The Elastic Fractal – digital image by Noel Giffin. Fractals are generated with statistical rules for “self similarity.”


Philip J. Davis & Reuben Hersh
The universe has imposed mathematics upon humanity.

William J. Adams
The Central Limit is one of the most remarkable results in all of mathematics.

Mark Kac
In my dreams I saw the normal law coming out naturally in contexts close to some kind of physical reality.

David Mumford
Probability theory and statistical inference will affect virtually all of mathematics in the next century.

Daniel Z. Freedman
A physical law must possess mathematical beauty

W.J. Youden
The Normal Law of Error (typesetting by the author)


Student Seminars on “Famous Equations,”
by Richard Mongomery

The ideas captured by these germinal equations are body and soul for much of mathematics. They evoke reactions such as “That's neat!,” “Clever!,” “I don't believe it!,” “Hmm...” or “Curious!” (pdf)

On the Law of Normal Probability,
by Abraham De Moivre

The first statement of the formula for the “normal curve.” (pdf)

Leibniz medallion comes to life after 300 years in celebration of Greg Chaitin’s career
Anime Ex Machina

In the mid 1960s, while still a teenager, Chaitin created algorithmic information theory (AIT). In the three decades since, he has been the principal architect of AIT. See also Greg Chaitlin's website.

Alice's adventures in algebra: Wonderland solved
by Melanie Bayley

The 19th century was a turbulent time for mathematics, with many new and controversial concepts, like imaginary numbers, becoming widely accepted in the mathematical community. Putting Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in this context, it becomes clear that Lewis Carroll, a stubbornly conservative mathematician, used some scenes to satirise these radical new ideas. (full text online)


The Fourth Dimension Simply Explained
ed. Henry P. Manning

A collection of essays selected from those submitted in Scientific American's prize competition. (full text online)

Meta Math! The Quest for Omega
by Gregory Chaitin

An opportunity to get inside the head of a creative mathematician and see what makes him tick. Full text online

How Mathematicians Think
by William Byers

You enter the first room of the mansion and it’s completely dark. You stumble around bumping into the furniture, but gradually you learn where each piece of furniture is. Finally after six months or so, you find the light switch, you turn it on, and suddenly it’s all illuminated. Then you move into the next room and spend another six months in the dark. (Introduction online)


Creating Modern Probability: Its Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy in Historical Perspective, by Jan von Plato
review by Glenn Shafer

Combining a sweeping vision with a sympathetic and thorough marshaling of sources, it brings to life the emergence of measure-theoretic probability in the first third of the twentieth century.


Mathematics, Philosophy and the Real World
by Judith Grabiner

A 36-lecture series that explores mathematical concepts and practices that can be applied to a fascinating range of areas and experiences.
Full text lectures
Video lectures


A Very Brief and Shallow Introduction to:
 Chaos Theory and Fractals
by Faisal Hosein


Gaussian probability distribution curve demonstration
Demonstration of the bell curve and its appearance in nature, even in the simplest phenomena.

Is God a Mathematician?
by Michio Kaku

“The mind of God we believe is cosmic music, the music of strings resonating through 11 dimensional hyperspace."

The Joy of Stats
Hans Rosling explores the history of statistics, how stats work mathematically, and how, using statistics, we can take the massive deluge of data of today's computer age and use it to see the world as it really is.


Pascal's Triangle
An animation demonstrating the construction of the famous geometric arrangement of integers.

Experiencing Mathematics Exhibition

Are most of us average? If we classify the inhabitants of a town, the leaves on a tree..., according to a characteristic (size, weight, IQ, level of competence...) the more one approaches the average for each criterion the more individuals there are. The further from the average, the fewer they are. At the extremities, there is almost no one. The graphic representation of this fact is called a Gaussian curve.


The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers
by Alfred S. Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann

An utterly fscinating tour of the many ramifications of the Fibonacci numbers.

Pascal's Arithmetical Triangle: The Story of a Mathematical Idea
by A. W. F. Edwards

This book traces the Arithmetical Triangle back to its roots, and gives an account of the progressive solution of combinatorial problems.


Math Subject Guide
The Subject Guide of Mathematics Resources provided by Ying Zhong, Subject Librarian at Walter W. Stiern Library.

The Gaussian Distribution
The Gaussian Distribution, also called the Frequency Curve, Bell Curve, or Normal Distribution, is one of the most widely studied topics in all mathematics.

National Curve Bank
Mapping the landscape of mathematics.

The Code
A mathematics-based documentary for BBC Two presented by Marcus du Sautoy.