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Arithmetic

de Paul Lockhart

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Educator Paul Lockhart's goal is to demystify arithmetic: to bring the subject to life in a fun and accessible way, and to reveal its profound and simple beauty, as seen through the eyes of a modern research mathematician. The craft of arithmetic arises from our natural desire to count, arrange, and compare quantities. Over the centuries, humans have devised a wide variety of strategies for representing and manipulating numerical information: tally marks, rocks and beads, marked-value and place-value systems, as well as mechanical and electronic calculators. Arithmetic traces the history and development of these various number languages and calculating devices and examines their comparative advantages and disadvantages, providing readers with an opportunity to develop not only their computational skills but also their own personal tastes and preferences. The book is neither a training manual nor an authoritative history, but rather an entertaining survey of ideas and methods for the reader to enjoy and appreciate. Written in a lively conversational style, Arithmetic is a fun and engaging introduction to both practical techniques as well as the more abstract mathematical aspects of the subject.--… (més)
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I really loved the early sections and exercises on different counting systems. There was something exciting about seeing the pros and cons of each and learning to translate between them without going through base 10 Arabic numerals. I stayed interested through the basic arithmetic operations, but really lost interest as he went off into combinatorics and probability— I no longer felt I was learning or stretching my brain. ( )
  AmphipodGirl | May 23, 2021 |
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Educator Paul Lockhart's goal is to demystify arithmetic: to bring the subject to life in a fun and accessible way, and to reveal its profound and simple beauty, as seen through the eyes of a modern research mathematician. The craft of arithmetic arises from our natural desire to count, arrange, and compare quantities. Over the centuries, humans have devised a wide variety of strategies for representing and manipulating numerical information: tally marks, rocks and beads, marked-value and place-value systems, as well as mechanical and electronic calculators. Arithmetic traces the history and development of these various number languages and calculating devices and examines their comparative advantages and disadvantages, providing readers with an opportunity to develop not only their computational skills but also their own personal tastes and preferences. The book is neither a training manual nor an authoritative history, but rather an entertaining survey of ideas and methods for the reader to enjoy and appreciate. Written in a lively conversational style, Arithmetic is a fun and engaging introduction to both practical techniques as well as the more abstract mathematical aspects of the subject.--

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