#UPWeek Princeton at the movies

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH stars in THE IMITATION GAME Photo: Jack English © 2014 The Weinstein Company. All rights reserved.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH stars in THE IMITATION GAME
Photo: Jack English © 2014 The Weinstein Company. All rights reserved.

Lights, camera, action!

Much as A Beautiful Mind introduced millions of readers to the singular genius of John Nash as portrayed by Russell Crowe in an Oscar-winning performance, The Imitation Game—starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley,Matthew Goode, Allen Leech, Charles Dance, among others, and arriving in theaters November 28—casts a spotlight on the accomplishments and contributions of Enigma code-breaker Alan Turing (1912–1954).

The movie draws inspiration from Andrew Hodges’s award-winning biography Alan Turing: The Enigma, which was originally published in 1983. Princeton University Press has released an updated, paperback movie edition complete with new material from the author that brings the story of Turing’s life current through the 2013 royal pardon of his conviction for homosexual activity. Movie-goers will no doubt be eager to learn more about Turing, an unlikely hero credited with turning the tide of World War II by cracking the German Enigma code, and Alan Turing: The Enigma offers the most authoritative and readable account of his life and work.

In celebration of #UPWeek, Princeton University Press sat down with mathematics editor, Vickie Kearn, to go behind the scenes of making a celebrated book into a major motion picture.

The Book

Alan Turing: The Enigma: The Book That Inspired the Film The Imitation Game
By Andrew Hodges

It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades–all before his suicide at age forty-one. This acclaimed biography of the founder of computer science, with a new preface by the author that addresses Turing’s royal pardon in 2013, is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life.

Capturing both the inner and outer drama of Turing’s life, Andrew Hodges tells how Turing’s revolutionary idea of 1936–the concept of a universal machine–laid the foundation for the modern computer and how Turing brought the idea to practical realization in 1945 with his electronic design. The book also tells how this work was directly related to Turing’s leading role in breaking the German Enigma ciphers during World War II, a scientific triumph that was critical to Allied victory in the Atlantic. At the same time, this is the tragic account of a man who, despite his wartime service, was eventually arrested, stripped of his security clearance, and forced to undergo a humiliating treatment program–all for trying to live honestly in a society that defined homosexuality as a crime.

Alan Turing: The Enigma is a gripping story of mathematics, computers, cryptography, and homosexual persecution.

Movie tie-in cover for Alan Turing: The Enigma

Movie tie-in cover for Alan Turing: The Enigma

Q&A with Mathematics Editor, Vickie Kearn

PUP: Tell us about when you first heard that a film based on Alan Turing: The Enigma would be produced. Were you excited? Nervous?

VK: This is a rather interesting story. In the fall of 2011, while planning for the  Princeton University 2012 Turing Centennial Celebration, Bob Sedgewick, a professor at Princeton, contacted me about publishing a book on Alan Turing’s work, including his thesis which he wrote for his PhD at Princeton University. During this time he mentioned that there was a fantastic biography of Alan Turing written by Andrew Hodges and that the book was out of print in the US and had been for some time.

I contacted Andrew and found that I already knew his agent so I contacted him to make sure the US rights for the book were still available. The agent told me that they were and that plans were underway for a revival of the play Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitmore, which was based on the Hodges book. He also told me that a centennial edition of the book was planned by Vintage, who holds the UK rights. This all sounded very exciting, and with the forthcoming centennial events, the timing was perfect.

Just one month later the agent told me that the movie rights had been picked up by Warner Brothers and that the details of the casting, director, etc. should be known by late January of 2012. Princeton University Press worked jointly with Vintage to have the centenary edition of Alan Turing: The Enigma published in time for the centennial Turing events in May 2012, and I had little time to think too much about the movie. Time passed and the movie deal fell apart.

In the late summer of 2013, we learned that a new movie deal was struck and that Benedict Cumberbatch would be the lead actor. This was fantastic news, but I stayed rather calm because I knew by now that these things do fall apart. However, in late September I found out that Black Bear Pictures was the studio and that the movie was in pre-production. In April, we moved into high gear and began serious work on what would be in the movie edition of the book.

