eBook ISBN:  9781470451707 
Product Code:  SPEC/4.E 
List Price:  $30.00 
MAA Member Price:  $22.50 
AMS Member Price:  $22.50 
eBook ISBN:  9781470451707 
Product Code:  SPEC/4.E 
List Price:  $30.00 
MAA Member Price:  $22.50 
AMS Member Price:  $22.50 

Book DetailsSpectrumVolume: 4; 1992; 372 pp
A delightful collection of articles about people who claim they have achieved the mathematically impossible (squaring the circle, duplicating the cube); people who think they have done something they have not (proving Fermat's Last Theorem); people who pray in matrices; people who find the American Revolution ruled by the number 57; people who have in common eccentric mathematical views, some mild (thinking we should count by 12s instead of 10s), some bizarre (thinking that secondorder differential equations will solve all problems of economics, politics and philosophy). This is a truly unique book. It is written with wit and style and is a part of folk mathematics.

Table of Contents

Chapters

Alphabet, Application of Pyramid Height to the

American Revolution, The Role of 57 in the

Applied Mathematics

Base for the Number System, The Best

Bitterness, Cranks’

Calculus, Celestial

Cantor’s Diagonal Process

Congressional Record, Mathematics in the

Constant Society, The

Consultation, Lack of, of Cranks with Experts

Crank, Case Study of a

Crank, The Making of a

Deduction, The Joy of

Duplication of the Cube

Ellipse, Circumference of an

Encouraging Cranks, The Folly of

Equations, Solving

Fermat’s Last Theorem

Fermat’s Little Theorem

Fifth Postulate, Euclid’s

FourColor Theorem, The

Gödel’s Theorem

Goldbach Conjecture, The

Greed

Incomprehensibility of Crank’s Works

Infinity, Difficulties with

Insanity

Legislating Pi

Linear Programming, Conspiracy Involving

Magic Squares

Mail, Crank

Megalomania

Money to be Made in Mathematics, Lack of

Nines, Casting Out

Nonagons, Regular

Notation, Nonstandard

Number Theory, The Lure of

Perfect Numbers

Phi

Prayer, Matrix

Primes, The Secret of the

Primes, Twin, Existence of Infinitely Many

Prolificity, Crank’s

Puzzle, A

Pythagoreans, Neo

Pythagoreans, The Mystery of the

Quadrature of the Circle

Set Theory

Signs, The Rule of

Solution to a Puzzle

Sphere, Philosophy of the

Statistics, Parameter Estimation in

Taxonomy, Mathematical

Time, Wasted

Topology, Applied

Trisection of the Angle

Van der Pol’s Equation

Notes

Index


Reviews

Dudley Underwood extracts insights from an astonishing variety of examples.
Robert Matthews, New Scientist 
A delightful collection of true accounts of individuals who claim to have achieved the mathematically impossible ...It is hard to put down and provides topics for an unending series of interesting discussions. The organization and breadth of the book are impressive, supported by a helpful index and a list of resources that encourage further explorations. A classic.
Choice


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A delightful collection of articles about people who claim they have achieved the mathematically impossible (squaring the circle, duplicating the cube); people who think they have done something they have not (proving Fermat's Last Theorem); people who pray in matrices; people who find the American Revolution ruled by the number 57; people who have in common eccentric mathematical views, some mild (thinking we should count by 12s instead of 10s), some bizarre (thinking that secondorder differential equations will solve all problems of economics, politics and philosophy). This is a truly unique book. It is written with wit and style and is a part of folk mathematics.

Chapters

Alphabet, Application of Pyramid Height to the

American Revolution, The Role of 57 in the

Applied Mathematics

Base for the Number System, The Best

Bitterness, Cranks’

Calculus, Celestial

Cantor’s Diagonal Process

Congressional Record, Mathematics in the

Constant Society, The

Consultation, Lack of, of Cranks with Experts

Crank, Case Study of a

Crank, The Making of a

Deduction, The Joy of

Duplication of the Cube

Ellipse, Circumference of an

Encouraging Cranks, The Folly of

Equations, Solving

Fermat’s Last Theorem

Fermat’s Little Theorem

Fifth Postulate, Euclid’s

FourColor Theorem, The

Gödel’s Theorem

Goldbach Conjecture, The

Greed

Incomprehensibility of Crank’s Works

Infinity, Difficulties with

Insanity

Legislating Pi

Linear Programming, Conspiracy Involving

Magic Squares

Mail, Crank

Megalomania

Money to be Made in Mathematics, Lack of

Nines, Casting Out

Nonagons, Regular

Notation, Nonstandard

Number Theory, The Lure of

Perfect Numbers

Phi

Prayer, Matrix

Primes, The Secret of the

Primes, Twin, Existence of Infinitely Many

Prolificity, Crank’s

Puzzle, A

Pythagoreans, Neo

Pythagoreans, The Mystery of the

Quadrature of the Circle

Set Theory

Signs, The Rule of

Solution to a Puzzle

Sphere, Philosophy of the

Statistics, Parameter Estimation in

Taxonomy, Mathematical

Time, Wasted

Topology, Applied

Trisection of the Angle

Van der Pol’s Equation

Notes

Index

Dudley Underwood extracts insights from an astonishing variety of examples.
Robert Matthews, New Scientist 
A delightful collection of true accounts of individuals who claim to have achieved the mathematically impossible ...It is hard to put down and provides topics for an unending series of interesting discussions. The organization and breadth of the book are impressive, supported by a helpful index and a list of resources that encourage further explorations. A classic.
Choice