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The Best Writing on Mathematics 2012

Every year, Princeton University Press gathers together a small anthology of the best writing on mathematics from the past 12 months.

The Best Writing on Mathematics 2012 was released last week. Now that Princeton’s web servers have been dried out after Hurricane Sandy’s visit, I can give you its blurb:

This annual anthology brings together the year’s finest mathematics writing from around the world. Featuring promising new voices alongside some of the foremost names in the field, The Best Writing on Mathematics 2012 makes available to a wide audience many articles not easily found anywhere else–and you don’t need to be a mathematician to enjoy them. These writings offer surprising insights into the nature, meaning, and practice of mathematics today. They delve into the history, philosophy, teaching, and everyday occurrences of math, and take readers behind the scenes of today’s hottest mathematical debates. Here Robert Lang explains mathematical aspects of origami foldings; Terence Tao discusses the frequency and distribution of the prime numbers; Timothy Gowers and Mario Livio ponder whether mathematics is invented or discovered; Brian Hayes describes what is special about a ball in five dimensions; Mark Colyvan glosses on the mathematics of dating; and much, much more.

The “much, much more” alluded to above includes our very own Peter Rowlett’s collection of essays “The unplanned impact of mathematics”, which was published in Nature last year. And at only £13.95, just £1.95 more than what Nature is asking for Peter’s article alone, The Best Writing on Mathematics 2012 is a steal.

The Best Writing on Mathematics 2012 at Princeton University Press. $19.95/£13.95 in paperback or ebook.

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