You are here

Mathematics Everywhere

Martin Aigner and Ehrhard Behrends, editors
American Mathematical Society
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
BLL Rating: 

The Basic Library List Committee suggests that undergraduate mathematics libraries consider this book for acquisition.

[Reviewed by
Charles Ashbacher
, on

Mathematicians are well aware that mathematics is used everywhere in our modern society. Nevertheless, this is one of those facts that need to be constantly reinforced in their minds, both as a point of emphasis and as a point of change. As computing and other technologies rapidly change, new examples of how mathematics is applied are born on a regular basis. If mathematicians are to do a good job in explaining to the masses how valuable math is, then it is necessary to be very up to date regarding the latest applications. One prime example of this is how mathematics is used in animation; nearly everyone will listen with interest when you describe the extent to which mathematical formulas are applied in making some of the latest movies.

This book is a collection of technical papers about applications of mathematics in the workings and events of society. Examples of applications include:

  • Compact discs
  • Images for surgery on humans
  • Creating and using materials with a “memory”
  • Mathematics in the financial markets
  • Creating and using electronic money 
  • Quantum computing
  • The Nash equilibrium in game theory
  • Climate change
  • Change and mathematics

Every mathematician should be an evangelist for their profession, constantly striving to make the public aware of how valuable mathematics is and why they should learn something about it. The modern world runs on mathematics. It provides a way to make things work better and more efficiently, which is one of the ways that economies can emerge from a recession. This necessary fervor is fueled by knowledge of the latest applications of mathematics, some of which is provided in great detail by this book.

Charles Ashbacher splits his time between consulting with industry in projects involving math and computers, teaching college classes and co-editing The Journal of Recreational Mathematics. In his spare time, he reads about these things and helps his daughter in her lawn care business.