PUP: You worked directly with The Imitation Game’s film company and author Andrew Hodges during the making of the movie. What was your role, as editor of Alan Turing: The Enigma?

VK: I have worked with Andrew since 2011 and was very excited that we would be working on a new edition of his book and that we also would be collaborating again with Vintage in the UK. Because we decided to reset the book to improve the legibility, he had to proofread it again. That is a huge effort for a 750 page book. Everyone at the Weinstein Company has been fantastic. They respond quickly and have supported the publication of the book as much as we have supported the film. It has been a very exciting process.  As editor, it is my job to make certain that all the pieces come together at the right time. In publishing, there are many steps to make sure your book is a success. They include the review, editing, design, printing, and binding phases and then we begin the marketing, publicity, and sales events. Everything has to happen at a particular time to make the best use of the efforts of everyone at the press. We need a book cover for ads and that has to be approved by the movie company. I have learned that is a very complicated process. Each of the movie companies decides what will be on the cover. For example, the cover of our book and that for the Vintage edition are different.

Alan Turing plaque on Castro Street in San Francisco

Alan Turing plaque on Castro Street in San Francisco

PUP: What was your favorite part about that interaction?

VK: The PUP publicist of the book, Jessica Pellien, and I have worked so far with about a dozen different people at Vintage and the Weinstein Company. You might think this is a bit chaotic, but it isn’t. It does take a bit of choreography, but it is working well. I think that my favorite part about this whole process is seeing the work of dozens of people come together and then holding the first copy of the book in my hand.

PUP: What do you, as the editor of Andrew Hodges’ book, hope that viewers take away from the film?

VK: I hope that they will realize what a huge contribution Alan Turing made to ending WWII and to the development of computer science. I hope that when someone says, “Can you name a computer scientist?” that they will say Alan Turing as quickly as they might say Albert Einstein when asked to name a physicist. I hope that people will understand that human relationships and love between people does not have to be heterosexual. I hope that people who see the film will also read the book.

PUP: When it comes to movies based on books, do you like to read the book before or after you see the movie?

VK: I always prefer to read the book first. I hope that people who see the film will also read the book. They are two different experiences and both are incredibly enjoyable.

Watch the trailer for the The Imitation Game below. Get that edge over fellow movie-goers and check out Chapter One of Alan Turing: The Enigma here.

 

For more examples of university presses in pop culture, take a look at the posts below:

University of Wisconsin Press

University Press of Mississippi

Georgetown University Press

University Press of Kentucky

Penn Press

 

#UPWeek Presses in Pictures

The second day of University Press Week is looking good. Five university presses bring us a visual celebration of scholarly publishing.

Upress week

Hop over to these blogs to see university presses in pictures:

Indiana University Press

Stanford University Press

Fordham University Press

University Press of Florida

Also, Johns Hopkins University Press brings us a Q&A with JHUP Art Director Martha Sewell and a short film of author and marine illustrator Val Kells in her studio.

Enjoy!

 

 

Enter to win a copy of Alan Turing: The Enigma, the Book That Inspired the Film The Imitation Game

Hodges_AlanTuring movie tie inOn November 28, The Imitation Game will open in limited release. In the film, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal. The film is inspired by the award-winning biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges.

To celebrate the release of the film, Princeton University Press is pleased to announce the publication of a new edition of the book with a movie still cover and new material from the author that brings the story current through Turing’s pardon by the Queen. Enter our giveaway below to win a copy of the new edition of the book AND a $25.00 Fandango gift certificate.

This giveaway will run from November 11 through November 24 and is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada, aged 18 and older. No purchase is necessary. If you prefer to enter via email, please send a note to blog@press.princeton.edu. Please see complete terms and conditions below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kicking off University Press Week! #UPWeek

Upress week

It’s finally here! This week, we bring you exciting content from 31 different university presses. We kick off the week with our first topic: collaboration. Yesterday, our group of university presses discussed titles or projects that illustrate the value of collaboration in scholarly communications and in their work. Check it out…

University Press of Colorado

This one is the cat’s meow. The University Press of Colorado discusses a collaboration with the Veterinary Information Network on a recent textbook, Basic Veterinary Immunology.

