Four colors suffice : how the map problem was solved
 Author/Creator
 Wilson, Robin J.
 Language
 English.
 Edition
 Revised color edition.
 Publication
 Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, [2014]
 Copyright notice
 ©2014
 Physical description
 xii, 199 pages : illustrations (some col.), maps (some col.) ; 24 cm.
 Series
 Princeton science library.
Access
Available online

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QA612.19 .W56 2014

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QA612.19 .W56 2014
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Contents/Summary
 Bibliography
 Includes bibliographical references (pages 175186) and index.
 Contents

 Foreword by Ian Stewart xi Preface to the Revised Color Edition xiii Preface to the Original Edition xv 1 The FourColor Problem 1 What Is the FourColor Problem?
 (source: Nielsen Book Data)
 Publisher's Summary
 On October 23, 1852, Professor Augustus De Morgan wrote a letter to a colleague, unaware that he was launching one of the most famous mathematical conundrums in historyone that would confound thousands of puzzlers for more than a century. This is the amazing story of how the "map problem" was solved. The problem posed in the letter came from a former student: What is the least possible number of colors needed to fill in any map (real or invented) so that neighboring counties are always colored differently? This deceptively simple question was of minimal interest to cartographers, who saw little need to limit how many colors they used. But the problem set off a frenzy among professional mathematicians and amateur problem solvers, among them Lewis Carroll, an astronomer, a botanist, an obsessive golfer, the Bishop of London, a man who set his watch only once a year, a California traffic cop, and a bridegroom who spent his honeymoon coloring maps. In their pursuit of the solution, mathematicians painted maps on doughnuts and horseshoes and played with patterned soccer balls and the great rhombicuboctahedron. It would be more than one hundred years (and countless colored maps) later before the result was finally established. Even then, difficult questions remained, and the intricate solutionwhich involved no fewer than 1,200 hours of computer timewas greeted with as much dismay as enthusiasm. Providing a clear and elegant explanation of the problem and the proof, Robin Wilson tells how a seemingly innocuous question baffled great minds and stimulated exciting mathematics with farflung applications. This is the entertaining story of those who failed to prove, and those who ultimately did prove, that four colors do indeed suffice to color any map. This new edition features many color illustrations. It also includes a new foreword by Ian Stewart on the importance of the map problem and how it was solved.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
Subjects
Bibliographic information
 Publication date
 2014
 Copyright date
 2014
 Responsibility
 Robin Wilson ; with a new foreword by Ian Stewart.
 Series
 Princeton science library
 Note
 First published: London : Allen Lane, 2002, under title Four colours suffice.
 Related Work
 Wilson, Robin J. Four colours suffice.
 ISBN
 9780691158228 (paper : acidfree paper)
 0691158223 (paper : acidfree paper)