The world's greatest mental mathematical magician takes us on a spellbinding journey through the wonders of numbers (and more)
"Arthur Benjamin ... joyfully shows you how to make nature's numbers dance."--Bill Nye (the science guy)
The Magic of Math is the math book you wish you had in school. Using a delightful assortment of examples-from ice-cream scoops and poker hands to measuring mountains and making magic squares-this book revels in key mathematical fields including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and calculus, plus Fibonacci numbers, infinity, and, of course, mathematical magic tricks. Known throughout the world as the "mathemagician," Arthur Benjamin mixes mathematics and magic to make the subject fun, attractive, and easy to understand for math fan and math-phobic alike.
"A positively joyful exploration of mathematics."
-Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Each [trick] is more dazzling than the last."
Pizza and poker hands, ice cream and "immortal" rabbits these items aren't typically to be found in math books, but Benjamin (The Secrets of Mental Math), professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, welcomes them all with open arms in this positively joyful exploration of mathematics. His approach is simple and refreshingly practical. A look at number patterns introduces tricks for carrying out "fast mental calculations"; a chapter on the properties of the number nine reveals methods for easily calculating calendar dates. Without ever using the word "statistics," Benjamin deftly covers the basics of calculating the odds of having a winning lottery ticket or poker hand. Whether figuring out compound interest, using trigonometry to determine the height of a tree, or employing calculus to work out a shortest possible walking route, each topic is presented in the clearest, simplest way possible. There's even room for explorations of more abstract concepts such as pi, imaginary numbers, and infinity. Benjamin's accessible book expands on video lectures on "The Joy of Mathematics" that were created for the Great Courses series, and its energy and enthusiasm should charm even the most math-phobic readers.