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A Mathematical Medley: Fifty Easy Pieces on Mathematics
 
George G. Szpiro Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zurich, Switzerland
A Mathematical Medley
A Mathematical Medley
Softcover ISBN:  978-0-8218-4928-6
Product Code:  MBK/73
List Price: $49.00
MAA Member Price: $44.10
AMS Member Price: $39.20
eBook ISBN:  978-1-4704-1606-5
Product Code:  MBK/73.E
List Price: $45.00
MAA Member Price: $40.50
AMS Member Price: $36.00
Softcover ISBN:  978-0-8218-4928-6
eBook: ISBN:  978-1-4704-1606-5
Product Code:  MBK/73.B
List Price: $94.00 $71.50
MAA Member Price: $84.60 $64.35
AMS Member Price: $75.20 $57.20
A Mathematical Medley
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A Mathematical Medley
A Mathematical Medley: Fifty Easy Pieces on Mathematics
George G. Szpiro Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zurich, Switzerland
Softcover ISBN:  978-0-8218-4928-6
Product Code:  MBK/73
List Price: $49.00
MAA Member Price: $44.10
AMS Member Price: $39.20
eBook ISBN:  978-1-4704-1606-5
Product Code:  MBK/73.E
List Price: $45.00
MAA Member Price: $40.50
AMS Member Price: $36.00
Softcover ISBN:  978-0-8218-4928-6
eBook ISBN:  978-1-4704-1606-5
Product Code:  MBK/73.B
List Price: $94.00 $71.50
MAA Member Price: $84.60 $64.35
AMS Member Price: $75.20 $57.20
  • Book Details
     
     
    2010; 236 pp
    MSC: Primary 00; 01; 97;
    George Szpiro was the winner of the 2006 DMV Media Prize for his monthly mathematical column in the Neue Nücher Zeitung.

    Mathematics is thriving. Not only have long-standing problems, such as the Poincaré conjecture, been solved, but mathematics is an important element of many modern conveniences, such as cell phones, CDs, and secure transactions over the Internet. For good or for bad, it is also the engine that drives modern investment strategies. Fortunately for the general public, mathematics and its modern applications can be intelligible to the non-specialist, as George Szpiro shows in A Mathematical Medley.

    In stories of a few pages each, Szpiro describes in layman's terms mathematical problems that have recently been solved (or thought to have been solved), research that was published in scientific journals, and mathematical observations about contemporary life. Anecdotal stories about the lives of mathematicians and stories about famous old problems are interspersed among other vignettes.

    Readership

    This book is intended for true general readers who are interested in any sort of mathematics.

  • Table of Contents
     
     
    • Chapters
    • Chapter 1. A baker’s dozen
    • Math for math’s sake
    • Chapter 2. Getting closer to the roots
    • Chapter 3. Mock functions
    • Chapter 4. Meanderings of a mathematical proof
    • Chapter 5. All roads lead to Rome
    • Chapter 6. Secrets hidden in numbers
    • Chapter 7. Prime time for primes
    • Math applied to real life
    • Chapter 8. Stamps and coins
    • Chapter 9. On the (Un)fairness of queues
    • Chapter 10. Run or walk on the walkway?
    • Chapter 11. Suspicious use of the digit “9”
    • Chapter 12. The letter writers
    • Chapter 13. Wobbly tables
    • Personalities
    • Chapter 14. Bella Abramova Subbotovskaya and the “Jewish People’s University”
    • Chapter 15. No answer from Professor Ekhad
    • Chapter 16. The yippie mathematician
    • Chapter 17. Sibling rivalry
    • Chapter 18. A diplomat with a love for numbers
    • Chapter 19. The “wunderkind”
    • Chapter 20. Brilliant but fallible
    • In the air
    • Chapter 21. The plane facts
    • Chapter 22. Creating bottlenecks
    • Chapter 23. All flights lead to Paris…and Anchorage
    • Chapter 24. Long-distance flights are grounded
    • Training the brain
    • Chapter 25. Calculating on the left side
    • Chapter 26. Losing the language instinct
    • Chapter 27. Information overload
    • Chapter 28. The case for mental arithmetic
    • Games, gifts, and other diversions
    • Chapter 29. How many moves to Rubik?
    • Chapter 30. A puzzling puzzle
    • Chapter 31. Boring assembly debates
    • Chapter 32. A step too far
    • Chapter 33. Givers and takers
    • Chapter 34. Who wins tic-tac-toe?
    • Chapter 35. Liars and half-liars
    • Chapter 36. Perfect chequers ends in a draw
    • Choosing and dividing
    • Chapter 37. The Talmud—A precursor to game theory?
    • Chapter 38. How the cake crumbles
    • Chapter 39. Spoilt for choice
    • Chapter 40. Selecting the best pope and the best song
    • Money, and making it
    • Chapter 41. Follow the money
    • Chapter 42. Earthquakes, epileptic fits, and the stock market crash
    • Chapter 43. Don’t shoot the messenger
    • Interdisciplinary matters
    • Chapter 44. Fascinating fractals
    • Chapter 45. In dubio (probably) pro reo
    • Chapter 46. Once upon a time there was a mathematical problem
    • Chapter 47. If only my ringtone were unique
    • Chapter 48. Enforcing voluntary cooperation
    • Chapter 49. Code or hoax?
    • Chapter 50. Crusade against sloppy mathematics
  • Reviews
     
     
    • Szpiro's book provides a delightful, well-written, eclectic selection of mathematical tidbits that makes excellent airplane reading for anyone with an interest in mathematics, regardless of their mathematical background. Excellent gift material.