University of Georgia Press

Our next post involves an award-winning project. The University of Georgia Press talks about the New Georgia Encyclopedia (NGE) partnership, which includes the Georgia Humanities Council, UGA libraries, GALILEO, and the Press. The NGE is the state’s award-winning, online only, multi-media reference work on the people, places, events, and institutions of Georgia. Peachy-keen!

Duke University Press

Looking to hear from a university press author? Duke University Press has you covered. Author Eben Kirksey writes about his recent collaboration, the Multispecies Salon. You do not want to miss the images — preview them here.

University of California Press

The University of California Press shows how university press work connects to front page news. Authors Dr. Paul Farmer and Dr. Jim Yong Kim discuss the collaborative work they are doing to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

University of Virginia Press

Check out this account of a collaboration between the Press and the Presidential Recordings Project at the Miller Center to create ‘Chasing Shadows,’ a book on the origins of Watergate. The project includes a special ebook and web site allowing readers to listen to the actual Oval Office conversations. We can’t wait to have a listen for ourselves.

McGill-Queen’s University Press

McGill-Queen’s University Press provides details on Landscape Architecture in Canada, a major national project with support from scholars across the country and published simultaneously in French and English by two university presses. Landscape Architecture in Canada provides a detailed panorama of the man-made landscapes that vary as widely as the country’s geography.

Texas A&M University Press

This year, our friends in Texas launched a new consumer advocacy series with the Texas A&M School of Public Health, whose mission is to improve the health of communities through education, research, service, outreach, and creative partnerships. Check out the post for more information.

Yale University Press

Mark Polizzotti, director of the publications program at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, will contribute a guest post to Yale University Press’s ‘Museum Quality Books’ series. The series consists of guest posts from the knowledgeable, erudite, witty, insightful, and altogether delightful directors of publishing at the museums and galleries with whom Yale UP collaborates on books.

University of Chicago Press

University of Chicago Press takes a look back at year one of an exciting project, the Turabian Teacher Collaborative. This unique collaboration between high school classroom teachers, university professors, and a university press began in 2013 as a pilot project to test the effectiveness of Kate L. Turabian’s Student’s Guide to Writing College Papers at helping high schools meet the ELA Common Core State Standards.

Project MUSE/Johns Hopkins University Press

Last but certainly not least, we turn to Project MUSE, which is a key example of collaboration in the university press world. Project MUSE resulted from collaboration between a university press and university library.

 

Bill Chats: Story/Time: The Life of An Idea with Bill T. Jones and Jedediah Wheeler

k10299What do grande Starbucks coffees and tickets to see Bill Chats: Story/Time: The Life of An Idea with Bill T. Jones and Jedediah Wheeler  on Sunday November 9th at New York Live Arts at 5pm have in common? They’re both $5 dollars, give or take on the coffee. Jones, “one of the most influential and provocative dance artists our our time,” and author of Story/Time, joins Wheeler, Arts and Cultural Programming Executive Director at Montclair State University, to discuss Jones’ new book and the influence John Cage has had on his own work. This special conversation will also conclude with a book signing event, and don’t forget to use the code “STORYTIME” for $5 tickets! To buy tickets, and for more information on the event, click here.

University Press Week is next week! #UPWeek

Monday is the start of University Press Week! Join us as we highlight the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.

What is #UPWeek you ask?

In the summer of 1978, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed a University Press Week “in recognition of the impact, both here and abroad, of American university presses on culture and scholarship.” That influence continues today, as does the increasing vitality of university press publishing programs, the many ways and means by which works are now produced and distributed, and the urgent need for articulate discourse in times pervaded by sound bites. Pretty cool, huh?

This year, we have a lot to celebrate.

