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Chaotic Fishponds and Mirror Universes

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Table of Contents

Introduction. Knowing me, knowing you - The mathematical hierarchies of knowledge. An average chapter - Mathematical definitions of the typical. Atomic networks and chemical trees - Chemical graph theory and the make-up of molecules. All-conquering algorithms - The backbone of the computer age. Getting a proper perspective - Projective geometry and the world of art. Our pixellated planet - The mathematics of digital photography. The dynamic solar system - The mathematics of planetary motion. Creating electronic brains - The mathematics of machine learning. Untangling the stuff of life - The mathematics of DNA. Ballot box paradox - The mathematics of elections. Our CGI world - Triangulation and computer-generated imagery. Mirrors and molecules - The (a)symmetries of the universe. Syphilis and Christmas lights - The mathematics of group-testing. The chaos in the fishpond - The untidy growth of populations. The rise of homo economicus - The mathematical basis of decision theory. The hole story - The shapes of the universe. Rain or shine? - The mathematics of weather forecasting. Smoke and mirrors - Statistical illusions and numerical mirages. Where are we? - GPS geometry and Einstein's explorations. More bang for your buck - Optimizing the world. Our electronic friends - The mathematics of social networks. Tea-tasting and trials - The mathematics of significance. The calm at the eye of the storm - Fixed points and the nature of equilibrium. One small step... - The mathematics of space travel. Tulip bubbles and hedge funds - Futures, options and the ups and downs of markets. Teacher troubles - The tricky world of timetables. Let there be light - The extraordinarily useful geometry of optics. The battle against disease - Mathematical models and the spread of infection. Wave-worlds - The mathematics of sound and light. Search-engine society - The algorithm behind Google's PageRank. Hold the line, please! - The mathematics of queues. Avoiding bad language - Correcting mistakes in digital communication. Automata and articulation - The mathematics of robot movement. Hot stuff - The mathematics of energy and entropy. The perils of paradox - Type theory and programming. Index.

About the Author

Dr Richard Elwes is a writer, teacher and researcher in Mathematics and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Leeds. He contributes to New Scientist and Plus Magazine and publishes research on model theory. Dr Elwes is a committed popularizer of mathematics, which he regularly promotes at public lectures and on radio.

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