      Keith Devlin, Stanford University, author of The Unfinished Game and The Language of Mathematics
    • It is great to have collected in one volume the many varied, insightful and often surprising mathematical stories that George Szpiro has written in his mathematical columns for the newspapers through the years.

      Marcus du Sautoy, Oxford University, author of The Music of the Primes and Symmetry: A Journey into the Patterns of Nature
    • [This book] is an interesting collection of stories that will be accessible to a wide audience. ... It can also serve as a supplemental resource for math majors in a history of mathematics course.

      CHOICE Reviews
  • Requests
     
     
    Review Copy – for publishers of book reviews
    Permission – for use of book, eBook, or Journal content
    Accessibility – to request an alternate format of an AMS title
2010; 236 pp
MSC: Primary 00; 01; 97;
George Szpiro was the winner of the 2006 DMV Media Prize for his monthly mathematical column in the Neue Nücher Zeitung.

Mathematics is thriving. Not only have long-standing problems, such as the Poincaré conjecture, been solved, but mathematics is an important element of many modern conveniences, such as cell phones, CDs, and secure transactions over the Internet. For good or for bad, it is also the engine that drives modern investment strategies. Fortunately for the general public, mathematics and its modern applications can be intelligible to the non-specialist, as George Szpiro shows in A Mathematical Medley.

In stories of a few pages each, Szpiro describes in layman's terms mathematical problems that have recently been solved (or thought to have been solved), research that was published in scientific journals, and mathematical observations about contemporary life. Anecdotal stories about the lives of mathematicians and stories about famous old problems are interspersed among other vignettes.

Readership

This book is intended for true general readers who are interested in any sort of mathematics.

  • Chapters
  • Chapter 1. A baker’s dozen
  • Math for math’s sake
  • Chapter 2. Getting closer to the roots
  • Chapter 3. Mock functions
  • Chapter 4. Meanderings of a mathematical proof
  • Chapter 5. All roads lead to Rome
  • Chapter 6. Secrets hidden in numbers
  • Chapter 7. Prime time for primes
  • Math applied to real life
  • Chapter 8. Stamps and coins
  • Chapter 9. On the (Un)fairness of queues
  • Chapter 10. Run or walk on the walkway?
  • Chapter 11. Suspicious use of the digit “9”
  • Chapter 12. The letter writers
  • Chapter 13. Wobbly tables
  • Personalities
  • Chapter 14. Bella Abramova Subbotovskaya and the “Jewish People’s University”
  • Chapter 15. No answer from Professor Ekhad
  • Chapter 16. The yippie mathematician
  • Chapter 17. Sibling rivalry
  • Chapter 18. A diplomat with a love for numbers
  • Chapter 19. The “wunderkind”
  • Chapter 20. Brilliant but fallible
  • In the air
  • Chapter 21. The plane facts
  • Chapter 22. Creating bottlenecks
  • Chapter 23. All flights lead to Paris…and Anchorage
  • Chapter 24. Long-distance flights are grounded
  • Training the brain
  • Chapter 25. Calculating on the left side
  • Chapter 26. Losing the language instinct
  • Chapter 27. Information overload
  • Chapter 28. The case for mental arithmetic
  • Games, gifts, and other diversions
  • Chapter 29. How many moves to Rubik?
  • Chapter 30. A puzzling puzzle
  • Chapter 31. Boring assembly debates
  • Chapter 32. A step too far
  • Chapter 33. Givers and takers
  • Chapter 34. Who wins tic-tac-toe?
  • Chapter 35. Liars and half-liars
  • Chapter 36. Perfect chequers ends in a draw
  • Choosing and dividing
  • Chapter 37. The Talmud—A precursor to game theory?
  • Chapter 38. How the cake crumbles
  • Chapter 39. Spoilt for choice
  • Chapter 40. Selecting the best pope and the best song
  • Money, and making it
  • Chapter 41. Follow the money
  • Chapter 42. Earthquakes, epileptic fits, and the stock market crash
  • Chapter 43. Don’t shoot the messenger
  • Interdisciplinary matters
  • Chapter 44. Fascinating fractals
  • Chapter 45. In dubio (probably) pro reo
  • Chapter 46. Once upon a time there was a mathematical problem
  • Chapter 47. If only my ringtone were unique
  • Chapter 48. Enforcing voluntary cooperation
  • Chapter 49. Code or hoax?
  • Chapter 50. Crusade against sloppy mathematics
  • Szpiro's book provides a delightful, well-written, eclectic selection of mathematical tidbits that makes excellent airplane reading for anyone with an interest in mathematics, regardless of their mathematical background. Excellent gift material.

    Keith Devlin, Stanford University, author of The Unfinished Game and The Language of Mathematics
  • It is great to have collected in one volume the many varied, insightful and often surprising mathematical stories that George Szpiro has written in his mathematical columns for the newspapers through the years.

    Marcus du Sautoy, Oxford University, author of The Music of the Primes and Symmetry: A Journey into the Patterns of Nature
  • [This book] is an interesting collection of stories that will be accessible to a wide audience. ... It can also serve as a supplemental resource for math majors in a history of mathematics course.

    CHOICE Reviews
Review Copy – for publishers of book reviews
Permission – for use of book, eBook, or Journal content
Accessibility – to request an alternate format of an AMS title
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