All week long, 31 different university presses will be bringing you the latest and greatest news, including what’s trending in their offices, on their shelves, and in their plans for the future. Every day, tune in here for a new roundup of posts from university presses. We’ll visit MIT on out to the University of Washington, with many stops in between. This year’s topics include:

upress week topics

We begin the week with a look at what’s new in press collaboration, and then we’ll give you an inside look at our presses. Can you spot university presses in pop culture? Just you wait — on Wednesday, we’ll provide the latest scoop. Then on Thursday, we take a look back at some terrific projects that have put university presses on the map. On Friday, we’ll recommend some topics and authors for you to follow — in addition to a discussion of social media.

Gearing Up

So what can you do to prep for a week of enlightening posts and great conversations? Check out this map of university presses to find which is closest to you. When it comes to university presses, you’re among friends — lots of them. The AAUP has over 130 members, all sharing a common commitment to scholarship, the academy, and society.

See you back here on Monday!

Upress week

common commitments to scholarship, the academy, and society – See more at: http://www.aaupnet.org/#sthash.ZdvOvvjy.dpuf
common commitments to scholarship, the academy, and society – See more at: http://www.aaupnet.org/#sthash.ZdvOvvjy.dpuf
common commitments to scholarship, the academy, and society – See more at: http://www.aaupnet.org/#sthash.ZdvOvvjy.dpuf

Q&A with Andrew Needham, author of POWER LINES: Phoenix and the Making of the Modern Southwest

In only four decades, Phoenix, Arizona, grew from a town of sixty-five thousand to the sixth largest city in America. But the air-conditioned subdivision homes that drew new residents from the East Coast and Midwest came at a price. As Phoenix grew, so did its reliance on electricity and resources from the neighboring territory of the Navajo Nation. Power Lines: Phoenix and the Making of the Modern Southwest explores the often untold story of Phoenix’s growth—a federally subsidized postwar boom that exploited the Navajo Nation and spurred the roots of the contemporary coal-fueled climate change crisis.

Princeton University Press catches up with Andrew Needham, author of Power Lines, to discuss his inspiration and the challenges of organizing this multifaceted story of Southwest growth.

Needham

PUP: Why did you write this book?

AN: I started thinking about the ideas in this book long before I started graduate school. We were driving from Albuquerque to the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado, crossing what I’ve come to know as the eastern portion of the Colorado Plateau, which is a really beautiful mesa country, lots of the stark buttes and redrock sandstone characteristic of the Southwest.

Somewhere in northwest New Mexico, I saw a giant smoke plume on the horizon, which I initially assumed was a forest fire, because the West was in the midst of fire season. When we came over a rise and I saw Four Corners Power Plant, which is one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the US, I was outraged, primarily because it seemed to represent a violation of everything we were on vacation to do, go see Big Nature, get away from “civilization.” Of course, I probably used that electricity, unthinkingly, that night.

But that experience started me thinking about how the production of electricity has become largely hidden from contemporary life, even as its use, particularly for the consumer goods in the “post-industrial age,” continues to increase. And it led me to start thinking about patterns of metropolitan development and underdevelopment, which at the time I was writing were largely told as a story of non-white inner cities surrounded by suburbs that people since the 1960s have characterized as a white noose.

As I began researching the electrical power networks that I saw on that car trip, I started to think that we needed to rethink that map of metropolitan inequality to account for all the ways that the land and resources of the metropolitan periphery, that space beyond the suburban frontier, are used as the location for institutions like power plants and landfills. Those institutions serve the needs of predominantly metropolitan consumers but displace most of their negative effects over great spatial distance. So in part, I wrote this book to figure out and explain how these two spaces – in this case Phoenix and the Navajo Reservation – that seem so far apart are actually intimately connected.

PUP: What was the biggest challenge involved with bringing this book to life?

AN: The biggest challenge for me is that the book involves so many pieces that are so disparate. There’s municipal politics in Phoenix and federal oversight of public lands. It contains stories about home builders in Phoenix and stories about federal Indian policy. There’s environmental politics and Indian politics. Figuring out a narrative strategy to have all of these elements makes sense in the same story took a long time.

