Friday, February 27, 2015

Joel Haack Reviews How Euler Did Even More

Joel Haack reviewd How Euler Did Even More by C. Edward Sandifer as part of MAA Reviews.

C. Edward Sandifer’s How Euler Did Even More is the second collection of his monthly columns from MAA Online, “How Euler Did It.” The first collection, also titled How Euler Did It, appeared in 2007 as part of the five-volume set published by the MAA in recognition of the tercentenary of Euler’s birth. It contained Sandifer’s columns from November 2003 through February 2007. This second collection contains his columns from March 2007 through February 2010, with the addition of two guest columns by Rob Bradley and one by Dominic Klyve. (Bradley assisted Sandifer with the details of the publication of this collection.)

There are several ways to read this book. First, one may choose simply to open it at random to read Sandifer’s discussion of how Euler attacked and thought about certain problems. Sandifer places Euler’s work into context of the mathematics of his time, then describes what Euler did and how he did it and why it mattered, keeping in mind the advice of John Fauvel that Sandifer references in How Euler Did It: “Content, Context and Significance.” An alternative would be to read the columns for particular topics that Euler considered; the columns are organized into sections on geometry, number theory, combinatorics, analysis, applied mathematics, and Euleriana. This last section includes two columns reflecting on Euler as teacher, two on light-hearted topics (Euler and the hollow earth and Euler and pirates), and one discussing of Euler’s fallibility.

Read the full review here.

Joel Haack is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Northern Iowa.

Friday, February 13, 2015

2015 Beckenbach Book Prize Winner

The Beckenbach Book Prize, established in 1986, is the successor to the MAA Book Prize established in 1982. It is named for the late Edwin Beckenbach, a long-time leader in the publications program of the Association and a well-known professor of mathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles. The Prize of $2,500 is intended to recognize the author(s) of a distinguished, innovative book published by the MAA and to encourage the writing of such books. The award is not given on a regularly scheduled basis. To be considered for the Beckenbach Prize a book must have been published during the five years preceding the Award.

The 2015 Beckenbach Book Prize winner is:

By Seth Braver

PDF Price: $28.00
Print-on-Demand Price: $47.50

Mathematicians of all stripes know that the non-Euclidean revolution was a game-changer in 19th  century mathematics. But relatively few mathematicians are acquainted with the little book that heralded this revolution: Nikolai Lobachevski’s Theory of Parallels (in German, 1840).

Seth Braver has come to our rescue. In Lobachevski Illuminated, he gives us a translation of the text, accompanies each of its 37 propositions with an extensive commentary, and places these ideas in their proper historical context. As a result, Braver has done nothing less than give new life to an old masterpiece.

The reader of Lobachevski Illuminated will encounter a host of provocative questions, will delve deeply into the history of geometry, and will gain a thorough appreciation of the genius of Nikolai Lobachevski.

Friday, January 23, 2015

New Calculus Textbooks from the MAA

Looking for a new calculus textbook? Check out these two just published by the MAA.

Calculus for the Life Sciences: A Modeling Approach
James L. Cornette and Ralph A. Ackerman

Available only as an ebook. PDF price: $35.00

Freshman and sophomore life sciences students respond well to the modeling approach to calculus, difference equations, and differential equations presented in this book. Examples of population dynamics, pharmacokinetics, and biologically relevant physical processes are introduced in Chapter 1, and these and other life sciences topics are developed throughout the text.

The ultimate goal of calculus for many life sciences students primarily involves modeling living systems with difference and differential equations. Understanding the concepts of derivative and integral is crucial, but the ability to compute a large array of derivatives and integrals is of secondary importance.

Students should have studied algebra, geometry and trigonometry, but may be life sciences students because they have not enjoyed their previous mathematics courses. This text can help them understand the relevance and importance of mathematics to their world. It is not a simplistic approach, however, and indeed is written with the belief that the mathematical depth of a course in calculus for the life sciences should be comparable to that of the traditional course for physics and engineering students.

College Calculus: A One-Term Course for Students with Previous Calculus Experience
Michael E. Boardman and Roger B. Nelsen

PDF price: $30.00 (will be available in print soon)

This textbook is for students who have successfully experienced an introductory calculus course in high school. College Calculus begins with a brief review of some of the content of the high school calculus course, and proceeds to give students a thorough grounding in the remaining topics in single variable calculus, including integration techniques, applications of the definite integral, separable and linear differential equations, hyperbolic functions, parametric equations and polar coordinates, L’Hôpital’s rule and improper integrals, continuous probability models, and infinite series. Each chapter concludes with several “Explorations,” extended discovery investigations to supplement that chapter’s material.

The text is ideal as the basis of a course focused on the needs of prospective majors in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). A one-term course based on this text provides students with a solid foundation in single variable calculus and prepares them for the next course in college level mathematics, be it multivariable calculus, linear algebra, a course in discrete mathematics, statistics, etc.

Friday, January 16, 2015

After JMM Book Sale: 25% off Books, 10% off eBooks

Thank you for attending the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Antonio, TX!

To show are appreciation, we are extending the meeting discount on MAA books. Enter the code JMM15SAL during checkout at the MAA Store to receive 25% off your book purchases. Hurry! This sale ends January 21.

Prefer an ebook? Visit the MAA eBooks Store and enter the code 1328851592 during checkout for 10% off  your order. Valid until January 31.

Friday, January 9, 2015

MAA Pavilion Events at JMM

In San Antonio, TX, for the Joint Mathematics Meetings? Don't forget to stop the MAA Pavilion (booths #816-837) in the exhibit hall and check out these book deals and events:

Grand Opening Reception
Saturday, January 10
12:15–5:30 p.m.

Stop by during the Grand Opening and join us for a light snack.

Euler Special

Back again! Pick up all five volumes of our Special Collector's Edition of the Euler Tercentenary Collection for only $40 (retail $129.75).

Barely Battered Books

Browse our Barely Battered Books section and pick up a gently used MAA book for only $8.00.

Calling all MAA Authors!

Don't forget to stop by and pick up your MAA Author Ribbon.