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AMS Member Price:  $48.75 $37.50 
Softcover ISBN:  9780883855157 
Product Code:  SPEC/9 
List Price:  $35.00 
MAA Member Price:  $26.25 
AMS Member Price:  $26.25 
eBook ISBN:  9781470458485 
Product Code:  SPEC/9.E 
List Price:  $30.00 
MAA Member Price:  $22.50 
AMS Member Price:  $22.50 
Softcover ISBN:  9780883855157 
eBook ISBN:  9781470458485 
Product Code:  SPEC/9.B 
List Price:  $65.00 $50.00 
MAA Member Price:  $48.75 $37.50 
AMS Member Price:  $48.75 $37.50 

Book DetailsSpectrumVolume: 9; 1994; 330 pp
Do you expect to find articles about mathematics in your daily newspaper? If you are a reader of The Guardian, you do, or at least, you did during the second half of the 1980s. This volume collects many of the columns Keith Devlin wrote for The Guardian. Read them and assign them to your students to read. This is a book for delving in and is accessible to anyone with an interest in things mathematical. Devlin takes mathematical discoveries and explains them to the interested lay reader. The topics range from computer discoveries dealing with large prime numbers to much deeper results, such as Fermat's Last Theorem. You will find articles on the traveling salesman problem, on cryptology, and on procedures for working out claims for traveling expenses. Although the individual pieces are short and easily read, many contain references to mathematical articles and can form the basis for student research papers.