The first chapter was the hardest to write, because I basically had to narrate the story of a region that didn’t yet exist cohesively, I call it “a region of fragments.” It covers a huge swath of time, from the formation of coal 100 million years ago to the eve of World War II, just to put the story in motion. I think it was worthwhile doing, though, because the pre-history that’s contained in that chapter is really important to the broader story. Phoenix doesn’t grow just because of air conditioning or particularly savvy public officials, it also grows because it’s located near these rich coal supplies that are not developed for reasons having to do with the region’s fragmentation. But I probably went through 30 drafts of that chapter, with many parts that got thrown out because they were interesting but peripheral.


I did not set out to write a book that tells the underlying history of climate change, but I think I accidentally stumbled into writing that book. And I think that lesson, about how our daily actions of turning light switches has dramatic and far reaching consequences for the social and natural worlds we live in, are lessons that many Americans are ready to think hard about. They need to be.


PUP: What do you think is the book’s most important contribution?

AN: I think there are three contributions the book makes to the way we understand American life in the past 60 or so years. The first is just how dramatically electrical consumption grew over that time period. Between 1945 and 1970, Phoenix sees on the order of a 7500 percent increase in electrical consumption. Phoenix is somewhat anomalous, in that its population grows so much, but even if you break down the per capita consumption, the growth is really stark. The average home in Phoenix in 1945 uses about 1500 kilowatt hours annually. By 1970, that number is above 12,000. And it’s not just air conditioning. The Federal Housing Administration’s underwriting guidelines in the late 1930s ensure that even inexpensive houses will use much more electricity than they did previously, and a lot of local businessmen are deeply involved in promoting (and benefiting from) the growth of Arizona Public Service, the main private utility based in Phoenix.

The second contribution is the story of how the people who lived on these energy lands responded to these dramatic changes. And it surprised me, because it was a far more complicated story than I expected that disrupted many of the stories that told about Indians in modern America. I discovered deep divisions among Navajos responding to these rapid changes: from great hopes that the Navajo Tribe could harness this development to replicate the kinds of things Phoenix had done to attract high tech industry and to enjoy consumer modernity — a dream of “two light bulbs in every Hogan” in the words of one tribal official — to beliefs that the tribe could nationalize their energy holdings and become part of “an Indian OPEC,” to arguments that tribal leaders had misused their authority and had betrayed people at the grass roots by negotiating with energy companies.

I think I discovered two really important things in exploring those arguments. The first was that organized political action had surprising efficacy in contesting the ability of energy companies to claim resources as long as it happened before infrastructure was built. Once there was infrastructural investment made, in the form of coal mines, power plants, and transmission lines, however, political challenges proved much more difficult. The second, more simply, was that Navajos, and other people living near this new landscape of energy production, have grappled far longer with questions about where electricity comes from and what damages its production does than metropolitan Americans, who are just beginning to think about these questions in relation to the current crisis of climate change.

Finally, the book tells how coal became the fuel that powers modern America. Coal seems to symbolize the 19th century, railroads and steel production, not the 21st, but it’s coal-fired power, power whose production is “hidden” on the periphery of metropolitan America, that’s created “post-industrial” society. When people think of electricity in the Southwest, they think of the dams on the Colorado River. And these did allow a vision of modernity powered by, as Lewis Mumford wrote when the first of those dams were going up, “clean, flowing energy.” But the other side of that was ever-rising consumption. Water’s energy was limited, both by the capacity of the falling water in the Colorado River and by politics, which rendered new dams both overly costly and environmentally destructive by the early 1960s. Coal served as a convenient alternative, both for environmentalists who sought to save “the living river” and for private utility executives who sought to avoid the federal control involved with the dams. And this story was replicated, in different local forms, across the nation between 1970 and today, when 594 new coal burning power plants were built.

PUP: Who do you see as the audience for this book?

AN: Like all authors, I think everyone would benefit from reading my book. Particularly the editorial boards of the New York Times and NPR. But seriously, I think, beyond its core academic readerships of urban, western, American Indian and environmental historians, it has interesting lessons for people interested in how the built environment of the past half-century, the built environment of suburbia has reshaped both human society and the natural world. I did not set out to write a book that tells the underlying history of climate change, but I think I accidentally stumbled into writing that book. And I think that lesson, about how our daily actions of turning light switches has dramatic and far reaching consequences for the social and natural worlds we live in, are lessons that many Americans are ready to think hard about. They need to be.

