The Harmony of the World: 75 Years of Mathematics Magazine
Gerald L. Alexanderson and Peter Ross, eds.
307pp., hardbound, 2007
Mathematics Magazine has come a long way from its earliest days in 1926 as a member solicitation pamphlet, and The Harmony of the World presents some of the best material from the publication’s long history. Edited by Santa Clara University’s Gerald L. Alexanderson (with the assistance of colleague Peter Ross), The Harmony of the World is filled with articles covering some of the most important and influential mathematical concepts of the last 75 years, written by illustrious authors such as D.H. Lehrner, Otto Neugebauer, E.T. Bell, Paul R. Halmos, Richard W. Hamming, Ron Graham, Judith Grabiner, and Paul Erdős.
Eight of the articles included received the Carl B. Allendoerfer or Lester R. Ford Awards, and a pioneering article on Jones knot polynomials by W.B.R. Lickorish and Kenneth C. Millett won the prestigious Chauvenet Prize. And where else would you find an amusing article revealing that the value of pi showed a distinct time dependency in the nineteenth century? The book even gives readers a glimpse of the beginnings of Mathematics Magazine, telling the story of a publication whose “…history sounds like the Perils of Pauline.”
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