A Passion for Mathematics: Numbers, Puzzles, Madness, by Clifford A. Pickover

By Clifford A. Pickover

A ardour for Mathematics is an academic, interesting journey in the course of the curiosities of the maths global, mixing an eclectic mixture of background, biography, philosophy, quantity thought, geometry, likelihood, large numbers, and mind-bending difficulties right into a delightfully compelling assortment that's certain to please math buffs, scholars, and skilled mathematicians alike. In every one bankruptcy, Clifford Pickover presents factoids, anecdotes, definitions, quotations, and eye-catching demanding situations that diversity from enjoyable, quirky puzzles to insanely tough difficulties. Readers will stumble upon mad mathematicians, unusual quantity sequences, obstinate numbers, curious constants, magic squares, fractal ducks, monkeys typing Hamlet, infinity, and masses, even more. A ardour for Mathematics will feed readers’ fascination whereas giving them problem-solving talents an excellent exercise routine!

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Extra info for A Passion for Mathematics: Numbers, Puzzles, Madness, Religion, and the Quest for Reality

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What number is on Agent Smith’s license plate in the movie The Matrix Reloaded? Why? ) At the movies. What famous book and movie title contains a number that is greater than 18,000 and less then 38,000? ) The mathematical life. “The mathematician lives long and lives young; the wings of the soul do not early drop off, nor do its 36 A Passion for Mathematics pores become clogged with the earthly particles blown from the dusty highways of vulgar life” (James Joseph Sylvester, 1814–1897, a professor of mathematics at Johns Hopkins University, 1869 address to the British Mathematical Association).

The Riemann hypothesis, published by Riemann in 1859, deals with the zeros of a very wiggly function, and the hypothesis still resists modern mathematicians’ attempts to prove it. Chapter 3 describes the hypothesis further. A dislike for mathematics. “I’m sorry to say that the subject I most disliked was mathematics. I have thought about it. I think the reason was that mathematics leaves no room for argument. If you made a mistake, that was all there was to it” (Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, 1965).

What ancient mathematician established a numerical religion whose main tenets included the transmigration of souls and the sinfulness of eating beans? ) Modern mathematical murderer. Which modern mathematician murdered and maimed the most people from a distance? ) The ∞ symbol. Most high school students are familiar with the mathematical symbol for infinity (∞). Do you think this symbol was used a hundred years ago? Who first used this odd symbol? ) Mathematics of tic-tac-toe. In how many ways can you place Xs and Os on a standard tic-tac-toe board?

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