Table of Contents

Chapters

1. The biggest prime number in the world, May 12, 1983

2. How the prime number has come up, August 18, 1983

3. The mathematical solution to the unfiddled expenses, September 29, 1983

4. Great Minds, October 13, 1983

5. The kilderkin approach through a silicon gate, October 20, 1983

6. Pi in the sky, or how the digits keep multiplying, November 3, 1983

7. An equation completed, November 17, 1983

8. Winning glory by numbers, November 24, 1983

9. How to put the world back in its right place, December 1, 1983

10. How you could take on Euler, December 8, 1983

11. The good guys sometimes win, January 5, 1984

12. Patterns and palindromes, January 19, 1984

13. Challenging the theory of safety in numbers, January 26, 1984

14. The Japanese thrive on a diet of pi and chips, February 2, 1984

15. Another slice of pi, February 16, 1984

16. Prime beef, March 1, 1984

17. 73 year old brain beats micros, March 15, 1984

18. Shades of opinion, March 29, 1984

19. The measure of all things, April 12, 1984

20. Hands off, April 26, 1984

21. Why runners go round the bend, May 10, 1984

22. Further adventures in Flatland, May 31, 1984

23. How maths adds up to the best computer game of all, June 7, 1984

24. How Archimedes number came up, June 21, 1984

25. Biblical fingers get stuck into pi, June 21, 1984

26. The hidden holocaust, July 5, 1984

27. All in the mind, July 19, 1984

28. Find a fourletter word and the square root of computer, August 5, 1984

29. Question time, August 16, 1984

30. First find your algorithm, August 30, 1984

31. Circle games, September 13, 1984

32. How the Babylonians almost saw the point, September 27, 1984

33. The best way to get from $A$ to $B$ is by way of $C$ abd $D$, October 6, 1984

34. On making arithmetic pointless, October 11, 1984

35. Add egg to face and take away fame, October 11, 1984

36. Dynastic struggles, November 8, 1984

37. A problem? Hang on while the computer tosses a coin, November 22, 1984

38. Rabbits do it by numbers, December 6, 1984

39. Add mission, December 13, 1984

40. Chimney sweep for Santa, December 20, 1984

41. Has the last great math mystery been unravelled? January 3, 1985

42. The shortcut solution, January 17, 1985

43. The software jungle, January 31, 1985

44. Measured smile, February 14, 1985

45. Food for thought, February 28, 1985

46. Playing the negadecimal game, March 14, 1985

47. The taxi cab that caused a conundrum, March 28, 1985

48. Square deals, April 11, 1985

49. Square dance, April 25, 1985

50. The world would end before you could answer the questions, May 9, 1985

51. Printouts and the negative computer, May 23, 1985

52. How long is a coastline? June 20, 1985

53. Bringing back beauty from the frontiers of chaos, July 4, 1985

54. A fractional approach to the pursuit of an ideal, July 18, 1985

55. The pure delight of the mathematical payoff, August 8, 1985

56. Big guns go west, August 23, 1985

57. How the beauty of mathematics brought a sense of proportion to origami, September 5, 1985

58. How to take an electronic line for a walk, September 19, 1985

59. Factor factors, October 3, 1985

60. The perfect picture, November 14, 1985

61. Quite a performance, December 5, 1985

62. In pursuit of prime suspects, January 9, 1985

63. A monk whose mathematical genius was almost infallible, January 16, 1986

64. As easy as pi, February 27, 1986

65. A prime target, March 27, 1986

66. Maths can be good for you, April 24, 1986

67. Selling under false colors, May 8, 1986

68. A Farey story, May 22, 1986

69. Blooming numbers, June 5, 1986

70. Power games, June 19, 1986

71. A playful approach to the bomb, July 3, 1986

72. Can you crack the code of the spilled nail varnish? July 24, 1986

73. Wallpapering by numbers, July 31, 1986

74. Circling round the square, August 14, 1986

75. Back to front, August 28, 1986

76. Sevenup, September 11, 1986

77. Pi in the sky, September 25, 1986

78. Friendly numbers, October 9, 1986

79. New life for good old numbers, November 6, 1986

80. Valiant strides at the games, November 20, 1986

81. Living at the margin, December 18, 1986

82. The art of the solvable, January 8, 1987

83. Lies, damned lies, and logic, January 22, 1987

84. Rabbit pi, February 5, 1987

85. Prime revelations, February 19, 1987

86. One is the number, March 19, 1987

87. Infinite variety, April 16, 1987

88. Sum election balance, May 14, 1987

89. The thought machine, June 4, 1987

90. On and on into infinity, June 18, 1987

91. Fermat’s number is up, July 2, 1987

92. A clever little number, July 16, 1987

93. Putting your foot in it, August 27, 1987

94. Down the tubes, September 24, 1987

95. Making the right connections, October 8, 1987

96. Silicon Valley scholars, October 22, 1987

97. Prime chops, November 5, 1987

98. Damned lies, November 19, 1987

99. Computer dating challenge, December 3, 1987

100. Back to key one, December 17, 1987

101. Game, set, and match program, January 7, 1988

102. Doing it the brain’s way, January 21, 1988

103. Mud on whose face? February 4, 1988

104. The silver coin tease, February 18, 1988

105. Prime the record books, March 10, 1988

106. Silver coins and gold in the box, March 24, 1988

107. The security in big numbers, April 21, 1988

108. The deadly traps in simple problems, May 5, 1988

109. Hunt goes on for maximum factors, May 19, 1988

110. Beauty figures, June 2, 1988

111. Theries that all fall down, June 16, 1988

112. Can a smart computer ski? July 14 and 28, 1988

113. Why odd cannot be perfect, August 11, 1988

114. Probability rod for your back, August 25, 1988

115. Great lengths and hidden powers, October 6, 1988

116. The anguish in the broken curtain rod, October 20, 1988

117. Better by degrees, November 17, 1988

118. The lofty goals of a new mathematics program, December 1, 1988

119. A problem that cuts across conventional boundaries, December 15, 1988

120. Greek insights in a prime challenge, January 5, 1989

121. The programs of unshakable absolute certainty, January 19, 1989

122. Dantzig dimension, February 2, 1989

123. The private truths, March 23, 1989

124. A series that hits the buffers, April 13, 1989

125. The vertical confusions, April 27, 1989

126. Introducing the figure that always adds up, May 18, 1989

127. Get Knotted, June 1, 1989

128. Tarski and hunch squares the circle, June 29, 1989

129. Today’s moment of history, July 6, 1989

130. Playing it by numbers, October 12, 1989

131. Pieyed over eternal sum, November 16, 1989

132. Their infinite wisdom, November 30, 1989

133. Taming infinity, December 14, 1989

134. Call to order, January 25, 1990

135. The irony of information, March 1, 1990

136. Information overload, March 15, 1990

137. Out for the count, April 12, 1990

138. Odds on a perfectly odd number, April 26, 1990

139. World’s most wanted number, August 16, 1990

140. A yen for teamwork, December 12, 1990

141. Math gang makes Fermat prime suspect, May 22, 1990

142. Record primes, Added July 1993

143. Fermat’s Last Theorem, a theorem at last? Added April 1994


Reviews

Mathematics and mathematicians can be the objects of public interest, if there are individuals capable of explaining those items in a form that the intelligent reader can follow. Keith Devlin is such a person and the editors of the British paper, The Manchester Guardian, were intelligent enough to understand that. This book should be an element of every public library.
Journal of Recreational Mathematics