Check out the introduction of Power Lines here. For more on Andrew Needham’s work, hop over to KPCC, Southern California Public Radio — Andrew was interviewed earlier this fall. During the interview, he discusses the background behind this fall’s historic settlement between the US government and the Navajo Nation regarding misuse of land.

Jason Weeden and Robert Kurzban on 2014 elections

weedenElections are almost always a polarizing event in this country, but Jason Weeden and Robert Kurzban, authors of The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind: How Self-Interest Shapes Our Opinions and Why We Won’t Admit It, explain why it’s more complex than just liberals and conservatives going twelve rounds in the ring. Two days ago, The New York Times published Weeden and Kurzban’s opinion piece, Election 2014: Your Very Predictable Vote, and it has generated some internet buzz; over 500 comments have already been submitted.

The gist? Americans vote out of self-interest. The proof? “Unemployed people are more than twice as likely as people working full time to want unemployment benefits increased. African-Americans are by far the most likely proponents of affirmative action and government help for African-Americans. Rich white men are especially likely to oppose income redistribution.” Furthermore, but  unrelated to economic motivations, Weeden and Kurzban note, “People who want to have sex but don’t at the moment want babies are especially likely to support policies that ensure access to birth control and abortion. Immigrants favor generous immigration policies. Lesbians and gay men are far more likely to oppose discrimination based on sexual orientation. Those who aren’t Christian are far more likely to oppose discrimination based on religion.”

This all sounds like common sense, yet, there are many political scientists focused on the influence “parents and peers, schools and universities, political parties and leaders, and…’values’” have on American voters, and self-interest is overlooked. Weeden and Kurzban argue, “the most straightforward explanation, demographics, is also the most persuasive.” The authors go on to theorize as to what the United States might look like if policy was determined by polling residents:

“There would be greater spending on the poor, health care, Social Security and education. Immigration would be reduced. School prayer would be allowed. Anti-American speech by Muslims would be restricted. Abortion would be legal in cases of rape and fetal deformity, but illegal if the abortion was motivated by not wanting more children, by being poor, or by being single.”

So why doesn’t the United States look like this? Weeden and Kurzban have an answer for that too!

“Negotiations at the federal level result in more conservative economic policies, and more liberal social policies. That’s because they involve one set of highly educated, wealthy representatives negotiating with another, and the policies that result reflect their own core interests.”

You can read the article in its entirety, here and don’t forget to  pick up a copy of The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind in time for the 2016 presidential election!

Using the filter feature on The Warbler Guide App

Scott Whittle and Tom Stephenson revolutionized how birders study, find, hear, and see warblers with their acclaimed book The Warbler Guide. Now they have their sights set on bringing all the breakthrough features from the book, plus a host of app-only features, to your iPhone® and iPad® in the Warbler Guide App.

In this video, Scott introduces the app’s innovative filter function that allows users to narrow their search results by color, facial marks, wing bands, and song. Intuitive, visual, and interactive, this system allows users to find the bird they are seeing in the field quickly and easily.

The Warbler Guide App will be available in December 2014.


bookjacket Warbler Guide App
Tom Stephenson & Scott Whittle
APP | Spring 2015 | $12.99 | ISBN: 9781400849901

Princeton University Press announces selections for The Best Writing on Mathematics: 2014

The output of math writing has steadily increased in volume and quality with major articles appearing in math journals like Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Communications of the ACM, and Math Horizons; general-interest publications like Slate, American Scientist and Foreign Affairs; and still more in disciplinary journals like Physics Today, The American Statistician or Chance. Editor Mircea Pitici reads them all and selects the best of the best for this annual series. The Best Writing on Mathematics is an expertly curated annual celebration of important math writing (or speaking, as you will see below).

