Despite occasional nuggets of intrigue, wildly uneven and simply too disorganized to hold much interest or credibility.

DNA of Mathematics

Debut author Basti, a mathematician, explains the wide-ranging significance of Riccati differential equations frequently used in studies of motion in physics and engineering.

The focus of Basti’s research, and thus his professional life, are Riccati differential equations. Having studied this class of equations, among others, Basti is of the opinion that Riccati equations are fundamental to mathematics and many other disciplines, and that a more developed understanding and theoretical structure regarding these equations would be of immense practical and intellectual benefit. As he explains in the opening chapters, he also believes that current modes of mathematical thought are insufficient to this challenge, as they are often rooted in assumptions and patterns that aren’t necessarily rigorous enough by his standards; a new mode of analysis is needed to revitalize such thought, he says. However, in attempting to tie various examples from multiple disciplines together to bolster his thesis, Basti winds up following too many threads and creating a narrative that lurches from one topic to another. Entire chapters are devoted to films, historical trivia, music, the role of Jews in modern science and their historical mistreatment, without serious attempts to tie together these disparate elements or show how they relate to other chapters on economics or engineering, where there are at least superficial reasons why his work might apply. Even when Basti gets to discussing the fundamentals of his work, which takes up the bulk of the book’s second half, he digresses into ruminations on God, the idea of an expanding vs. a static universe, and relativity. Furthermore, frequent digressions betray both a lack of organization and a limited understanding of the theories on which he comments, which he admits to on occasion, as with his remarks concerning the uncertainty principle: “I do not have the laboratory experience in physics to be able to better understand the uncertainty principle.”

Despite occasional nuggets of intrigue, wildly uneven and simply too disorganized to hold much interest or credibility.

Pub Date: Nov. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4602-3956-8

Page Count: 280

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2015

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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