RequestsReview Copy – for publishers of book reviewsAccessibility – to request an alternate format of an AMS title
 Book Details
 Table of Contents
 Reviews
 Requests
Do you expect to find articles about mathematics in your daily newspaper? If you are a reader of The Guardian, you do, or at least, you did during the second half of the 1980s. This volume collects many of the columns Keith Devlin wrote for The Guardian. Read them and assign them to your students to read. This is a book for delving in and is accessible to anyone with an interest in things mathematical. Devlin takes mathematical discoveries and explains them to the interested lay reader. The topics range from computer discoveries dealing with large prime numbers to much deeper results, such as Fermat's Last Theorem. You will find articles on the traveling salesman problem, on cryptology, and on procedures for working out claims for traveling expenses. Although the individual pieces are short and easily read, many contain references to mathematical articles and can form the basis for student research papers.

Chapters

1. The biggest prime number in the world, May 12, 1983

2. How the prime number has come up, August 18, 1983

3. The mathematical solution to the unfiddled expenses, September 29, 1983

4. Great Minds, October 13, 1983

5. The kilderkin approach through a silicon gate, October 20, 1983

6. Pi in the sky, or how the digits keep multiplying, November 3, 1983

7. An equation completed, November 17, 1983

8. Winning glory by numbers, November 24, 1983

9. How to put the world back in its right place, December 1, 1983

10. How you could take on Euler, December 8, 1983

11. The good guys sometimes win, January 5, 1984

12. Patterns and palindromes, January 19, 1984

13. Challenging the theory of safety in numbers, January 26, 1984

14. The Japanese thrive on a diet of pi and chips, February 2, 1984

15. Another slice of pi, February 16, 1984

16. Prime beef, March 1, 1984

17. 73 year old brain beats micros, March 15, 1984

18. Shades of opinion, March 29, 1984

19. The measure of all things, April 12, 1984

20. Hands off, April 26, 1984

21. Why runners go round the bend, May 10, 1984

22. Further adventures in Flatland, May 31, 1984

23. How maths adds up to the best computer game of all, June 7, 1984

24. How Archimedes number came up, June 21, 1984

25. Biblical fingers get stuck into pi, June 21, 1984

26. The hidden holocaust, July 5, 1984

27. All in the mind, July 19, 1984

28. Find a fourletter word and the square root of computer, August 5, 1984

29. Question time, August 16, 1984

30. First find your algorithm, August 30, 1984

31. Circle games, September 13, 1984

32. How the Babylonians almost saw the point, September 27, 1984

33. The best way to get from $A$ to $B$ is by way of $C$ abd $D$, October 6, 1984

34. On making arithmetic pointless, October 11, 1984

35. Add egg to face and take away fame, October 11, 1984

36. Dynastic struggles, November 8, 1984

37. A problem? Hang on while the computer tosses a coin, November 22, 1984

38. Rabbits do it by numbers, December 6, 1984

39. Add mission, December 13, 1984

40. Chimney sweep for Santa, December 20, 1984

41. Has the last great math mystery been unravelled? January 3, 1985

42. The shortcut solution, January 17, 1985

43. The software jungle, January 31, 1985

44. Measured smile, February 14, 1985

45. Food for thought, February 28, 1985

46. Playing the negadecimal game, March 14, 1985

47. The taxi cab that caused a conundrum, March 28, 1985

48. Square deals, April 11, 1985

49. Square dance, April 25, 1985

50. The world would end before you could answer the questions, May 9, 1985

51. Printouts and the negative computer, May 23, 1985

52. How long is a coastline? June 20, 1985

53. Bringing back beauty from the frontiers of chaos, July 4, 1985

54. A fractional approach to the pursuit of an ideal, July 18, 1985

55. The pure delight of the mathematical payoff, August 8, 1985

56. Big guns go west, August 23, 1985

57. How the beauty of mathematics brought a sense of proportion to origami, September 5, 1985

58. How to take an electronic line for a walk, September 19, 1985

59. Factor factors, October 3, 1985

60. The perfect picture, November 14, 1985

