Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite ...
wall. Just how calculus makes these things possible and in doing so finds a correspondence between real numbers and the real world is the subject of this dazzling book by a writer of extraordinary clarity and stylistic brio. Even as he initiates us into the mysteries of real numbers, functions, and limits, Berlinski explores the furthest implications of his subject, revealing how the calculus reconciles the precision of numbers with the fluidity of the changing universe.
"An odd and tantalizing book by a writer who takes immense pleasure in this great mathematical tool, and tries to create it in others."--New York Times Book Review
I picked up this book in hope to get some new ideas to present a Calculus course for liberal art students, which are often students that do not appreciate mathematics. Perhaps a humanities student would like this book more than I did. Calculus is aI picked up this book in hope to get some new ideas to present a Calculus course for liberal art students, which are often students that do not appreciate mathematics. Perhaps a humanities student would like this book more than I did. Calculus is a wonderful subject, a milestone of human thought, and clearly the author agrees with me here. However, I was bored stiff by the exceedingly flowery prose. Such a style is, in my opinion, a big hurdle to the understanding of the subject. For these reasons I would have assigned only one star to this book. In the end I decided to give two stars for two reasons: first, the subject matter is still well worthy the effort of reading the book, second, and more important, I realize that it might be just my professional habit as a mathematician to use only meaningful words, carefully selected to convey a precise meaning: no more no less, that makes me hate his writing style so much. Perhaps, however, liberal art students would find it more congenial and maybe even attractive. With this doubt I gave it two stars....Continua Nascondi