

Interesting book on history of some of the most widely known and impact full mathematical/science equations. Book gives an idea of how those equations got developed by the people working on them. Dont get upset by the title, it doesn'y go into mathematical derivations of the equations. Rather tells the story of development. Recommended for people who love science and mathematics.

The early chapters are quite developed presenting both the important mathematics and a discussion of the relevance of the equations in ...more

The real world applications and meaning of each equation are a very nice touch.

Worth reading if you are into math/scince history or are a bit of a nerd

The last chapter itself though is probably more than worth the reading of this book (the equation that many financ ...more

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Ian Stewart is an Emeritus Professor and Digital Media Fellow in the Mathematics Department at Warwick University, with special responsibility for public awareness of mathematics and science. He is best known for his popular science writing on mathematical themes.

--from the author's website

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“The Black–Scholes equation changed the world by creating a booming quadrillion-dollar industry; its generalisations, used unintelligently by a small coterie of bankers, changed the world again by contributing to a multitrillion-dollar financial crash whose ever more malign effects, now extending to entire national economics, are still being felt worldwide.”
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“IQ is a statistical method for quantifying specific kinds of problem-solving ability, mathematically convenient but not necessarily corresponding to a real attribute of the human brain, and not necessarily representing whatever it is that we mean by ‘intelligence’.”
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