61. Quite a performance, December 5, 1985

62. In pursuit of prime suspects, January 9, 1985

63. A monk whose mathematical genius was almost infallible, January 16, 1986

64. As easy as pi, February 27, 1986

65. A prime target, March 27, 1986

66. Maths can be good for you, April 24, 1986

67. Selling under false colors, May 8, 1986

68. A Farey story, May 22, 1986

69. Blooming numbers, June 5, 1986

70. Power games, June 19, 1986

71. A playful approach to the bomb, July 3, 1986

72. Can you crack the code of the spilled nail varnish? July 24, 1986

73. Wallpapering by numbers, July 31, 1986

74. Circling round the square, August 14, 1986

75. Back to front, August 28, 1986

76. Sevenup, September 11, 1986

77. Pi in the sky, September 25, 1986

78. Friendly numbers, October 9, 1986

79. New life for good old numbers, November 6, 1986

80. Valiant strides at the games, November 20, 1986

81. Living at the margin, December 18, 1986

82. The art of the solvable, January 8, 1987

83. Lies, damned lies, and logic, January 22, 1987

84. Rabbit pi, February 5, 1987

85. Prime revelations, February 19, 1987

86. One is the number, March 19, 1987

87. Infinite variety, April 16, 1987

88. Sum election balance, May 14, 1987

89. The thought machine, June 4, 1987

90. On and on into infinity, June 18, 1987

91. Fermat’s number is up, July 2, 1987

92. A clever little number, July 16, 1987

93. Putting your foot in it, August 27, 1987

94. Down the tubes, September 24, 1987

95. Making the right connections, October 8, 1987

96. Silicon Valley scholars, October 22, 1987

97. Prime chops, November 5, 1987

98. Damned lies, November 19, 1987

99. Computer dating challenge, December 3, 1987

100. Back to key one, December 17, 1987

101. Game, set, and match program, January 7, 1988

102. Doing it the brain’s way, January 21, 1988

103. Mud on whose face? February 4, 1988

104. The silver coin tease, February 18, 1988

105. Prime the record books, March 10, 1988

106. Silver coins and gold in the box, March 24, 1988

107. The security in big numbers, April 21, 1988

108. The deadly traps in simple problems, May 5, 1988

109. Hunt goes on for maximum factors, May 19, 1988

110. Beauty figures, June 2, 1988

111. Theries that all fall down, June 16, 1988

112. Can a smart computer ski? July 14 and 28, 1988

113. Why odd cannot be perfect, August 11, 1988

114. Probability rod for your back, August 25, 1988

115. Great lengths and hidden powers, October 6, 1988

116. The anguish in the broken curtain rod, October 20, 1988

117. Better by degrees, November 17, 1988

118. The lofty goals of a new mathematics program, December 1, 1988

119. A problem that cuts across conventional boundaries, December 15, 1988

120. Greek insights in a prime challenge, January 5, 1989

121. The programs of unshakable absolute certainty, January 19, 1989

122. Dantzig dimension, February 2, 1989

123. The private truths, March 23, 1989

124. A series that hits the buffers, April 13, 1989

125. The vertical confusions, April 27, 1989

126. Introducing the figure that always adds up, May 18, 1989

127. Get Knotted, June 1, 1989

128. Tarski and hunch squares the circle, June 29, 1989

129. Today’s moment of history, July 6, 1989

130. Playing it by numbers, October 12, 1989

131. Pieyed over eternal sum, November 16, 1989

132. Their infinite wisdom, November 30, 1989

133. Taming infinity, December 14, 1989

134. Call to order, January 25, 1990

135. The irony of information, March 1, 1990

136. Information overload, March 15, 1990

137. Out for the count, April 12, 1990

138. Odds on a perfectly odd number, April 26, 1990

139. World’s most wanted number, August 16, 1990

140. A yen for teamwork, December 12, 1990

141. Math gang makes Fermat prime suspect, May 22, 1990

142. Record primes, Added July 1993

143. Fermat’s Last Theorem, a theorem at last? Added April 1994

Mathematics and mathematicians can be the objects of public interest, if there are individuals capable of explaining those items in a form that the intelligent reader can follow. Keith Devlin is such a person and the editors of the British paper, The Manchester Guardian, were intelligent enough to understand that. This book should be an element of every public library.
Journal of Recreational Mathematics