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AuthorDavis, Philip J. author
TitleThe Thread [electronic resource] : A Mathematical Yarn / by Philip J. Davis
ImprintBoston, MA : Birkhรคuser Boston, 1983
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Descript XIV, 128 p. online resource


I. Tschebyscheff -- A book is born and a severe criticism is levelled at it. The famous Russian mathematician Tschebyscheff is introduced -- II. Cyril -- In which the author speculates on why it is hard to transliterate Russian words. His position on transliteration is made clear -- III. Watt -- How Wattโ{128}{153}s steam engine led to the discovery of a great mathematical theory, and how theory and practice are often miles apart -- IV. Lipkin -- How a brilliant young man from Lithuania was scooped by a captain in the French army. The author finds a startling connection between the young man and himself. -- V. Pafnuty -- In which the author is struck by a strange mania, leading him first to the Nicean Creed and later to Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall fame -- VI. Theodora -- How a cucumber slicer fanned the flames of the authorโ{128}{153}s mania, and he received a letter from the banks of the Nile at Aswan -- VII. Paphnutius -- Of the Desert Fathers, including a hippopotamus story and stories about Paphnutius, the Holy Man of God -- VIII. Thรคis -- In which the author speculates on the dialectical union of opposites, and how, in his mad pursuit, he is led to Hrotsvitha and to Oscar Wilde -- IX. Cadbury -- Always on Quest, the author travels to Tasmania. He eats custard at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, only to get his spelling criticized -- X. Yeti -- Airborne across the Eastern skies, the author, like jesting Pilate, wonders what truth is. He recalls several instances in which it is hard to know the truth -- XI. Lama Ted -- An incident in Rhode Island, involving prayer flags dropped from the Mount Hope Bridge, shows how the truth is elusive -- XII. Nadra -- In which the author meets an exilarch, encounters a wraparound motorcyclist, and spends the night in the Princess Room -- XIII. Herod -- The author, with head covered, stands at The Wailing Wall next to a black priest in a Roman collar. He ponders the nature of symbols -- XIV. Babnuda -- At Abu Nussarโ{128}{153}s Nite Club, the author finds the Rock Bottom Resolution of his problem -- XV. The Man on the Moon -- How Tschebyscheff got to the moon. Loose threads for future tales -- Epilogue

Mathematics History Mathematics History of Mathematical Sciences


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