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Mathematics and Physics

Mathematics and Physics

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Theory and Practice

A major problem in modern probabilistic modeling is the huge computational complexity involved in typical calculations with multivariate probability distributions when the number of random variables is large. Because exact computations are infeasible in such cases and Monte Carlo sampling techniques may reach their limits, there is a need for methods that allow for efficient approximate computations. One of the simplest approximations is based on the mean field method, which has a long history in statistical physics.

Creating a Professional Identity in Post-World War II America

Women Becoming Mathematicians looks at the lives and careers of thirty-six of the approximately two hundred women who earned Ph.D.s in mathematics from American institutions from 1940 to 1959. During this period, American mathematical research enjoyed an unprecedented expansion, fueled by the technological successes of World War II and the postwar boom in federal funding for education in the basic sciences. Yet women's share of doctorates earned in mathematics in the United States reached an all-time low.

In The Art of Causal Conjecture, Glenn Shafer lays out a new mathematical and philosophical foundation for probability and uses it to explain concepts of causality used in statistics, artificial intelligence, and philosophy.

Efficient Algorithms

Algorithmic Number Theory provides a thorough introduction to the design and analysis of algorithms for problems from the theory of numbers. Although not an elementary textbook, it includes over 300 exercises with suggested solutions. Every theorem not proved in the text or left as an exercise has a reference in the notes section that appears at the end of each chapter. The bibliography contains over 1,750 citations to the literature.


Algebraic Semantics of Imperative Programs presents a self-contained and novel "executable" introduction to formal reasoning about imperative programs. The authors' primary goal is to improve programming ability by improving intuition about what programs mean and how they run.

The semantics of imperative programs is specified in a formal, implemented notation, the language OBJ; this makes the semantics highly rigorous yet simple, and provides support for the mechanical verification of program properties.

Categories, Lambdas, and Dynamic Logic

Language in Action demonstrates the viability of mathematical research into the foundations of categorial grammar, a topic at the border between logic and linguistics. Since its initial publication it has become the classic work in the foundations of categorial grammar. A new introduction to this paperback edition updates the open research problems and records relevant results through pointers to the literature.

A Course in Game Theory presents the main ideas of game theory at a level suitable for graduate students and advanced undergraduates, emphasizing the theory's foundations and interpretations of its basic concepts. The authors provide precise definitions and full proofs of results, sacrificing generalities and limiting the scope of the material in order to do so. The text is organized in four parts: strategic games, extensive games with perfect information, extensive games with imperfect information, and coalitional games. It includes over 100 exercises.

At the 1900 International Congress of Mathematicians, held that year in Paris, the German mathematician David Hilbert put forth a list of 23 unsolved problems that he saw as being the greatest challenges for twentieth-century mathematics. Hilbert's 10th problem, to find a method (what we now call an algorithm) for deciding whether a Diophantine equation has an integral solution, was solved by Yuri Matiyasevich in 1970. Proving the undecidability of Hilbert's 10th problem is clearly one of the great mathematical results of the century.

A Critical Examination of Bayesian Confirmation Theory

There is currently no viable alternative to the Bayesian analysis of scientific inference, yet the available versions of Bayesianism fail to do justice to several aspects of the testing and confirmation of scientific hypotheses. Bayes or Bust? provides the first balanced treatment of the complex set of issues involved in this nagging conundrum in the philosophy of science.

These original essays summarize a decade of fruitful research and curriculum development using the LISP-derived language Logo.

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