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The Art of the Infinite

The Pleasures of Mathematics

Robert Kaplan & Ellen Kaplan

Bloomsbury Press

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ISBN10: 1608198693
ISBN13: 9781608198696


416 Pages



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The Art of the Infinite takes infinity, in its countless guises, as a touchstone for understanding mathematical thinking. Robert and Ellen Kaplan guide us through the "Republic of Numbers," where we meet both its upstanding citizens and its more shadowy dwellers; and transport us across the plane of geometry into the unlikely realm where parallel lines meet. The journey is enriched by deft character studies of great mathematicians (and equally colorful lesser ones). And as we go deeper into infinity, we explore the most profound mystery of mathematics: Are its principles eternal truths that we discover? Or ones that we invent?


Praise for The Art of the Infinite

"Anyone interested in a serious introduction to mathematics will delight in this volume."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Both imaginative and diverting . . . The Kaplans want us to appreciate mathematics as . . . an art which involves invention, narrative, and an inexhaustible pursuit of variations on themes."—London Review of Books

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Robert Kaplan & Ellen Kaplan

Robert and Ellen Kaplan have taught subjects ranging from Sanskrit through mathematics to philosophy and history, and founded The Math Circle in 1994. Robert Kaplan is the author of the bestselling The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero. Ellen Kaplan is coauthor, with their son Michael, of Chances Are . . . and Bozo Sapiens, written with their son Michael. Together, Robert and Ellen are the authors of Out of the Labyrinth. Their website is