Random House New Releases - Mathematics - Historyhttp://www.randomhouse.com/category/www.randomhouse.com2006-03-13T11:23:00-05:00Mathematics and the Real World by Zvi Artsteinwww.randomhouse.com<a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781616145460"><img align="right" src="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/catalog_cover.pperl?9781616145460" border="1"/></a><h3><a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781616145460">Mathematics and the Real World</a> The Remarkable Role of Evolution in the Making of Mathematics<br/><b>Written by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=224526">Zvi Artstein</a></h3><b>eBook</b> | Prometheus Books | Mathematics - History; Science - Evolution; Mathematics | <b>$12.99</b> | 978-1-61614-546-0 (1-61614-546-3)<p>In this accessible and illuminating study of how the science of mathematics developed, a veteran math researcher and educator looks at the ways in which our evolutionary makeup is both a help and a hindrance to the study of math.<br><br>Artstein chronicles the discovery of important mathematical connections between mathematics and the real world from ancient times to the present. The author then describes some of the contemporary applications of mathematics—in probability theory, in the study of human behavior, and in combination with computers, which give mathematics unprecedented power.<br><br>The author concludes with an insightful discussion of why mathematics, for most people, is so frustrating. He argues that the rigorous logical structure of math goes against the grain of our predisposed ways of thinking as shaped by evolution, presumably because the talent needed to cope with logical mathematics gave the human race as a whole no evolutionary advantage. With this in mind, he offers ways to overcome these innate impediments in the teaching of math.<br> </p><br clear="all">http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=97816161454602014-09-02T00:30:00-05:00Mathematics and the Real World by Zvi Artsteinwww.randomhouse.com<a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781616140915"><img align="right" src="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/catalog_cover.pperl?9781616140915" border="1"/></a><h3><a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781616140915">Mathematics and the Real World</a> The Remarkable Role of Evolution in the Making of Mathematics<br/><b>Written by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=224526">Zvi Artstein</a></h3><b>Hardcover</b>, 426 pages | Prometheus Books | Mathematics - History; Science - Evolution; Mathematics | <b>$26.00</b> | 978-1-61614-091-5 (1-61614-091-7)<p>In this accessible and illuminating study of how the science of mathematics developed, a veteran math researcher and educator looks at the ways in which our evolutionary makeup is both a help and a hindrance to the study of math.<br><br>Artstein chronicles the discovery of important mathematical connections between mathematics and the real world from ancient times to the present. The author then describes some of the contemporary applications of mathematics—in probability theory, in the study of human behavior, and in combination with computers, which give mathematics unprecedented power.<br><br>The author concludes with an insightful discussion of why mathematics, for most people, is so frustrating. He argues that the rigorous logical structure of math goes against the grain of our predisposed ways of thinking as shaped by evolution, presumably because the talent needed to cope with logical mathematics gave the human race as a whole no evolutionary advantage. With this in mind, he offers ways to overcome these innate impediments in the teaching of math.</p><br clear="all">http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=97816161409152014-09-02T00:30:00-05:00Math and the Mona Lisa by Bulent Atalaywww.randomhouse.com<a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781588344939"><img align="right" src="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/catalog_cover.pperl?9781588344939" border="1"/></a><h3><a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781588344939">Math and the Mona Lisa</a> The Art and Science of Leonardo da Vinci<br/><b>Written by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=124162">Bulent Atalay</a></h3><b>Trade Paperback</b>, 352 pages | Smithsonian Books | Art - History; Mathematics - History; Art - Individual Artist | <b>$15.95</b> | 978-1-58834-493-9 (1-58834-493-2)<p> Leonardo da Vinci was one of history's true geniuses, equally brilliant as an artist, scientist, and mathematician. Readers of <i>The Da Vinci Code</i> were given a glimpse of the mysterious connections between math, science, and Leonardo's art. <i>Math and the Mona Lisa</i> picks up where <i>The Da Vinci Code</i> left off, illuminating Leonardo's life and work to uncover connections that, until now, have been known only to scholars.<br><br> Bülent Atalay, a distinguished scientist and artist, examines the science and mathematics that underlie Leonardo's work, paying special attention to the proportions, patterns, shapes, and symmetries that scientists and mathematicians have also identified in nature. Following Leonardo's own unique model, Atalay searches for the internal dynamics of art and science, revealing to us the deep unity of the two cultures. He provides a broad overview of the development of science from the dawn of civilization to today's quantum mechanics. From this base of information, Atalay offers a fascinating view into Leonardo's restless intellect and modus operandi, allowing us to see the source of his ideas and to appreciate his art from a new perspective.