Mar 13, 2006
Picture math class without those confusing sines, cosines, and tangents. Picture an architect working out the surface area of various building structures without having to work through a range of degrees. In short, how much simpler trigonometry would be if we could remove the complicated bits and distil it down to crystal clear calculations.
University of New South Wales mathematician Norman Wildberger has done just that and espouses the theory that a rational, algebraic approach to trigonometry could open the way to a universal geometry. His is a revolutionary text, essentially overwriting centuries of tedium with a crisp new approach that is bound to raise hackles among conventionalists. However, Wildberger is not discarding the foundations of mathematics, instead he is constructing an architecturally sound new geometry that unites number theory and algebra and simplifies many geometrical problems.
In “Divine Proportions”, Wildberger (an alumnus of Toronto and Yale) clearly lays out the required definitions and theorems and illustrates tehm with useful formulae, diagrams and exercises.
If you’re a professional mathematicia, scientist, engineer, or a student who wants a different take on their studies, this book could change your understanding of mathematics.