Mathematics

How to Predict Everything

Physicist J. Richard Gott of Princeton published a provocative article in Nature back in 1993, that described a simple method for the estimation of the likely lifetime of "things" on the basis solely of the length of their existence to date.

Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative

This is the third volume in a series by Edward Tufte (the others are "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information", and "Envisioning Information"). All three are beautifully crafted books that are a delight to read and to handle. The most recent one brings the reader's attention to the use of graphics, narrative, and numbers to convey motion, process, mechanism, cause and effect.

The Computer Delusion

Most of the chemistry professors and teachers with whom I am acquainted are fairly pleased with the national trend toward putting more computers in school, college, and university classrooms.

Digital Diffraction

I've always thought that optical transforms were a great model for the determination of crystal structures using X-ray diffraction, and I've used the ICE (Institute for Chemical Education) kit for this exercise many times.

A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

John Allen Paulos is author of another book that you may have read or heard about, "Innumeracy", in which he describes the decline in the ability of Americans to perform simple mathematics, even arithmetic. In "A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper", he provides some of the reasons why mathematics is important to everyday life.