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How to Free Your Inner MathematicianNotes on Mathematics and Life$
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Susan D'Agostino

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198843597

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843597.001.0001

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Follow your curiosity, along a space-filling curve

Follow your curiosity, along a space-filling curve

(p.265) 44 Follow your curiosity, along a space-filling curve
How to Free Your Inner Mathematician

Susan D'Agostino

Oxford University Press

“Follow your curiosity, along a space-filling curve” tells the story of Italian mathematician Giuseppe Peano’s quest for and discovery of a space-filling curve—a curve that completely fills a space such as a square—that most mathematicians and scientists at the time did not believe existed. For example, Isaac Newton, in his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, tried to ban space-filling curves. The discussion of space-filling curves is enhanced with numerous hand-drawn sketches showing how to construct German mathematician David Hilbert’s space-filling curve. Mathematics students and enthusiasts are encouraged to foster a Peano-like curiosity in mathematical and life pursuits. At the chapter’s end, readers may check their understanding by working on a problem. A solution is provided.

Keywords:   space-filling curve, Giuseppe Peano, Isaac Newton, Hilbert, math, student

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