Four Colors Suffice: How the Map Problem Was Solved (Princeton Science Library)

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9780691158228: Four Colors Suffice: How the Map Problem Was Solved (Princeton Science Library)

On October 23, 1852, Professor Augustus De Morgan wrote a letter to a colleague, unaware that he was launching one of the most famous mathematical conundrums in history--one that would confound thousands of puzzlers for more than a century. This is the amazing story of how the "map problem" was solved.


The problem posed in the letter came from a former student: What is the least possible number of colors needed to fill in any map (real or invented) so that neighboring counties are always colored differently? This deceptively simple question was of minimal interest to cartographers, who saw little need to limit how many colors they used. But the problem set off a frenzy among professional mathematicians and amateur problem solvers, among them Lewis Carroll, an astronomer, a botanist, an obsessive golfer, the Bishop of London, a man who set his watch only once a year, a California traffic cop, and a bridegroom who spent his honeymoon coloring maps. In their pursuit of the solution, mathematicians painted maps on doughnuts and horseshoes and played with patterned soccer balls and the great rhombicuboctahedron.


It would be more than one hundred years (and countless colored maps) later before the result was finally established. Even then, difficult questions remained, and the intricate solution--which involved no fewer than 1,200 hours of computer time--was greeted with as much dismay as enthusiasm.


Providing a clear and elegant explanation of the problem and the proof, Robin Wilson tells how a seemingly innocuous question baffled great minds and stimulated exciting mathematics with far-flung applications. This is the entertaining story of those who failed to prove, and those who ultimately did prove, that four colors do indeed suffice to color any map.


This new edition features many color illustrations. It also includes a new foreword by Ian Stewart on the importance of the map problem and how it was solved.

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From the Back Cover:

"I loved Robin Wilson's book on the four color problem, because it gives the history as well as the arguments. The history is presented so entertainingly, and the arguments so lucidly, that I'm sure the book will find a large audience, and delight any audience as much as it did me."--John Conway

"An intriguing historical account of one of the most baffling enigmas in mathematics: the Four Color Theorem. Robin Wilson provides fascinating insights into how mathematicians think, and shows that questions that are simple to ask may not be simple to answer."--Ian Stewart

"Robin Wilson has combined a complete history of the approach that led to the solution of the four color problem with a description of the techniques involved that can be read with pleasure and comprehension by undergraduates as well as professional mathematicians."--Kenneth Appel, University of New Hampshire

About the Author:

Robin Wilson is emeritus professor of pure mathematics at the Open University and emeritus professor of geometry at Gresham College, London. He has written and edited many books on topics ranging from graph theory and combinatorics, via sudoku, philately, and the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, to the history of mathematics. He is currently president of the British Society for the History of Mathematics.

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Descripción Princeton University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On October 23, 1852, Professor Augustus De Morgan wrote a letter to a colleague, unaware that he was launching one of the most famous mathematical conundrums in history--one that would confound thousands of puzzlers for more than a century. This is the amazing story of how the map problem was solved. The problem posed in the letter came from a former student: What is the least possible number of colors needed to fill in any map (real or invented) so that neighboring counties are always colored differently? This deceptively simple question was of minimal interest to cartographers, who saw little need to limit how many colors they used. But the problem set off a frenzy among professional mathematicians and amateur problem solvers, among them Lewis Carroll, an astronomer, a botanist, an obsessive golfer, the Bishop of London, a man who set his watch only once a year, a California traffic cop, and a bridegroom who spent his honeymoon coloring maps. In their pursuit of the solution, mathematicians painted maps on doughnuts and horseshoes and played with patterned soccer balls and the great rhombicuboctahedron. It would be more than one hundred years (and countless colored maps) later before the result was finally established. Even then, difficult questions remained, and the intricate solution--which involved no fewer than 1,200 hours of computer time--was greeted with as much dismay as enthusiasm. Providing a clear and elegant explanation of the problem and the proof, Robin Wilson tells how a seemingly innocuous question baffled great minds and stimulated exciting mathematics with far-flung applications. This is the entertaining story of those who failed to prove, and those who ultimately did prove, that four colors do indeed suffice to color any map. This new edition features many color illustrations. It also includes a new foreword by Ian Stewart on the importance of the map problem and how it was solved. Revised Color edition with a New foreword by Ian Stewart. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780691158228

