The Mathematical Explorer: New Product for the
Mathematically Curious
August 20, 2001Have you ever wondered how the scanner at your grocery
store knows when it
hasn't scanned a UPC number correctly? Can you imagine a curve that visits
every single point in a square? Are you aware of the mathematical basis
behind cryptography? Given the wide applicability of mathematics to
everyday phenomena, it's not surprising that recreational mathematics and
puzzle solving have gained such a large following over the ages,
reportedly including notables such as Abraham Lincoln, Alan Greenspan,
Penn and Teller, and nowfamous mathematicians such as 17thcentury lawyer
Pierre de Fermat. Retrace their computational footsteps with The
Mathematical Explorer.
Stan Wagon, awardwinning author, math educator, snow sculptor, and
squarewheeled bicyclist, has teamed up with mathematical software experts
at Wolfram Research, Inc. to create a unique set of explorations for
investigating some of the most fascinating topics in mathematics. More
than just an electronic textbook, The Mathematical Explorer is part
guide,
part calculator, part museum, part textbookand completely fun.
Based on Mathematica technology, The Mathematical Explorer
mixes text,
graphics, and formulas in a friendly, easytouse interface that is
completely interactive, making you a participant and not just a spectator
to mathematical ideas. It invites users to explore many interesting
questions about both physical and abstract phenomena and to gain insight
by computation and visualization.
The Mathematical Explorer covers a wide range of topics from Escher
patterns and square wheels to Fermat's Last Theorem and the Riemann
Hypothesis. Some of these subjects date back to the ancient Greeks, while
others touch on the newest fields within mathematics. Every section comes
with a historical introduction, biographies of relevant mathematicians,
questions and answers, notes, and references for further exploration.
"The visual design is excellent. The Mathematical Explorer gives an
exciting look at the material with a good balance between detail and
comprehension," says Scott Kim, of print and online Puzzle Master fame.
"It even includes several currently unsolved problems for which cash
prizes have been offered. Everyone from high school students to
professional mathematiciansreally, anyone with a curiosity about math
and
its applicationswill find something in it of interest."
The Mathematical Explorer
is
available for Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000. Visit The
Mathematical Explorer web
site to find more
information or to explore online.