</p><br clear="all">http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=97815883449392014-07-29T00:30:00-05:00The Fractalist by Benoit Mandelbrotwww.randomhouse.com<a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307389916"><img align="right" src="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/catalog_cover.pperl?9780307389916" border="1"/></a><h3><a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307389916">The Fractalist</a> Memoir of a Scientific Maverick<br/><b>Written by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=83832">Benoit Mandelbrot</a></h3><b>Trade Paperback</b>, 352 pages | Vintage | Biography & Autobiography; Mathematics - History | <b>$18.95</b> | 978-0-307-38991-6 (0-307-38991-X)<p><p>A fascinating memoir from the man who revitalized visual geometry, and whose ideas about fractals have changed how we look at both the natural world and the financial world.<br><br>Benoit Mandelbrot, the creator of fractal geometry, has significantly improved our understanding of, among other things, financial variability and erratic physical phenomena. In <i>The Fractalist,</i> Mandelbrot recounts the high points of his life with exuberance and an eloquent fluency, deepening our understanding of the evolution of his extraordinary mind. We begin with his early years: born in Warsaw in 1924 to a Lithuanian Jewish family, Mandelbrot moved with his family to Paris in the 1930s, where he was mentored by an eminent mathematician uncle. During World War II, as he stayed barely one step ahead of the Nazis until France was liberated, he studied geometry on his own and dreamed of using it to solve fresh, real-world problems. We observe his unusually broad education in Europe, and later at Caltech, Princeton, and MIT. We learn about his thirty-five-year affiliation with IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center and his association with Harvard and Yale. An outsider to mainstream scientific research, he managed to do what others had thought impossible: develop a new geometry that combines revelatory beauty with a radical way of unfolding formerly hidden laws governing utter roughness, turbulence, and chaos. <br><br><b>With full-color inserts and black-and-white photographs throughout.</b></p></p><br clear="all">http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=97803073899162014-01-14T00:30:00-05:00THE PHYSICISTS by Daniel J. Kevleswww.randomhouse.com<a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307831484"><img align="right" src="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/catalog_cover.pperl?9780307831484" border="1"/></a><h3><a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307831484">THE PHYSICISTS</a> <br/><b>Written by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=47173">Daniel J. Kevles</a></h3><b>eBook</b>, 512 pages | Knopf | Science - Physics; Science - History; Mathematics - History | <b>$15.99</b> | 978-0-307-83148-4 (0-307-83148-5)<p>This magnificent account of the coming of age of physics in America has been heralded as the best introduction to the history of science in the United States. Unsurpassed in its breadth and literary style, Kevles's account portrays the brilliant scientists who became a powerful force in bringing the world into a revolutionary new era. The book ranges widely as it links these exciting developments to the social, cultural, and political changes that occurred from the post-Civil War years to the present. Throughout, Kevles keeps his eye on the central question of how an avowedly elitist enterprise grew and prospered in a democratic culture. In this new edition, the author has brought the story up to date by providing an extensive, authoritative, and colorful account of the Superconducting Super Collider, from its origins in the international competition and intellectual needs of high-energy particle physics, through its establishment as a multibillion-dollar project, to its termination, in 1993, as a result of angry opposition within the American physics community and the Congress.</p><br clear="all">http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=97803078314842013-06-05T00:30:00-05:00The Fractalist by Benoit Mandelbrotwww.randomhouse.com<a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307378606"><img align="right" src="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/catalog_cover.pperl?9780307378606" border="1"/></a><h3><a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307378606">The Fractalist</a> Memoir of a Scientific Maverick<br/><b>Written by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=83832">Benoit Mandelbrot</a></h3><b>eBook</b>, 352 pages | Vintage | Biography & Autobiography - Science & Technology; Mathematics - History; Mathematics - Geometry - Non-Euclidean | <b>$11.99</b> | 978-0-307-37860-6 (0-307-37860-8)<p><p>A fascinating memoir from the man who revitalized visual geometry, and whose ideas about fractals have changed how we look at both the natural world and the financial world.