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Putting Two and Two Together: Selections from the Mathologer Files
 
Burkard Polster Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Marty Ross Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Front Cover for Putting Two and Two Together
Available Formats:
Softcover ISBN: 978-1-4704-6011-2
Product Code: MBK/141
List Price: $39.00
MAA Member Price: $35.10
AMS Member Price: $31.20
Electronic ISBN: 978-1-4704-6825-5
Product Code: MBK/141.E
List Price: $39.00
MAA Member Price: $35.10
AMS Member Price: $31.20
Bundle Print and Electronic Formats and Save!
This product is available for purchase as a bundle. Purchasing as a bundle enables you to save on the electronic version.
List Price: $58.50
MAA Member Price: $52.65
AMS Member Price: $46.80
Front Cover for Putting Two and Two Together
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  • Front Cover for Putting Two and Two Together
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Putting Two and Two Together: Selections from the Mathologer Files
Burkard Polster Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Marty Ross Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Available Formats:
Softcover ISBN:  978-1-4704-6011-2
Product Code:  MBK/141
List Price: $39.00
MAA Member Price: $35.10
AMS Member Price: $31.20
Electronic ISBN:  978-1-4704-6825-5
Product Code:  MBK/141.E
List Price: $39.00
MAA Member Price: $35.10
AMS Member Price: $31.20
Bundle Print and Electronic Formats and Save!
This product is available for purchase as a bundle. Purchasing as a bundle enables you to save on the electronic version.
List Price: $58.50
MAA Member Price: $52.65
AMS Member Price: $46.80
  • Book Details
     
     
    2021; 274 pp
    MSC: Primary 00; 97;
    2022 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

    Putting Two and Two Together is a humorous and quirky collection of unusual, ingenious, and beautiful morsels of mathematics. Authors Burkard Polster (YouTube's Mathologer) and Marty Ross delve into mathematical puzzles and phenomena in engaging stories featuring current events, sports, and history, many flavored with a distinctive bit of Australiana. Each chapter ends with “puzzles to ponder” that will spur further reflection.

    These stories were written for a general audience, and originally appeared in the Maths Masters column in The Age newspaper. The book offers mathematical entertainment for curious readers of all ages, and assumes a minimum of mathematical background.

    Polster and Ross are masters of the genre this book represents: a cornucopia of offerings, from across the mathematical spectrum. Their articles are entertaining, captivating, and informative, and will appeal to everyone from interested amateurs to old pros. On top of all that, the prose is clear, concise and a lot of fun—happily with a charmingly Aussie flavo(u)r. Crack the spine and enjoy!

    Michael Berg, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles

    The American Mathematical Society must be congratulated on publishing a singularly amusing synthesis of cultural anthropology coupled with mathematical entertainment.

    Tushar Das, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse

    Polster and Ross are as good as the original master, Martin Gardner! They are also as good as that other great popularizer of mathematics, Ian Stewart, who took up Gardner's mantle, and as good as Douglas Hofstedter, who also followed in Gardner's footsteps as popularizers of mathematics within regular columns in “Scientific American”, and elsewhere.

    I recommend this new book very highly! Like Poster and Ross's first collection of columns, it is one that you can happily read from cover to cover, or dip into at any random point, and find treasures. You will then often return, savouring, and often laughing, while also learning, and responding to thoughtful challenges!

    John Gough, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia

    Readership

    Mathematically curious readers of all ages.

