Book Study: Infinite Powers
Full course description
This course is designed as a self-paced book study. The course is designed so that it can be completed as a group or as an individual.
Some suggested formats for this book study:
- Math Departments: Use ~20 minutes of PLC time/month to discuss the chapters in sequence and then individually report your most interesting conversation pieces for the assignments!
- Personal Study: Independently study the book on your own time and reflect as you make progress through the chapters!
- Small Groups: Take the course with a friend--discuss and reflect as you read each chapter!
(continued description): Though many of us were scared away from this essential, engrossing subject in high school and college, Steven Strogatz's brilliantly creative, down-to-earth history shows that calculus is not about complexity; it's about simplicity. It harnesses an unreal number - infinity - to tackle real world problems, breaking them down into easier ones and then reassembling the answers into solutions that feel miraculous.
Infinite Powers recounts how calculus tantalized and thrilled its inventors, starting with its first glimmers in ancient Greece and bringing us right up to the discovery of gravitational waves. Strogatz reveals how this form of math rose to the challenges of each age: how to determine the area of a circle with only sand and a stick; how to explain why Mars goes "backwards" sometimes; how to turn the tide in the fight against AIDS.
As Strogatz proves, calculus is truly the language of the universe. By unveiling the principles of that language, Infinite Powers makes us marvel at the world anew.