How the two mathematician authors, Alfred Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann can collect hundreds and hundreds of mathematical curiosities is a mystery by itself. That’s what we have in Mathematical Curiosities. The authors’ targeted audience is the general public, but without a solid background in mathematics and a curiosity in the subject, not many from the general public would leaf through more than a dozen pages. Much of it is higher mathematics with plenty of numbers, equations and fractions, though some are accessible for anyone with basic mathematical background.
“One of our goals in this book is to convince the general populace that they should enjoy mathematics…”
The authors’ language and explanations are clear—obviously they had the general public in mind. The bulk of this book is in the chapter Arithmetic Curiosities. The book is filled with absolutely fascinating curiosities: like how π (pi) appears in the Bible, correct to four decimal points. Equally fascinating are the many curiosities in the geometric section, such as how many cannonballs can be stacked in a wagon. Then follows 90 problems; some are easier to solve than others. When you become frustrated, the solutions are in the next section. This is a fascinating book and, for those who are interested, there are weeks and months of good readings and puzzles.
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