A Certain Ambiguity

A Mathematical Novel

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Author: Gaurav Suri,Hartosh Singh Bal

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400834778

Category: Fiction

Page: 296

View: 4963

While taking a class on infinity at Stanford in the late 1980s, Ravi Kapoor discovers that he is confronting the same mathematical and philosophical dilemmas that his mathematician grandfather had faced many decades earlier--and that had landed him in jail. Charged under an obscure blasphemy law in a small New Jersey town in 1919, Vijay Sahni is challenged by a skeptical judge to defend his belief that the certainty of mathematics can be extended to all human knowledge--including religion. Together, the two men discover the power--and the fallibility--of what has long been considered the pinnacle of human certainty, Euclidean geometry. As grandfather and grandson struggle with the question of whether there can ever be absolute certainty in mathematics or life, they are forced to reconsider their fundamental beliefs and choices. Their stories hinge on their explorations of parallel developments in the study of geometry and infinity--and the mathematics throughout is as rigorous and fascinating as the narrative and characters are compelling and complex. Moving and enlightening, A Certain Ambiguity is a story about what it means to face the extent--and the limits--of human knowledge.

A Certain Ambiguity

A Mathematical Novel

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Author: Gaurav Suri,Hartosh Singh Bal

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691127093

Category: Fiction

Page: 281

View: 885

While taking a class on infinity at Stanford in the late 1980s, Ravi Kapoor discovers that he is confronting the same mathematical and philosophical dilemmas that his mathematician grandfather had faced many decades earlier--and that had landed him in jail. Charged under an obscure blasphemy law in a small New Jersey town in 1919, Vijay Sahni is challenged by a skeptical judge to defend his belief that the certainty of mathematics can be extended to all human knowledge--including religion. Together, the two men discover the power--and the fallibility--of what has long been considered the pinnacle of human certainty, Euclidean geometry. As grandfather and grandson struggle with the question of whether there can ever be absolute certainty in mathematics or life, they are forced to reconsider their fundamental beliefs and choices. Their stories hinge on their explorations of parallel developments in the study of geometry and infinity--and the mathematics throughout is as rigorous and fascinating as the narrative and characters are compelling and complex. Moving and enlightening, A Certain Ambiguity is a story about what it means to face the extent--and the limits--of human knowledge.

Spatial Literacy

Contemporary Asante Women’s Place-making

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Author: E. Amoo-Adare

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137281073

Category: Social Science

Page: 173

View: 5023

This book makes the case for an urgent praxis of critical spatial literacy for African women. It provides a critical analysis of how Asante women negotiate and understand the politics of contemporary space in Accra and beyond and the effect it has on their lives, demonstrating how they critically 'read that world.'

How Mathematicians Think

Using Ambiguity, Contradiction, and Paradox to Create Mathematics

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Author: William Byers

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691145990

Category: Mathematics

Page: 424

View: 9641

To many outsiders, mathematicians appear to think like computers, grimly grinding away with a strict formal logic and moving methodically--even algorithmically--from one black-and-white deduction to another. Yet mathematicians often describe their most important breakthroughs as creative, intuitive responses to ambiguity, contradiction, and paradox. A unique examination of this less-familiar aspect of mathematics, How Mathematicians Think reveals that mathematics is a profoundly creative activity and not just a body of formalized rules and results. Nonlogical qualities, William Byers shows, play an essential role in mathematics. Ambiguities, contradictions, and paradoxes can arise when ideas developed in different contexts come into contact. Uncertainties and conflicts do not impede but rather spur the development of mathematics. Creativity often means bringing apparently incompatible perspectives together as complementary aspects of a new, more subtle theory. The secret of mathematics is not to be found only in its logical structure. The creative dimensions of mathematical work have great implications for our notions of mathematical and scientific truth, and How Mathematicians Think provides a novel approach to many fundamental questions. Is mathematics objectively true? Is it discovered or invented? And is there such a thing as a "final" scientific theory? Ultimately, How Mathematicians Think shows that the nature of mathematical thinking can teach us a great deal about the human condition itself.

Pythagoras' Revenge

A Mathematical Mystery

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Author: Arturo Sangalli

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691049557

Category: Fiction

Page: 183

View: 9587

The celebrated mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras left no writings. But what if he had and the manuscript had never been found? Where would it be located? Two mathematicians, one American, one British, set out, unbeknownst to each other, to find the missing manuscript.