<br><br>Benoit Mandelbrot, the creator of fractal geometry, has significantly improved our understanding of, among other things, financial variability and erratic physical phenomena. In <i>The Fractalist,</i> Mandelbrot recounts the high points of his life with exuberance and an eloquent fluency, deepening our understanding of the evolution of his extraordinary mind. We begin with his early years: born in Warsaw in 1924 to a Lithuanian Jewish family, Mandelbrot moved with his family to Paris in the 1930s, where he was mentored by an eminent mathematician uncle. During World War II, as he stayed barely one step ahead of the Nazis until France was liberated, he studied geometry on his own and dreamed of using it to solve fresh, real-world problems. We observe his unusually broad education in Europe, and later at Caltech, Princeton, and MIT. We learn about his thirty-five-year affiliation with IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center and his association with Harvard and Yale. An outsider to mainstream scientific research, he managed to do what others had thought impossible: develop a new geometry that combines revelatory beauty with a radical way of unfolding formerly hidden laws governing utter roughness, turbulence, and chaos. <br><br>Here is a remarkable story of both the man’s life and his unparalleled contributions to science, mathematics, and the arts.</p></p><br clear="all">http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=97803073786062012-10-30T00:30:00-05:00Math and the Mona Lisa by Bulent Atalaywww.randomhouse.com<a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781588343536"><img align="right" src="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/catalog_cover.pperl?9781588343536" border="1"/></a><h3><a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781588343536">Math and the Mona Lisa</a> The Art and Science of Leonardo da Vinci<br/><b>Written by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=124162">Bulent Atalay</a></h3><b>eBook</b>, 352 pages | Smithsonian Books | Art - History; Mathematics - History; Art - Individual Artist | <b>$12.99</b> | 978-1-58834-353-6 (1-58834-353-7)<p> Leonardo da Vinci was one of history's true geniuses, equally brilliant as an artist, scientist, and mathematician. Readers of <i>The Da Vinci Code</i> were given a glimpse of the mysterious connections between math, science, and Leonardo's art. <i>Math and the Mona Lisa</i> picks up where <i>The Da Vinci Code</i> left off, illuminating Leonardo's life and work to uncover connections that, until now, have been known only to scholars.<br><br> Bülent Atalay, a distinguished scientist and artist, examines the science and mathematics that underlie Leonardo's work, paying special attention to the proportions, patterns, shapes, and symmetries that scientists and mathematicians have also identified in nature. Following Leonardo's own unique model, Atalay searches for the internal dynamics of art and science, revealing to us the deep unity of the two cultures. He provides a broad overview of the development of science from the dawn of civilization to today's quantum mechanics. From this base of information, Atalay offers a fascinating view into Leonardo's restless intellect and modus operandi, allowing us to see the source of his ideas and to appreciate his art from a new perspective.</p><br clear="all">http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=97815883435362011-09-20T00:30:00-05:00Infinite Ascent by David Berlinskiwww.randomhouse.com<a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307778178"><img align="right" src="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/catalog_cover.pperl?9780307778178" border="1"/></a><h3><a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307778178">Infinite Ascent</a> A Short History of Mathematics<br/><b>Written by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=2112">David Berlinski</a></h3><b>eBook</b>, 224 pages | Modern Library | Mathematics - History | <b>$9.99</b> | 978-0-307-77817-8 (0-307-77817-7)<p>In <b>Infinite Ascent</b>, David Berlinski, the acclaimed author of <i>The Advent of the Algorithm, A Tour of the Calculus</i>, and <i>Newton’s Gift</i>, tells the story of mathematics, bringing to life with wit, elegance, and deep insight a 2,500-year-long intellectual adventure.<br><br>Berlinski focuses on the ten most important breakthroughs in mathematical history–and the men behind them. Here are Pythagoras, intoxicated by the mystical significance of numbers; Euclid, who gave the world the very idea of a proof; Leibniz and Newton, co-discoverers of the calculus; Cantor, master of the infinite; and Gödel, who in one magnificent proof placed everything in doubt.<br> <br>The elaboration of mathematical knowledge has meant nothing less than the unfolding of human consciousness itself. With his unmatched ability to make abstract ideas concrete and approachable, Berlinski both tells an engrossing tale and introduces us to the full power of what surely ranks as one of the greatest of all human endeavors.<br><br><br><i>From the Hardcover edition.