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Descripción Princeton University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On October 23, 1852, Professor Augustus De Morgan wrote a letter to a colleague, unaware that he was launching one of the most famous mathematical conundrums in history--one that would confound thousands of puzzlers for more than a century. This is the amazing story of how the map problem was solved. The problem posed in the letter came from a former student: What is the least possible number of colors needed to fill in any map (real or invented) so that neighboring counties are always colored differently? This deceptively simple question was of minimal interest to cartographers, who saw little need to limit how many colors they used. But the problem set off a frenzy among professional mathematicians and amateur problem solvers, among them Lewis Carroll, an astronomer, a botanist, an obsessive golfer, the Bishop of London, a man who set his watch only once a year, a California traffic cop, and a bridegroom who spent his honeymoon coloring maps. In their pursuit of the solution, mathematicians painted maps on doughnuts and horseshoes and played with patterned soccer balls and the great rhombicuboctahedron. It would be more than one hundred years (and countless colored maps) later before the result was finally established. Even then, difficult questions remained, and the intricate solution--which involved no fewer than 1,200 hours of computer time--was greeted with as much dismay as enthusiasm. Providing a clear and elegant explanation of the problem and the proof, Robin Wilson tells how a seemingly innocuous question baffled great minds and stimulated exciting mathematics with far-flung applications. This is the entertaining story of those who failed to prove, and those who ultimately did prove, that four colors do indeed suffice to color any map. This new edition features many color illustrations. It also includes a new foreword by Ian Stewart on the importance of the map problem and how it was solved. Revised Color edition with a New foreword by Ian Stewart. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780691158228

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Descripción Princeton University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. On October 23, 1852, Professor Augustus De Morgan wrote a letter to a colleague, unaware that he was launching one of the most famous mathematical conundrums in history--one that would confound thousands of puzzlers for more than a century. This is the amazing story of how the map problem was solved. The problem posed in the letter came from a former student: What is the least possible number of colors needed to fill in any map (real or invented) so that neighboring counties are always colored differently? This deceptively simple question was of minimal interest to cartographers, who saw little need to limit how many colors they used. But the problem set off a frenzy among professional mathematicians and amateur problem solvers, among them Lewis Carroll, an astronomer, a botanist, an obsessive golfer, the Bishop of London, a man who set his watch only once a year, a California traffic cop, and a bridegroom who spent his honeymoon coloring maps. In their pursuit of the solution, mathematicians painted maps on doughnuts and horseshoes and played with patterned soccer balls and the great rhombicuboctahedron. It would be more than one hundred years (and countless colored maps) later before the result was finally established. Even then, difficult questions remained, and the intricate solution--which involved no fewer than 1,200 hours of computer time--was greeted with as much dismay as enthusiasm. Providing a clear and elegant explanation of the problem and the proof, Robin Wilson tells how a seemingly innocuous question baffled great minds and stimulated exciting mathematics with far-flung applications. This is the entertaining story of those who failed to prove, and those who ultimately did prove, that four colors do indeed suffice to color any map. This new edition features many color illustrations. It also includes a new foreword by Ian Stewart on the importance of the map problem and how it was solved. Revised Color edition with a New foreword by Ian Stewart. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780691158228

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Descripción Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Revised color ed. Paperback. On October 23, 1852, Professor Augustus De Morgan wrote a letter to a colleague, unaware that he was launching one of the most famous mathematical conundrums in history--one that would con.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 224 pages. 0.386. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780691158228

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Descripción Princeton University Press. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 224 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.1in. x 0.5in.On October 23, 1852, Professor Augustus De Morgan wrote a letter to a colleague, unaware that he was launching one of the most famous mathematical conundrums in history--one that would confound thousands of puzzlers for more than a century. This is the amazing story of how the map problem was solved. The problem posed in the letter came from a former student: What is the least possible number of colors needed to fill in any map (real or invented) so that neighboring counties are always colored differently This deceptively simple question was of minimal interest to cartographers, who saw little need to limit how many colors they used. But the problem set off a frenzy among professional mathematicians and amateur problem solvers, among them Lewis Carroll, an astronomer, a botanist, an obsessive golfer, the Bishop of London, a man who set his watch only once a year, a California traffic cop, and a bridegroom who spent his honeymoon coloring maps. In their pursuit of the solution, mathematicians painted maps on doughnuts and horseshoes and played with patterned soccer balls and the great rhombicuboctahedron. It would be more than one hundred years (and countless colored maps) later before the result was finally established. Even then, difficult questions remained, and the intricate solution--which involved no fewer than 1, 200 hours of computer time--was greeted with as much dismay as enthusiasm. Providing a clear and elegant explanation of the problem and the proof, Robin Wilson tells how a seemingly innocuous question baffled great minds and stimulated exciting mathematics with far-flung applications. This is the entertaining story of those who failed to prove, and those who ultimately did prove, that four colors do indeed suffice to color any map. This new edition features many color illustrations. It also includes a new foreword by Ian Stewart on the importance of the map problem and how it was solved. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780691158228

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Descripción Princeton University Press. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780691158228

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Descripción Princeton University Press 2013-12-03, Princeton, 2013. paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780691158228

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Descripción Princeton University Press, 2013. Estado de conservación: New. On October 23, 1852, Professor Augustus De Morgan wrote a letter to a colleague, unaware that he was launching one of the most famous mathematical conundrums in history - one that would confound thousands of puzzlers for more than a century. This book tells the amazing story of how the "map problem" was solved. Series: Princeton Science Library. Num Pages: 224 pages, 87 color illus. 18 halftones. 60 line illus. 2 maps. BIC Classification: PDZM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 234 x 157 x 10. Weight in Grams: 390. . 2013. Revised Color edition with a New foreword by Ian . Paperback. . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780691158228

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