The Magic of Math is the math book you wish you had in school. Using a delightful assortment of examples--from ice cream scoops and poker hands to measuring mountains and making magic squares--this book empowers you to see the beauty, simplicity, and truly magical properties behind those formulas and equations that once left your head spinning. Read more...
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The Magic of Math is the math book you wish you had in school. Using a delightful assortment of examples--from ice cream scoops and poker hands to measuring mountains and making magic squares--this book empowers you to see the beauty, simplicity, and truly magical properties behind those formulas and equations that once left your head spinning. You'll learn the key ideas of classic areas of mathematics like arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus, but you'll also have fun fooling around with Fibonacci numbers, investigating infinity, and marveling over mathematical magic tricks that will make you look like a math genius
A mathematician who is known throughout the world as the "mathemagician," Arthur Benjamin mixes mathematics and magic to make the subject fun, attractive, and easy to understand. In The Magic of Math, Benjamin does more than just teach skills: with a tip of his magic hat, he takes you on as his apprentice to teach you how to appreciate math the way he does. He motivates you to learn something new about how to solve for x, because there is real pleasure to be found in the solution to a challenging problem or in using numbers to do something useful. But what he really wants you to do is be able to figure out why, for that's where you'll find the real beauty, power, and magic of math.
If you are already someone who likes math, this book will dazzle and amuse you. If you never particularly liked or understood math, Benjamin will enlighten you and--with a wave of his magic wand--turn you into a math lover.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-06-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Pizza and poker hands, ice cream and “immortal” rabbits—these items aren’t typically to be found in math books, but Benjamin (The Secrets of Mental Math), professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, welcomes them all with open arms in this positively joyful exploration of mathematics. His approach is simple and refreshingly practical. A look at number patterns introduces tricks for carrying out “fast mental calculations”; a chapter on the properties of the number nine reveals methods for easily calculating calendar dates. Without ever using the word “statistics,” Benjamin deftly covers the basics of calculating the odds of having a winning lottery ticket or poker hand. Whether figuring out compound interest, using trigonometry to determine the height of a tree, or employing calculus to work out a shortest possible walking route, each topic is presented in the clearest, simplest way possible. There’s even room for explorations of more abstract concepts such as pi, imaginary numbers, and infinity. Benjamin’s accessible book expands on video lectures on “The Joy of Mathematics” that were created for the Great Courses series, and its energy and enthusiasm should charm even the most math-phobic readers. Agent: Karen Gantz, Karen Gantz Literary Management. (Sept.)