The Secret Lives of Numbers: Numerals and Their Peculiarities in Mathematics and Beyond (Paperback)

The Secret Lives of Numbers: Numerals and Their Peculiarities in Mathematics and Beyond By Alfred S. Posamentier Cover Image

The Secret Lives of Numbers: Numerals and Their Peculiarities in Mathematics and Beyond (Paperback)


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We see numbers on automobile license plates, addresses, weather reports, and, of course, on our smartphones. Yet we look at these numbers for their role as descriptors, not as an entity in and unto themselves. Each number has its own history of meaning, usage, and connotation in the larger world. The Secret Lives of Numbers takes readers on a journey through integers, considering their numerological assignments as well as their significance beyond mathematics and in the realm of popular culture. Of course we all know that the number 13 carries a certain value of unluckiness with it. The phobia of the number is called Triskaidekaphobia; Franklin Delano Roosevelt was known to invite and disinvite guests to parties to avoid having 13 people in attendance; high-rise buildings often skip the 13th floor out of superstition. There are many explanations as to how the number 13 received this negative honor, but from a mathematical point of view, the number 13 is also the smallest prime number that when its digits are reversed is also a prime number. It is honored with a place among the Fibonacci numbers and integral Pythagorean triples, as well as many other interesting and lesser-known occurrences.

In The Secret Lives of Numbers, popular mathematician Alfred S. Posamentier provides short and engaging mini-biographies of more than 100 numbers, starting with 1 and featuring some especially interesting numbers -like 6,174, a number with most unusual properties -to provide readers with a more comprehensive picture of the lives of numbers both mathematically and socially.

Alfred S. Posamentier has published over sixty books in the area of mathematics and mathematics education, including Math Tricks: The Surprising Wonders of Shapes and Numbers, The Joy of Geometry, Math Makers: The Lives and Works of 50 Famous Mathematicians; The Mathematics of Everyday Life (with Christian Spreitzer); and The Joy of Mathematics (with Robert Geretschlager, Charles Li, and Christian Spreitzer). After having been on the faculty of the City College of the City University of New York for forty years, where he was a professor of mathematics education and dean of the School of Education, he subsequently held the same positions at Mercy College, New York, for five years. He was also executive director for internationalization and sponsored programs at Long Island University, New York. He is currently a Distinguished Lecturer at the New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York.
Product Details ISBN: 9781633887602
ISBN-10: 163388760X
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication Date: July 1st, 2022
Pages: 248
Language: English