    This item is also available as part of a set:
  • Table of Contents
     
     
    • Putting two and two together
    • Cordial math
    • Uncovering base motives
    • Sneaky square dance
    • A very strange set of blocks
    • Parabolic production line
    • The magic of the imaginary
    • There’s no $e$ in Euler
    • What’s the best way to lace your shoes?
    • Ringing the changes
    • The shape of things to come
    • Triangle surfer dude
    • We have it pegged
    • Shadowlands
    • Picture perfect
    • Tractrix and truck tricks
    • Cycling in circles
    • Which way did Natalie go?
    • $\pi =3$
    • Just the right level of wine
    • Spotting an unfortunate spot
    • Summing up the mystery of flight MH370
    • Choc-full of mathematics
    • Too hot, too cold, just right
    • A bloody good sport
    • Seeds of doubt
    • Tennis math, anyone?
    • The ball was in AND out? You cannot be serious!
    • Giving it your best shot
    • Bombs, and a bombed Riewoldt
    • Diophantine footy fan
    • Walk, don’t run!
    • Tour de math
    • How round is your soccer ball?
    • And the winner is...
    • The house that math built
    • Visionary Voronoi
    • Melbourne’s catenary chaos
    • Eureka!
    • Archimedes’ crocodile
    • Melbourne Grammar mystery map
    • A rectangle, some spheres and lots of triangles
    • A chance encounter
    • So you think you can beat the bookies?
    • A Penney for your thoughts
    • The Playmobil mystery
    • The devil is in the dice
    • The Freddo Frog path to perfection
    • Will Rogers, clever Kiwis and medical magic
    • The hidden karma of snakes and ladders
    • Space and time, final frontiers
    • Poet of the universe
    • Escape to our Moon planet
    • Tickling Orion with a triangle
    • The eternal triangles
    • On primes and Pluto
    • The math of planet Mars
    • Letter from Germany: The eternal grind
    • Calendar kinks
    • Strange moves of a mathematical feast
    • Lucky Friday the 13th
    • On the shoulders of lesser giants
    • Hermann the hermit
    • The equals of Robert Recorde
    • Pythagoras’s theorem ain’t Pythagoras’s
    • Six of one, Babylonian the other
    • It’s Chris Mass time
    • Clearing a logjam
    • Squares, triangles and other labor-saving devices
    • The doodle, the witch and Maria
    • Christian Goldbach’s magic sum
    • Appendix: solutions to the puzzles
    • Solutions to the puzzles
  • Reviews
     
     
    • Polster and Ross offer a delightful romp through a thoughtfully curated selection of 64 columns from their "Maths Masters" series, which appeared first in the Melbourne, Australia, newspaper 'The Age' and later moved online. Polster and Ross are enabled by a quirky sense of humor that permeates their writing and makes for a delightful read. Each chapter presents an interesting topic and ends with one or two "puzzles to ponder," making this text a worthy addition to any math teacher's desk collection. The book provides excellent reading for undergraduate mathematics majors and pre-service math teachers.

      R. M. Fischer, Montana State University
    • This simple-but-deep theme perfectly captures the spirit of the collection of articles by Polster and Ross: amusing titles and clever narratives serving as easily accessible entry points to some surprisingly deep, sophisticated, and, above all, fun mathematics.

      As someone who teaches primarily undergraduate students, does research with undergrads, and is heavily involved in math circles and other math outreach activities, I found this book to be a pleasure to read. Finding math materials that are appropriate for a variety of levels and backgrounds can be a challenge. Care must be put into both the scaffolding of topics and the 'hook' to draw in the reader or student. I found that this book excelled at delivering the hooks and ordered the presentation of the material in a thoughtful and clear way.

      This is a fun, well-written book that epitomizes the idea of 'low floor, high ceiling' in mathematics. There is something here for readers of all ages and backgrounds, and it would be hard to find anything either too daunting or too trivial. Whether purely for recreation, as a supplement to a class, or as an inspiration for future studies or lessons, this book provides something for every learner.

      Tien Chih, Oxford College of Emory University
    • What does this book talk about? Nearly everything. Just to cite two of my favorites: the optimal way to lace your shoes, and why pictures often refuse to hang straight....All the chapters are nicely illustrated, with pictures or drawings helping to visualize and understand the reasoning throughout. By the way, several chapters are about the shapes of buildings located in various places in Australia, so it's definitely handy to have their pictures at the beginning of the chapter. I think this is a book that is never boring, always entertaining and humorous, and often positively surprising.

      Fabio Mainardi, Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences
    • Polster and Ross are masters of the genre this book represents: a cornucopia of offerings, from across the mathematical spectrum. Their articles are entertaining, captivating, and informative, and will appeal to everyone from interested amateurs to old pros. On top of all that, the prose is clear, concise and a lot of fun—happily with a charmingly Aussie flavo(u)r. Crack the spine and enjoy!