Among the many highlights of the 2014 edition are Kenneth Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger explaining “The Rise of Big Data” and its impact on the world; Sarah-Marie Belcastro describing her “Adventures in Mathematical Knitting;” Tanya Khovanova solving “Conway’s Wizards;” Jordan Ellenberg on a recent breakthrough in the study of prime numbers; Brian Hayes on “Crinkly Curves;” and Keith Devlin describing what makes a video game good for learning mathematics and showing why many games fall short of that goal. John Conway presents examples of arithmetical statements that are almost certainly true but likely unprovable; Carlo Séquin explores, compares, and illustrates distinct types of one-sided surfaces known as Klein bottles; and Stephen Pollard argues that mathematical practice, thinking, and experience transcend the utilitarian value of mathematics. Also included here, for the first time in print, is the text of a talk given by Francis Edward Su on the occasion of receiving the 2013 Haimo Award for Distinguished Teaching.

We hope you will join us in celebrating these excellent articles and speeches from the previous year!

Complete list of selections for

The Best Writing on Mathematics: 2014

(presented in the order of the Table of Contents)

Mathematics and the Good Life, Stephen Pollard (originally appearing in Philosophia Mathematica)

The Rise of Big Data: How It’s Changing the Way We Think about the World, Kenneth Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger (originally appearing in Foreign Affairs)

Conway’s Wizards, Tanya Khovanova (originally appearing on The Mathematical Intelligencer)

On Unsettleable Arithmetical Problems, John H. Conway (originally appearing in The American Mathematical Monthly)

Crinkly Curves, Brian Hayes (originally appearing in American Scientist)

Why Do We Perceive Logarithmically? Lav R. Varshney and John Z. Sun (originally appearing in Significance)

The Music of Math Games, Keith Devlin (originally appearing in American Scientist)

The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra for Artists, Bahman Kalantari and Bruce Torrence (originally appearing in Math Horizons)

The Arts–Digitized, Quantified, and Analyzed, Nicole Lazar (originally appearing in Chance)

On the Number of Klein Bottle Types, Carlo H. Séquin (originally appearing in Journal of Mathematics and the Arts)

Adventures in Mathematical Knitting, Sarah-Marie Belcastro (originally appearing in American Scientist)

The Mathematics of Fountain Design: A Multiple-Centers Activity, Marshall Gordon (originally appearing in Teaching Mathematics and Its Applications)

Food for (Mathematical) Thought, Penelope Dunham (originally appearing in PRIMUS)

Wondering about Wonder in Mathematics, Dov Zazkis and Rina Zazkis (originally appearing in Wonder-full)

The Lesson of Grace in Teaching, Francis Edward Su (originally appearing on Mathematical Yawp)

Generic Proving: Reflections on Scope and Method, Uri Leron and Orit Zaslavsky (originally appearing in For the Learning of Mathematics)

Extreme Proofs I: The Irrationality of 2, John H. Conway and Joseph Shipman (originally appearing in Mathematical Intelligencer)

Stuck in the Middle: Cauchy’s Intermediate Value Theorem and the History of Analytic Rigor, Michael J. Barany (originally appearing in Notices of the AMS)

Plato, Poincaré, and the Enchanted Dodecahedron: Is the Universe Shaped Like the Poincaré Homology Sphere? Lawrence Brenton (originally appearing in Math Horizons)

Computing with Real Numbers, from Archimedes to Turing and Beyond, Mark Braverman (originally appearing in Communications of the ACM)

Chaos at Fifty, Adilson E. Motter and David K. Campbell (originally appearing in Physics Today)

Twenty-Five Analogies for Explaining Statistical Concepts, Roberto Behar, Pere Grima, and Lluís Marco-Almagro (originally appearing in The American Statistician)

College Admissions and the Stability of Marriage, David Gale and Lloyd S. Shapley (originally appearing in The American Mathematical Monthly)

The Beauty of Bounded Gaps, Jordan Ellenberg (originally appearing on Slate)

We welcome suggestions, comments, and materials for consideration for future volumes. To provide feedback, please contact editor Mircea Pitici.


bookjacket

The Best Writing on Mathematics 2014
Edited by Mircea Pitici