Lexical Ambiguity Resolution

Perspective from Psycholinguistics, Neuropsychology and Artificial Intelligence

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Author: Steven L. Small,Garrison W Cottrell,Michael K Tanenhaus

Publisher: Elsevier

ISBN: 0080510132

Category: Computers

Page: 518

View: 6204

The most frequently used words in English are highly ambiguous; for example, Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary lists 94 meanings for the word "run" as a verb alone. Yet people rarely notice this ambiguity. Solving this puzzle has commanded the efforts of cognitive scientists for many years. The solution most often identified is "context": we use the context of utterance to determine the proper meanings of words and sentences. The problem then becomes specifying the nature of context and how it interacts with the rest of an understanding system. The difficulty becomes especially apparent in the attempt to write a computer program to understand natural language. Lexical ambiguity resolution (LAR), then, is one of the central problems in natural language and computational semantics research. A collection of the best research on LAR available, this volume offers eighteen original papers by leading scientists. Part I, Computer Models, describes nine attempts to discover the processes necessary for disambiguation by implementing programs to do the job. Part II, Empirical Studies, goes into the laboratory setting to examine the nature of the human disambiguation mechanism and the structure of ambiguity itself. A primary goal of this volume is to propose a cognitive science perspective arising out of the conjunction of work and approaches from neuropsychology, psycholinguistics, and artificial intelligence--thereby encouraging a closer cooperation and collaboration among these fields. Lexical Ambiguity Resolution is a valuable and accessible source book for students and cognitive scientists in AI, psycholinguistics, neuropsychology, or theoretical linguistics.

Salvador

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Author: Joan Didion

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0679751831

Category: Political Science

Page: 108

View: 4523

The author recounts her 1982 visit to El Salvador and describes the terror, fear and political repression that permeated the country

The Limits of Transparency

Ambiguity and the History of International Finance

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Author: Jacqueline Best

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801473777

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 219

View: 6262

Jacqueline Best has developed a novel theoretical framework to more fully comprehend the role of ambiguity in international governance.

Nonsense

The Power of Not Knowing

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Author: Jamie Holmes

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 0385348398

Category: PSYCHOLOGY

Page: 336

View: 9244

"An illuminating look at the surprising upside of ambiguity--and how, properly harnessed, it can inspire learning, creativity, even empathy Life today feels more overwhelming and chaotic than ever. We face constant political and economic upheaval, and we're bombarded with information, much of it contradictory. Managing uncertainty--in our jobs, our relationships, and our everyday lives--is fast becoming an essential skill. What should we do when we have no idea what to do? In Nonsense, Jamie Holmes shows how we react to ambiguous situations and how we can do it better. Being confused is unpleasant, so we tend to shutter our minds as we grasp for meaning and stability, especially in stressful circumstances. We're hard-wired to resolve contradictions quickly and extinguish anomalies. But in doing so, we lose a vital opportunity to learn something new, solve a hard problem, or see the world from another perspective. Over the last few years, new insights from social psychology and cognitive science have deepened our understanding of the role of ambiguity in our lives and Holmes brings this research together for the first time, showing how we can use uncertainty to our advantage. Whether we're dealing with an unclear medical diagnosis or launching a risky new product, Nonsense promises to transform the way we conduct business, educate our children, and make decisions. In an increasingly unpredictable, complex world, it turns out that what matters most isn't IQ, willpower, or confidence in what we know. It's how we deal with what we don't understand"--

Sacred Mathematics

Japanese Temple Geometry

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Author: Hidetoshi Fukagawa,Tony Rothman

