Cover image for Mathematical footprints : discovering mathematical impressions all around us
Mathematical footprints : discovering mathematical impressions all around us
Pappas, Theoni.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Carlos, CA : Wide World Publishing/Tetra, [1999]

Physical Description:
228 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library QA99 .P377 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This journey across the spectrum of human activities takes a creative look at the role mathematics has played since prehistoric times. From its many uses in medicine and its appearance in artwork to its patterns in nature and its central role in the development of computers, mathematics is presented in a fun-to-read, nonthreatening manner.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Among books that present general mathematical ideas to the general public, Mathematical Footprints is among the best. Pappas offers 50 short essays of three to five pages each, arranged in independent sections. Topics range from the classical golden ratio to the futuristic--fuzzy numbers, solutions, and global positioning. Indeed, one strength of the book is its treatment of many new, modern ideas dependent on mathematics. Another strength is Pappas's presentation style: brevity, clear explanation, and absence of mathematical rigor that so often bog down mathematics books for lay readers. Photographs and sketches are numerous. Unfortunately, the book has technical errors that copyediting did not eliminate. A good choice for public and academic libraries as supplementary reading for general mathematics courses that help liberal arts students understand "what mathematics is good for." Undergraduates. W. R. Lee; Iowa State University

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Early mathematics artifactsp. 1
The very pervasive golden ratiop. 5
Seeing is not believingp. 9
Mathematics and your moneyp. 13
Mathematics - the framework of architecturep. 18
Hyperspace and beyondp. 20
Mathematics and cubismp. 25
Le grande archep. 30
The mathematical pandora's boxp. 34
Mathematics and the bodyp. 37
Will computers take the quatum leap?p. 42
Mathematics, Guggenheim Bilbao and Frank Gehryp. 46
The Pythagorean theorem--the survivorp. 51
Rings, helices, and dolphinsp. 55
The art of Claude Monetp. 59
How knots are tied to mathematicsp. 63
Chinese remainder theorem--a problem fromthe pastp. 68
Solitonsp. 73
Mathematics of weather forecastingp. 78
Mathematics and the architecture of Arata Isozakip. 83
Fuzzy numbersp. 89
Mathematics and the art of Alexander Calderp. 93
Waveletsp. 98
The longitude problemp. 102
Mathematics is in the creasesp. 110
Mathematics and nature's formationsp. 115
Mathematics and the architecture of the pyramidsp. 119
Cellular automata--pixels of lifep. 123
Art-manifestep. 127
Mathematics finds its way around mazesp. 129
Meter is a meter, is a meter, or is it?p. 133
Molecular computersp. 138
A mathematical looks at the art of Cezannep. 141
Where am I? - mathematics and the global positioning systemp. 145
Mathematics in literaturep. 149
Crime and complexityp. 154
A mathematical look at timep. 158
The universe--what's with it anywayp. 164
Numbers help nail errorsp. 168
Mathematics and the art of Tony Robbinp. 173
Have we heard the last of Fermat's last theorem?p. 178
Mathematics and the game of lifep. 183
Mathematics and the architecture of SFMOMAp. 187
Music, matter and mathematicsp. 191
Nanotechnology is big stuff!!p. 196
Soft computingp. 203
It's crystal clear, or is it? quasicrystals and Penrose tilesp. 208
Smart machinesp. 214
Appendixp. 219
Indexp. 221
Bibliographyp. 224
About the authorp. 227

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