</i></p><br clear="all">http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=97803077781782011-08-17T00:30:00-05:00The Babylonian Theorem by Peter S. Rudmanwww.randomhouse.com<a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781591027737"><img align="right" src="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/catalog_cover.pperl?9781591027737" border="1"/></a><h3><a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781591027737">The Babylonian Theorem</a> The Mathematical Journey to Pythagoras and Euclid<br/><b>Written by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=180291">Peter S. Rudman</a></h3><b>Hardcover</b>, 248 pages | Prometheus Books | Mathematics - History; Mathematics - Geometry - Algebraic | <b>$26.00</b> | 978-1-59102-773-7 (1-59102-773-X)<p>In this sequel to his award-winning How Mathematics Happened, physicist Peter S. Rudman explores the history of mathematics among the Babylonians and Egyptians, showing how their scribes in the era from 2000 to 1600 BCE used visualizations of how plane geometric figures could be partitioned into squares, rectangles, and right triangles to invent geometric algebra, even solving problems that we now do by quadratic algebra. Using illustrations adapted from both Babylonian cuneiform tablets and Egyptian hieroglyphic texts, Rudman traces the evolution of mathematics from the metric geometric algebra of Babylon and Egypt—which used numeric quantities on diagrams as a means to work out problems—to the nonmetric geometric algebra of Euclid (ca. 300 BCE). Thus, Rudman traces the evolution of calculations of square roots from Egypt and Babylon to India, and then to Pythagoras, Archimedes, and Ptolemy. Surprisingly, the best calculation was by a Babylonian scribe who calculated the square root of two to seven decimal-digit precision. Rudman provocatively asks, and then interestingly conjectures, why such a precise calculation was made in a mud-brick culture. From his analysis of Babylonian geometric algebra, Rudman formulates a "Babylonian Theorem", which he shows was used to derive the Pythagorean Theorem, about a millennium before its purported discovery by Pythagoras.<br>He also concludes that what enabled the Greek mathematicians to surpass their predecessors was the insertion of alphabetic notation onto geometric figures. Such symbolic notation was natural for users of an alphabetic language, but was impossible for the Babylonians and Egyptians, whose writing systems (cuneiform and hieroglyphics, respectively) were not alphabetic. Rudman intersperses his discussions of early math conundrums and solutions with "Fun Questions" for those who enjoy recreational math and wish to test their understanding. The Babylonian Theorem is a masterful, fascinating, and entertaining book, which will interest both math enthusiasts and students of history.</p><br clear="all">http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=97815910277372010-01-26T00:30:00-05:00Infinite Ascent by David Berlinskiwww.randomhouse.com<a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780812978711"><img align="right" src="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/catalog_cover.pperl?9780812978711" border="1"/></a><h3><a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780812978711">Infinite Ascent</a> A Short History of Mathematics<br/><b>Written by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=2112">David Berlinski</a></h3><b>Trade Paperback</b>, 224 pages | Modern Library | Mathematics - History | <b>$14.00</b> | 978-0-8129-7871-1 (0-8129-7871-4)<p>In <b>Infinite Ascent</b>, David Berlinski, the acclaimed author of <i>The Advent of the Algorithm, A Tour of the Calculus</i>, and <i>Newton’s Gift</i>, tells the story of mathematics, bringing to life with wit, elegance, and deep insight a 2,500-year-long intellectual adventure.<br><br>Berlinski focuses on the ten most important breakthroughs in mathematical history–and the men behind them. Here are Pythagoras, intoxicated by the mystical significance of numbers; Euclid, who gave the world the very idea of a proof; Leibniz and Newton, co-discoverers of the calculus; Cantor, master of the infinite; and Gödel, who in one magnificent proof placed everything in doubt.<br> <br>The elaboration of mathematical knowledge has meant nothing less than the unfolding of human consciousness itself. With his unmatched ability to make abstract ideas concrete and approachable, Berlinski both tells an engrossing tale and introduces us to the full power of what surely ranks as one of the greatest of all human endeavors.<br><br><br><i>From the Hardcover edition.</i></p><br clear="all">http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=97808129787112008-01-08T00:30:00-05:00How Mathematics Happened by Peter S. Rudmanwww.randomhouse.com<a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781591024774"><img align="right" src="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/catalog_cover.pperl?9781591024774" border="1"/></a><h3><a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781591024774">How Mathematics Happened</a> The First 50,000 Years<br/><b>Written by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=180291">Peter S. Rudman</a></h3><b>Hardcover</b>, 291 pages | Prometheus Books | Mathematics - History | <b>$26.99</b> | 978-1-59102-477-4 (1-59102-477-3)<p>In this fascinating discussion of ancient mathematics, author Peter Rudman does not just chronicle the archeological record of what mathematics was done; he digs deeper into the more important question of why it was done