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691127453

Category: Art

Page: 348

View: 9128

"An enchanting history of Japanese geometry--of a time and place where 'geometers did not cede place to poets.' This intersection of science and culture, of the mathematical, the artistic, and the spiritual, is packed, like circles within circles, with rewarding Aha! epiphanies that drive a mathematician's curiosity."--Siobhan Roberts, author of "King of Infinite Space" "Teachers will welcome this remarkable collection of mathematical problems, history, and art, which will enrich their curriculum and promote both logical thinking and critical evaluation. It is especially important that we maintain an interest in geometry, which needs, and for once gets, more than its share."--Richard Guy, coauthor of "The Book of Numbers" "This remarkable book provides a novel insight into the Japanese mathematics of the past few hundred years. It is fascinating to see the difference in mathematical style from that which we are used to in the Western world, but the book also elegantly illustrates the cross-cultural Platonic nature and profound beauty of mathematics itself."--Roger Penrose, author of "The Road to Reality" "A significant contribution to the history of mathematics. The wealth of mathematical problems--from the very simple to quite complex ones--will keep the interested reader busy for years. And the beautiful illustrations make this book a work of art as much as of science. Destined to become a classic!"--Eli Maor, author of "The Pythagorean Theorem: A 4,000-Year History" "A pleasure to read. "Sacred Mathematics" brings to light the unique style and character of geometry in the traditional Japanese sources--in particular the "sangaku" problems. These problems range from trivial to utterly devilish. I found myself captivated by them, and regularly astounded by the ingenuity and sophistication of many of the traditional solutions."--Glen Van Brummelen, coeditor of "Mathematics and the Historian's Craft"

Stanley Goes for a Drive

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Author: Craig Frazier

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 1452112576

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 40

View: 2645

One hot day, Stanley sets out for a drive with little on his mind. The road is dusty, the pond dry, the cows hot and tired—a usual summer day...or is it? In his first book for children, renowned graphic designer Craig Frazier has combined bold, dynamic illustrations with a simple story that celebrates the imagination and the art of looking at the world in your own way.

Asymmetry

A Novel

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Author: Lisa Halliday

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501166778

Category: Fiction

Page: 288

View: 7428

The bestselling and critically acclaimed debut novel by Lisa Halliday, Asymmetry, hailed as “extraordinary” by The New York Times, “a brilliant and complex examination of power dynamics in love and war” by The Wall Street Journal, and “a literary phenomenon” by The New Yorker. Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, “Folly,” tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War, “Folly” also suggests an aspiring novelist’s coming-of-age. By contrast, “Madness” is narrated by Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of 2008 in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda. A stunning debut from a rising literary star, Asymmetry is “a transgressive roman a clef, a novel of ideas, and a politically engaged work of metafiction” (The New York Times Book Review), and a “masterpiece” in the original sense of the word” (The Atlantic). Lisa Halliday’s novel will captivate any reader with while also posing arresting questions about the very nature of fiction itself.

Professional Criminals

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Author: Dick Hobbs

Publisher: Dartmouth Publishing Group

ISBN: 9781855214149

Category: Social Science

Page: 402

View: 7919

The International library of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Penology is an important publishing initiative that brings together the most significant contemporary published journal essays in current criminology, criminal justice and penology.

Switch

How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

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Author: Chip Heath,Dan Heath

Publisher: Crown Business

ISBN: 9780307590169

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 320

View: 3362

Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort—but if it is overcome, change can come quickly. In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people—employees and managers, parents and nurses—have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results: ● The lowly medical interns who managed to defeat an entrenched, decades-old medical practice that was endangering patients. ● The home-organizing guru who developed a simple technique for overcoming the dread of housekeeping. ● The manager who transformed a lackadaisical customer-support team into service zealots by removing a standard tool of customer service. In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.

Mangoes Or Bananas?

The Quest for an Authentic Asian Christian Theology

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Author: Yung Hwa

Publisher: OCMS

ISBN: 9781870345255

Category: Religion

Page: 273

View: 7296

The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci

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Author: Jonathan D. Spence

Publisher: Quercus Books

ISBN: 9781847243447

Category: Jesuits

Page: 350

View: 9622

In 1577 a Jesuit priest named Matteo Ricci set out from Italy on a long journey to bring the Christian faith and Western thought to Ming dynasty China. He spent time in India and Macao before entering China in 1583 to undertake mission work. Travelling widely, Ricci learned local languages, mastered Chinese classical script, drew the first-ever map of the world in Chinese and acquired a rich appreciation of the indigenous culture of his hosts. In 1596 Ricci wrote a short book in Chinese on the art of memory for the governor of Jiangxi province, who was preparing his three sons for China's demanding civil service examinations. In it he described a 'memory palace' in which to hold knowledge such as might help the three brothers and their peers in the Ming social elite to pass their exams with flying colours. Ricci must have hoped that, in gratitude to him for instructing them in mnemonic skills, they would use their newly won prestige to further the cause of the Catholic Church in China. To capture the complex emotional and religious drama of Ricci's life, author Jonathan Spence relates the missionary's experiences via a series of images. Four of these images derive from events described in the Bible, the others from Ricci's book on the art of memory that was circulated among members of the Ming dynasty elite. A rich and compelling narrative about a remarkable life, The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci is also a significant work of global history, juxtaposing the world of Counter-Reformation Europe with that of Ming China.

