We are living in the Golden Age of mathematics, with more research being done than ever before. Yet many people view mathematics as a static, completed subject. This book for general readers aims to open the door to the rapid modern growth of mathematics and its power and beauty. It surveys many areas of current research in non-technical terms, describing what the problems are, where they come from, how they get solved, what mathematicians are like, what you can do with the answers when you get them, and how solving them or failing to solve them changes peoples' views of mathematics and the way it is advancing. Topics include Fermat's Last Theorem, the Riemann hypothesis, the Poincare Conjecture, prime numbers, non-Euclidean geometry, infinity, the four-color problem, probability, catastrophe theory, chaos, fractals, algorithms, and undecidable propositions. A final chapter discusses the relations between mathematics and its applications. Each topic is developed within a historical framework, and a number of recent breakthroughs are presented for the first time in layman's terms.
Science, History & Philosophy, General,