**MSRI Mathematical Circles Library**

Volume: 22;
2018;
178 pp;
Softcover

MSC: Primary 00; 97;

**Print ISBN: 978-1-4704-4796-0
Product Code: MCL/22**

List Price: $41.00

AMS Member Price: $32.80

MAA Member Price: $36.00

**Electronic ISBN: 978-1-4704-4988-9
Product Code: MCL/22.E**

List Price: $41.00

AMS Member Price: $32.80

MAA Member Price: $36.00

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#### Supplemental Materials

# Mathematics: Rhyme and Reason

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*Mel Currie*

A co-publication of the AMS and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

Mathematics: Rhyme and Reason is an exploration of
the aesthetic value of mathematics and the culture of the mathematics
community.

This book introduces budding mathematicians of all
ages to mathematical ways of thinking through a series of chapters
that mix episodes from the author's life with explanations of
intriguing mathematical concepts and the stories of the mathematicians
who discovered them. The chapters can be read independently, and most
require only a background in basic high school algebra or geometry to
appreciate the topics covered.

Part personal memoir, part
appreciation of the poetry and humanity inherent in mathematics, this
entertaining collection of stories, theorems, and reflections will be
of interest to anyone curious about mathematics and the human beings
who practice it.

Author appearance: Watch a lecture
given by Mel Currie about his book at Brown University's Institute for
Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) on
November 8, 2018.

In the interest of fostering a greater awareness and appreciation of
mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and everyday life, MSRI
and the AMS are publishing books in the Mathematical Circles Library series as
a service to young people, their parents and teachers, and the mathematics
profession.

Titles in this series are co-published with the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI).

#### Readership

High school students and teachers as well as mathematically curious adults.

#### Reviews & Endorsements

With charm and elegance, the book weaves together beautiful and captivating mathematical vignettes with anecdotes from the author's life in mathematics...The real attraction is the stories from Currie's life: famous mathematicians he has known, personal mathematical struggles and triumphs, curious and amusing episodes. Currie himself is an interesting character, and we get to know a bit about his non-mathematical sides: connections with music, a proclivity for anagramology, students and colleagues he has mentored...Overall, Currie's is an attractive story. I highly recommend it, especially for readers like me who love mathematical gossip.

-- Dan Kalman, Mathematical Reviews

'Mathematics: Rhyme and Reason' is like a good thriller novel—you can't put it down...Currie's book is part of the Mathematical Circles Library series, which is published 'in the interest of fostering a greater awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and everyday life (among) young people, their parents and teachers, and the mathematics profession.' Based on a sample of one I would say Currie's book should go a long way towards accomplishing this goal...Buy this book. Give a copy to any high school or early college students you hope to recruit to mathematics. If you ever get a chance to meet Currie or hear him speak—go!

-- Richard J. Wilders, MAA Reviews

#### Table of Contents

# Table of Contents

## Mathematics: Rhyme and Reason

- Cover Cover11
- Title page iii4
- Preface ix10
- Chapter 1. The Riddle 116
- Chapter 2. Primes 318
- Chapter 3. Some Geometry 924
- Chapter 4. Mysterious Pattern 1732
- Chapter 5. Some Things Add Up. Some Don’t. 2136
- Chapter 6. A Tangential Remark 2944
- Chapter 7. Plus or Minus 3550
- Chapter 8. Making the Optimal Choice 4156
- Chapter 9. Impossibilities 4762
- Chapter 10. Magnitudes of Infinity 5772
- Chapter 11. The Inevitable (Sperner’s Lemma—The Brouwer Fixed-Point Theorem) 6782
- Chapter 12. Consider the Sequence (Fibonacci and Golden Ratio) 8196
- Chapter 13. What Are the Chances? 91106
- Chapter 14. The Euler Line 99114
- Chapter 15. The Dissertation 109124
- Chapter 16. The Next Prime Number Is? (Gandhi’s Formula) 113128
- Chapter 17. Bulgarian Solitaire 119134
- Chapter 18. Which is Bigger? (𝑎^{𝑏} versus 𝑏^{𝑎}) 131146
- Chapter 19. Fascinating 135150
- Chapter 20. From the Sublime to the Ridiculous 141156
- Chapter 21. A Few More Words 147162
- Photos and Pictures 151166
- Appendix A. Notation, etc. 161176
- Appendix B. Mysterious 167182
- Appendix C. Impossibilities 171186
- Appendix D. Magnitudes 173188
- Appendix E. Fascinating 175190
- Back Cover Back Cover1194