A book of mathematical oddities: games, puzzles, facts, numbers and delightful mathematical nibbles for the curious and adventurous mind.
School maths is not the interesting part. The real fun is elsewhere. Like a magpie, Ian Stewart has collected the most enlightening, entertaining and vexing'curiosities'of maths over the years...Now, the private collection is displayed in his cabinet.There are some hidden gems of logic, geometry and probability - like how to extract a cherry from a cocktail glass (harder than you think), a pop up dodecahedron, the real reason why you can't divide anything by zero and some tips for making money by proving the obvious. Scattered among these are keys to unlocking the mysteries of Fermat's last theorem, the PoincaréConjecture, chaos theory, and the P/NP problem for which a million dollar prize is on offer. There are beguiling secrets about familiar names like Pythagoras or prime numbers, as well as anecdotes about great mathematicians. Pull out the drawers of the Professor's cabinet and who knows what could happen...
Ian Stewart is a Mathematics Professor at Warwick University. His many books includeMathematics of Life, Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities, andThe Science of Discworldtrilogywith Terry Pratchett. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, appears frequently on radio and television, and does research on pattern formation and network dynamics.
'This is a superb Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities that deserves a place with the classics of the genre.', Mathematics today
'The book's goofy and unabashed enthusiasm will charm any interested teenager', Daily Telegraph
'interesting and illuminating...', BBC Focus
'Stewart has a genius for explanation ... Find a comfortable chair for some holiday puzzling: mathematics doesn't come more entertaining than this.', New Scientist
'A dizzying new book', Tim Radford, Guardian
'There is plenty here for the curious newcomer to enjoy', Dr Martin Homer, BBC Focus Magazine
'You don't need to be a maths guru . . . to enjoy his'curiosities'', Good Book Guide
'This is not pure maths. It is maths contaminated with whit, wisdom, and wonder.Ian really is unsurpassed as raconteur of the world of numbers. He guides us on a mind-boggling journey from the ultra trivial to the profound. Thoroughly entertaining.', Jeremy Webb, New Scientist
''Stewart has served up the instructive equivalent of a Michelin-starred tasting menu, or perhaps a smorgasbord of appetisers. And of course, appetisers are designed to give you an appetite for more.'', Tim Radford, Guardian