      Michael Berg, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
    • The American Mathematical Society must be congratulated on publishing a singularly amusing synthesis of cultural anthropology coupled with mathematical entertainment.

      Tushar Das, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
    • Polster and Ross are as good as the original master, Martin Gardner! They are also as good as that other great popularizer of mathematics, Ian Stewart, who took up Gardner's mantle, and as good as Douglas Hofstedter, who also followed in Gardner's footsteps as popularizers of mathematics within regular columns in “Scientific American”, and elsewhere.

      I recommend this new book very highly! Like Poster and Ross's first collection of columns, it is one that you can happily read from cover to cover, or dip into at any random point, and find treasures. You will then often return, savouring, and often laughing, while also learning, and responding to thoughtful challenges!

      John Gough, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia
  • Request Review Copy
  • Get Permissions
2021; 274 pp
MSC: Primary 00; 97;
2022 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

Putting Two and Two Together is a humorous and quirky collection of unusual, ingenious, and beautiful morsels of mathematics. Authors Burkard Polster (YouTube's Mathologer) and Marty Ross delve into mathematical puzzles and phenomena in engaging stories featuring current events, sports, and history, many flavored with a distinctive bit of Australiana. Each chapter ends with “puzzles to ponder” that will spur further reflection.

These stories were written for a general audience, and originally appeared in the Maths Masters column in The Age newspaper. The book offers mathematical entertainment for curious readers of all ages, and assumes a minimum of mathematical background.

Polster and Ross are masters of the genre this book represents: a cornucopia of offerings, from across the mathematical spectrum. Their articles are entertaining, captivating, and informative, and will appeal to everyone from interested amateurs to old pros. On top of all that, the prose is clear, concise and a lot of fun—happily with a charmingly Aussie flavo(u)r. Crack the spine and enjoy!

Michael Berg, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles

The American Mathematical Society must be congratulated on publishing a singularly amusing synthesis of cultural anthropology coupled with mathematical entertainment.

Tushar Das, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse

Polster and Ross are as good as the original master, Martin Gardner! They are also as good as that other great popularizer of mathematics, Ian Stewart, who took up Gardner's mantle, and as good as Douglas Hofstedter, who also followed in Gardner's footsteps as popularizers of mathematics within regular columns in “Scientific American”, and elsewhere.

I recommend this new book very highly! Like Poster and Ross's first collection of columns, it is one that you can happily read from cover to cover, or dip into at any random point, and find treasures. You will then often return, savouring, and often laughing, while also learning, and responding to thoughtful challenges!

John Gough, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia

Readership

Mathematically curious readers of all ages.

This item is also available as part of a set:
  • Putting two and two together
  • Cordial math
  • Uncovering base motives
  • Sneaky square dance
  • A very strange set of blocks
  • Parabolic production line
  • The magic of the imaginary
  • There’s no $e$ in Euler
  • What’s the best way to lace your shoes?
  • Ringing the changes
  • The shape of things to come
  • Triangle surfer dude
  • We have it pegged
  • Shadowlands
  • Picture perfect
  • Tractrix and truck tricks
  • Cycling in circles
  • Which way did Natalie go?
  • $\pi =3$
  • Just the right level of wine
  • Spotting an unfortunate spot
  • Summing up the mystery of flight MH370
  • Choc-full of mathematics
  • Too hot, too cold, just right
  • A bloody good sport
  • Seeds of doubt
  • Tennis math, anyone?
  • The ball was in AND out? You cannot be serious!
  • Giving it your best shot
  • Bombs, and a bombed Riewoldt
  • Diophantine footy fan
  • Walk, don’t run!
  • Tour de math
  • How round is your soccer ball?
  • And the winner is...
  • The house that math built
  • Visionary Voronoi
  • Melbourne’s catenary chaos
  • Eureka!
  • Archimedes’ crocodile
  • Melbourne Grammar mystery map
  • A rectangle, some spheres and lots of triangles
  • A chance encounter
  • So you think you can beat the bookies?
  • A Penney for your thoughts
  • The Playmobil mystery
  • The devil is in the dice
  • The Freddo Frog path to perfection
  • Will Rogers, clever Kiwis and medical magic
  • The hidden karma of snakes and ladders
  • Space and time, final frontiers
  • Poet of the universe
  • Escape to our Moon planet
  • Tickling Orion with a triangle
  • The eternal triangles
  • On primes and Pluto
  • The math of planet Mars
  • Letter from Germany: The eternal grind
  • Calendar kinks
  • Strange moves of a mathematical feast
  • Lucky Friday the 13th
  • On the shoulders of lesser giants
  • Hermann the hermit
  • The equals of Robert Recorde
  • Pythagoras’s theorem ain’t Pythagoras’s
  • Six of one, Babylonian the other
  • It’s Chris Mass time
  • Clearing a logjam
  • Squares, triangles and other labor-saving devices
  • The doodle, the witch and Maria
  • Christian Goldbach’s magic sum
  • Appendix: solutions to the puzzles
  • Solutions to the puzzles
  • Polster and Ross offer a delightful romp through a thoughtfully curated selection of 64 columns from their "Maths Masters" series, which appeared first in the Melbourne, Australia, newspaper 'The Age' and later moved online. Polster and Ross are enabled by a quirky sense of humor that permeates their writing and makes for a delightful read. Each chapter presents an interesting topic and ends with one or two "puzzles to ponder," making this text a worthy addition to any math teacher's desk collection. The book provides excellent reading for undergraduate mathematics majors and pre-service math teachers.

