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Conceptual Mathematics


  • 575 b/w illus. 12 tables 213 exercises
  • Page extent: 404 pages
  • Size: 253 x 177 mm
  • Weight: 0.78 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521719162)

In the last 60 years, the use of the notion of category has led to a remarkable unification and simplification of mathematics. Conceptual Mathematics introduces this tool for the learning, development, and use of mathematics, to beginning students and also to practising mathematical scientists. This book provides a skeleton key that makes explicit some concepts and procedures that are common to all branches of pure and applied mathematics. The treatment does not presuppose knowledge of specific fields, but rather develops, from basic definitions, such elementary categories as discrete dynamical systems and directed graphs; the fundamental ideas are then illuminated by examples in these categories. This second edition provides links with more advanced topics of possible study. In the new appendices and annotated bibliography the reader will find concise introductions to adjoint functors and geometrical structures, as well as sketches of relevant historical developments.

• Authors are world class authorities on the subject • Only text at this elementary level - requires only high-school algebra • Applications in pure and applied mathematics, computer science, physics, linguistics, logic and philosophy


Foreword; Note to the reader; Preview; Part I. The Category of Sets: 1. Sets, maps, composition; Part II. The Algebra of Composition: 2. Isomorphisms; Part III. Categories of Structured Sets: 3. Examples of categories; Part IV. Elementary Universal Mapping Properties: 4. Universal mapping properties; Part V. Higher Universal Mapping Properties: 5. Map objects; 6. The contravariant parts functor; 7. The components functor; Appendix 1. Geometry of figures and algebra of functions; Appendix 2. Adjoint functors; Appendix 3. The emergence of category theory within mathematics; Appendix 4. Annotated bibliography.


'This text, written by two experts in Category Theory and tried out carefully in courses at SUNY Buffalo, provides a simple and effective first course on conceptual mathematics.' American Mathematical Monthly

'… every mathematician should know the basic ideas and techniques explained in this book …' Monatshefte für Mathematik

'Conceptual Mathematics provides an excellent introductory account to categories for those who are starting from scratch. It treats material which will appear simple and familiar to many philosophers, but in an unfamiliar way.' Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics

'Category Theory slices across the artificial boundaries dividing algebra, arithmetic, calculus, geometry, logic, topology. If you have students you wish to introduce to the subject, I suggest this delightfully elementary book . Lawvere is one of the greatest visionaries of mathematics in the last half of the twentieth century. He characteristically digs down beneath the foundations of a concept in order to simplify its understanding. Schanuel has published research in diverse areas of Algebra, Topology, and Number Theory and is known as a great teacher. I have recommended this book to motivated high school students. I certainly suggest it for undergraduates. I even suggest it for the mathematician who needs a refresher on modern concepts.' National Association of Mathematicians Newsletter

'Conceptual Mathematics is the first book to serve both as a skeleton key to mathematics for the general reader or beginning student and as an introduction to categories for computer scientists, logicians, physicists, linguists, etc … The fundamental ideas are illuminated in an engaging way.' L'Enseignment Mathématique

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