Letters of Louis MacNeice

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Author: Louis MacNeice

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 0571263461

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 456

View: 8963

Louis MacNeice is increasingly recognised as one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century, and his work has been a defining influence upon a generation of Irish poets that includes Derek Mahon, Michael Longley and Paul Muldoon. The Selected Letters is indispensable as a resource for an understanding of the intellectual culture of the mid-twentieth century. A Classics don, poet, playwright and globetrotting BBC producer, the medley and blend of MacNeice's cultural influences seems exemplary in its modernity. He kept up a significant correspondence with E. R. Dodds, Anthony Blunt and T. S. Eliot, to name but three prominent figures of the time. During his time at the BBC MacNeice witnessed many key events, including the partition of India in 1947 and the independence of the Gold Coast from Britain in 1957, and these are recorded in two long sequences to his wife, the singer Hedli Anderson. His complex relationship to Ireland and to his Irish heritages speak resonantly to contemporary debates about Irish and Northern Irish cultural identity. Finally, the Letters will do much to broaden our understanding of a vivid and often enigmatic personality whose varied life and individual charisma have often resisted explanation.

The Parrot's Theorem

A Novel

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Author: Denis Guedj

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1466851678

Category: Fiction

Page: 352

View: 9910

Mr. Ruche, a Parisian bookseller, receives a bequest from a long lost friend in the Amazon of a vast library of math books, which propels him into a great exploration of the story of mathematics. Meanwhile Max, whose family lives with Mr. Ruche, takes in a voluble parrot who will discuss math with anyone. When Mr. Ruche learns of his friend's mysterious death in a Brazilian rainforest, he decides that with the parrot's help he will use these books to teach Max and his brother and sister the mysteries of Euclid's Elements, Pythagoras's Theorem and the countless other mathematical wonders. But soon it becomes clear that Mr. Ruche has inherited the library for reasons other than enlightenment, and before he knows it the household is racing to prevent the parrot and vital, new theorems from falling into the wrong hands. An immediate bestseller when first published in France, The Parrot's Theorem charmingly combines a straightforward history of mathematics and a first-rate murder mystery.

The Mathematician's Shiva

A Novel

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Author: Stuart Rojstaczer

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143126318

Category: Fiction

Page: 366

View: 8945

" A comic, bittersweet tale of family evocative of The Yiddish Policemen's Union and Everything Is Illuminated Alexander "Sasha" Karnokovitch and his family would like to mourn the passing of his mother, Rachela, with modesty and dignity. But Rachela, a famous Polish e;migre; mathematician and professor at the University of Wisconsin, is rumored to have solved the million-dollar, Navier-Stokes Millennium Prize Problem. Rumor also has it that she spitefully took the solution to her grave. To Sasha's chagrin, a ragtag group of socially challenged mathematicians arrives in Madison and crashes the shiva, vowing to do whatever it takes to find the solution-even if it means prying up the floorboards for Rachela's notes. Written by a trained geophysicist, this hilarious and multi-layered debut novel brims with colorful characters and brilliantly captures humanity's drive not just to survive, but to solve the impossible"--

Invitation to Sociology

A Humanistic Perspective

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Author: Peter L. Berger

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1453215409

Category: Social Science

Page: 191

View: 9877

The most popularly read, adapted, anthologized, and incorporated primer on sociology ever written for modern readers Acclaimed scholar and sociologist Peter L. Berger lays the groundwork for a clear understanding of sociology in his straightforward introduction to the field, much loved by students, professors, and general readers. Berger aligns sociology in the humanist tradition—revealing its relationship to the humanities and philosophy—and establishes its importance in thinking critically about the modern world. Throughout, Berger presents the contributions of some of the most important sociologists of the time, including Max Weber, Émile Durkheim, Vilfredo Pareto, and Thorstein Veblen.