    R. M. Fischer, Montana State University
  • This simple-but-deep theme perfectly captures the spirit of the collection of articles by Polster and Ross: amusing titles and clever narratives serving as easily accessible entry points to some surprisingly deep, sophisticated, and, above all, fun mathematics.

    As someone who teaches primarily undergraduate students, does research with undergrads, and is heavily involved in math circles and other math outreach activities, I found this book to be a pleasure to read. Finding math materials that are appropriate for a variety of levels and backgrounds can be a challenge. Care must be put into both the scaffolding of topics and the 'hook' to draw in the reader or student. I found that this book excelled at delivering the hooks and ordered the presentation of the material in a thoughtful and clear way.

    This is a fun, well-written book that epitomizes the idea of 'low floor, high ceiling' in mathematics. There is something here for readers of all ages and backgrounds, and it would be hard to find anything either too daunting or too trivial. Whether purely for recreation, as a supplement to a class, or as an inspiration for future studies or lessons, this book provides something for every learner.

    Tien Chih, Oxford College of Emory University
  • What does this book talk about? Nearly everything. Just to cite two of my favorites: the optimal way to lace your shoes, and why pictures often refuse to hang straight....All the chapters are nicely illustrated, with pictures or drawings helping to visualize and understand the reasoning throughout. By the way, several chapters are about the shapes of buildings located in various places in Australia, so it's definitely handy to have their pictures at the beginning of the chapter. I think this is a book that is never boring, always entertaining and humorous, and often positively surprising.

    Fabio Mainardi, Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences
  • Polster and Ross are masters of the genre this book represents: a cornucopia of offerings, from across the mathematical spectrum. Their articles are entertaining, captivating, and informative, and will appeal to everyone from interested amateurs to old pros. On top of all that, the prose is clear, concise and a lot of fun—happily with a charmingly Aussie flavo(u)r. Crack the spine and enjoy!

    Michael Berg, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
  • The American Mathematical Society must be congratulated on publishing a singularly amusing synthesis of cultural anthropology coupled with mathematical entertainment.

    Tushar Das, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
  • Polster and Ross are as good as the original master, Martin Gardner! They are also as good as that other great popularizer of mathematics, Ian Stewart, who took up Gardner's mantle, and as good as Douglas Hofstedter, who also followed in Gardner's footsteps as popularizers of mathematics within regular columns in “Scientific American”, and elsewhere.

    I recommend this new book very highly! Like Poster and Ross's first collection of columns, it is one that you can happily read from cover to cover, or dip into at any random point, and find treasures. You will then often return, savouring, and often laughing, while also learning, and responding to thoughtful challenges!

    John Gough, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia
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