Avner Ash, Rob Gross

Summing it Up

Avner Ash, Rob Gross

Summing it Up

Summing It Up, published in May this year, is a book about number theory, for the proverbial "general audience", concentrating on sums and series. It begins with very simple questions about whole numbers, such as "what is the sum of the first n k-th powers" and "how many ways can you break up a positive whole number into whole number parts" and shows how such questions lead naturally to the use of calculus and infinite series. In this talk, the authors will attempt to explain what is number theory, through examples, notably Bernoulli numbers. They will discuss the question "why might (should?) a normal person be interested in number theory?" (Spoiler alert: there is no final answer to that question.)

We use addition on a daily basisâ€”yet how many of us stop to truly consider the enormous and remarkable ramifications of this mathematical activity? Summing It Up uses addition as a springboard to present a fascinating and accessible look at numbers and number theory, and how we apply beautiful numerical properties to answer math problems.

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