Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities

Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities

By Ian Stewart

Basic Books (AZ), Paperback, 9780465013029, 310pp.

Publication Date: January 5, 2009

Knowing that the most exciting math is "not" taught in school, Professor Ian Stewart has spent years filling his cabinet with intriguing mathematical games, puzzles, stories, and factoids intended for the adventurous mind. This book reveals the most exhilarating oddities from Professor Stewart's legendary cabinet.

Inside, you will find hidden gems of logic, geometry, and probabilitylike how to extract a cherry from a cocktail glass (harder than you think), a pop-up dodecahedron, and the real reason why you can t divide anything by zero. Scattered among these are keys to Fermat's last theorem, the Poincare conjecture, chaos theory, and the P=NP problem (you ll win a million dollars if you solve it). You never know what enigmas you ll find in the Stewart cabinet, but they re sure to be clever, mind-expanding, and delightfully fun.

About the Author
Ian Stewart is Professor of Mathematics at Warwick University in England. His many books include Does God Play Dice?, The collapse of Chaos (with Jack Cohen), Game, Set and Math, and Fearful Symmetry: Is God a Geometer? (with Martin Golubitsky). He contributed to a wide range of newspapers and
magazines, and writes the "Mathematical Recreations" column of Scientific American.

Praise For Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities

“[Armchair mathematicians] are certain to find pleasure in this cornucopia of puzzles, brainteasers, and digressions…. The ideal book for dispelling the supposed drudgery of mathematics with its real magic.”

New Scientist
“Stewart has a genius for explanation that allows details of the Poincaré conjecture and Riemann hypothesis to sit happily alongside a quip about a chicken crossing a Möbius strip…. Mathematics doesn’t come more entertaining than this.”

Chicago Tribune
“The exciting side of math – puzzles, games and thrilling oddities.”

Science News
“What positive integer is equal to its own Scrabble score when spelled out in full? Stewart…offers this and a hodgepodge of other puzzles, paradoxes, brainteasers, tricks, facts and jokes, which he accurately calls ‘curiosities.’.”

IEEE Spectrum
“Open one of the 179 ‘drawers’ in Professor Stewart’s cabinet, and you might find just a one-liner…or a seven-page essay on Fermat’s last theorem…. The book can be devoured in one giant gulp or savored, one curiosity at a time.”

The College Mathematics Journal
“[A] high-speed, nonetheless in-depth romp through elementary and advanced mathematical topics, accessible to any interested reader willing to expend a little effort.”

Mathematics Teacher
“The puzzles are entertaining…. The book’s topics, which will appeal to mathematics teachers at all levels, both amused and fascinated me.”