in a particular way. Why did the Egyptians use a bizarre method of expressing fractions? Why did the Babylonians use an awkward number system based on multiples of 60? Rudman answers such intriguing questions, arguing that some mathematical thinking is universal and timeless. The similarity of the Babylonian and Mayan number systems, two cultures widely separated in time and space, illustrates the argument. He then traces the evolution of number systems from finger counting in hunter-gatherer cultures to pebble counting in herder-farmer cultures of the Nile and Tigris-Euphrates valleys, which defined the number systems that continued to be used even after the invention of writing. <br>With separate chapters devoted to the remarkable Egyptian and Babylonian mathematics of the era from about 3500 to 2000 BCE, when all of the basic arithmetic operations and even quadratic algebra became doable, Rudman concludes his interpretation of the archeological record. Since some of the mathematics formerly credited to the Greeks is now known to be a prior Babylonian invention, Rudman adds a chapter that discusses the math used by Pythagoras, Eratosthenes, and Hippasus, which has Babylonian roots, illustrating the watershed difference in abstraction and rigor that the Greeks introduced. He also suggests that we might improve present-day teaching by taking note of how the Greeks taught math. <br>Complete with sidebars offering recreational math brainteasers, this engrossing discussion of the evolution of mathematics will appeal to both scholars and lay readers with an interest in mathematics and its history.</p><br clear="all">http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=97815910247742006-10-02T00:30:00-05:00Pi by Herbert A. Hauptmanwww.randomhouse.com<a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781591022008"><img align="right" src="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/catalog_cover.pperl?9781591022008" border="1"/></a><h3><a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781591022008">Pi</a> A Biography of the World's Most Mysterious Number<br/><b>Written by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=178310">Alfred S. Posamentier</a> and <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=178311">Ingmar Lehmann</a><br> <b>Afterword by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=180210">Herbert A. Hauptman</a></h3><b>Hardcover</b>, 324 pages | Prometheus Books | Mathematics - History | <b>$28.99</b> | 978-1-59102-200-8 (1-59102-200-2)<p>We all learned that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is called pi and that the value of this algebraic symbol is roughly 3.14. What we weren't told, though, is that behind this seemingly mundane fact is a world of mystery, which has fascinated mathematicians from ancient times to the present. Simply put, pi is weird. Mathematicians call it a "transcendental number" because its value cannot be calculated by any combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and square root extraction. <br><br>In this delightful layperson's introduction to one of math's most interesting phenomena, Drs. Posamentier and Lehmann review pi's history from prebiblical times to the 21st century, the many amusing and mind-boggling ways of estimating pi over the centuries, quirky examples of obsessing about pi (including an attempt to legislate its exact value), and useful applications of pi in everyday life, including statistics.<br><br>This enlightening and stimulating approach to mathematics will entertain lay readers while improving their mathematical literacy.</p><br clear="all">http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=97815910220082004-08-31T00:30:00-05:00Fermat's Enigma by John Lynchwww.randomhouse.com<a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385493628"><img align="right" src="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/catalog_cover.pperl?9780385493628" border="1"/></a><h3><a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385493628">Fermat's Enigma</a> The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem<br/><b>Written by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=28578">Simon Singh</a><br> <b>Foreword by</b> <a href="http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=45540">John Lynch</a></h3><b>Trade Paperback</b>, 336 pages | Anchor | Mathematics - History | <b>$16.95</b> | 978-0-385-49362-8 (0-385-49362-2)<p>xn + yn = zn, where n represents 3, 4, 5, ...no solution<br><br>"I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain."<br><br>With these words, the seventeenth-century French mathematician Pierre de Fermat threw down the gauntlet to future generations.  What came to be known as Fermat's Last Theorem looked simple; proving it, however, became the Holy Grail of mathematics, baffling its finest minds for more than 350 years.  In <i>Fermat's Enigma</i>--based on the author's award-winning documentary film, which aired on PBS's "Nova"--Simon Singh tells the astonishingly entertaining story of the pursuit of that grail, and the lives that were devoted to, sacrificed for, and saved by it.  Here is a mesmerizing tale of heartbreak and mastery that will forever change your feelings about mathematics.</p><br clear="all">http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=97803854936281998-09-08T00:30:00-05:00