These lecture notes are designed to provide the students majoring in the liberal arts with an understanding and appreciation of mathematics as a lively, interesting, and surprisingly rich human activity with many fascinating applications. The text, emphasizing strongly intuitive thinking and visualization, is a collection of topics chosen to show the open-minded readers that:
- The connection between the mathematics presented in the course and down-to-earth, concrete real-life problems is transparent and immediate.
- Modern mathematical discoveries do not have to be the exclusive province of professional mathematicians.
- There is an important aesthetic component in mathematics, and just as in art and music, it often surfaces on the simplest ideas.
The course does not presume a background beyond standard high school mathematics. And its major goal is to reveal that mathematics can be when looked at in the right way-useful, beautiful, and accessible.
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