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How to Free Your Inner MathematicianNotes on Mathematics and Life$
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Susan D'Agostino

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198843597

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843597.001.0001

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Look all around, as Archimedes did in life

Look all around, as Archimedes did in life

(p.59) 9 Look all around, as Archimedes did in life
How to Free Your Inner Mathematician

Susan D'Agostino

Oxford University Press

“Look all around, as Archimedes did in life” offers a range of tales about Archimedes doing mathematics in unusual places, including in the bathtub, under starry skies, and at the beach. Out in the world, he identified a method for computing the volume of an irregular shape, invented a parabolic death ray, explored properties of levers, and argued that a “very large number” is not the same as infinity. The discussion is illustrated with numerous hand-drawn sketches. Mathematics students and enthusiasts are encouraged draw inspiration from Archimedes by doing math wherever they are while going about their daily lives. At the chapter’s end, readers may check their understanding by working on a problem. A solution is provided.

Keywords:   Archimedes, bathtub, parabolic death ray, lever, infinity, math, student

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