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  • Book
  • © 2016

Nice Numbers

Birkhäuser

Authors:

  • Entertains, amuses and captivates with insights on the presence of numbers in daily life

  • Provides countless color illustrations

  • Explains the mathematics behind music

  • Includes a fascinating chapter on bell-ringing

  • Supplies a number of in-depth appendices on specific topics such as Rubik’s cube

  • Includes supplementary material: sn.pub/extras

Buying options

eBook USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-46831-0
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 69.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 69.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (19 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xiii
  2. Measures

    • John Barnes
    Pages 1-23
  3. Amicable Numbers

    • John Barnes
    Pages 25-42
  4. Probability

    • John Barnes
    Pages 43-67
  5. Fractions

    • John Barnes
    Pages 69-96
  6. Time

    • John Barnes
    Pages 97-114
  7. Notations

    • John Barnes
    Pages 115-135
  8. Bells

    • John Barnes
    Pages 137-160
  9. Primes

    • John Barnes
    Pages 161-177
  10. Music

    • John Barnes
    Pages 179-204
  11. Finale

    • John Barnes
    Pages 205-225
  12. Ackermann

    • John Barnes
    Pages 227-230
  13. Pascal’s Triangle

    • John Barnes
    Pages 231-237
  14. Stochastics

    • John Barnes
    Pages 239-244
  15. Polydivisibility

    • John Barnes
    Pages 245-248
  16. Groups

    • John Barnes
    Pages 249-263
  17. Rubik

    • John Barnes
    Pages 265-285
  18. Differences

    • John Barnes
    Pages 287-293
  19. Chinese Remainders

    • John Barnes
    Pages 295-302
  20. Mersenne

    • John Barnes
    Pages 303-323

About this book

In this intriguing book, John Barnes takes us on a journey through aspects of numbers much as he took us on a geometrical journey in Gems of Geometry. Similarly originating from a series of lectures for adult students at Reading and Oxford University, this book touches a variety of amusing and fascinating topics regarding numbers and their uses both ancient and modern. The author intrigues and challenges his audience with both fundamental number topics such as prime numbers and cryptography, and themes of daily needs and pleasures such as counting one's assets, keeping track of time, and enjoying music. Puzzles and exercises at the end of each lecture offer additional inspiration, and numerous illustrations accompany the reader. Furthermore, a number of appendices provides in-depth insights into diverse topics such as Pascal’s triangle, the Rubik cube, Mersenne’s curious keyboards, and many others. A theme running through is the thought of what is our favourite number.

Written in an engaging and witty style and requiring only basic school mathematical knowledge, this book will appeal to both young and mature readers fascinated by the curiosities of numbers.

Keywords

  • numbers
  • primes
  • cryptography
  • bellringing
  • music
  • calendar
  • probability
  • rubik cube
  • babylonian

Reviews

“Nice numbers delivers a multi-layered experience to readers of differing mathematical knowledge. … The versatility of this book means that it is suitable for anything between a few paragraphs' glance up to a serious level of study. Those of all mathematical abilities will be able to pick it up and find something that interests them and their level of engagement.” (Harry Gray, Plus, plus.maths.org, August, 2018)

“The lectures comprise the ten chapters of the book. … the book is suitable for any reader who can do high school level mathematics and has the interest and curiosity to follow Barnes on his wide-ranging explorations. Each chapter ends with suggestions for further reading; most chapters have some exercises for the reader to attempt … .” (Michael Caulfield, MAA Reviews, July, 2017)

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Barnes Informatics , Caversham, United Kingdom

    John Barnes

About the author

Dr Barnes' principal achievements have been in the area of computer programming language design. He designed the language RTL/2 whilst with ICI. This was widely used in the 1970s and 80s for process control in the UK, the Netherlands and South Africa. The first ticket barrier system on the London Underground was an early example. He was a member of the Ada language design teams. Ada is widely used in safety critical applications such as those found in defence systems generally, avionics, air traffic control and railroad signalling. He has published twelve books: RTL/2 Design and Philosophy (1976); Programming in Ada (1982); Programming in Ada 95 (1996); High Integrity Ada (1997); Ada 95 Rationale (1997); High Integrity Software (2003); Programming in Ada 2005 (2006); Ada 2005 Rationale (2008); Gems of Geometry (2009); SPARK (2012); Ada 2012 Rationale (2013); Programming in Ada 2012 (2014). "Programming in Ada" went through four editions and was translated into six languages. 

Dr Barnes has published many papers and given many lectures and tutorials on various aspects of programming. Although moving towards retirement he still gives occasional lectures including lectures for postgraduate courses. He has recently rediscovered an interest in mathematics and has given a number of popular courses at the Universities of Reading and Oxford as part of their Continuing Education programs; Gems of Geometry (now in a second edition) is based on one set of these courses.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-46831-0
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 69.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 69.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)