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Paperback A Passion for Mathematics : Numbers, Puzzles, Madness, Religion, and the Quest for Reality Book

ISBN: 0471690988

ISBN13: 9780471690986

A Passion for Mathematics : Numbers, Puzzles, Madness, Religion, and the Quest for Reality

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Book Overview

""A Passion for Mathematics"" is an educational, entertaining trip through the curiosities of the math world, blending an eclectic mix of history, biography, philosophy, number theory, geometry, probability, huge numbers, and mind-bending problems into a delightfully compelling collection that is sure to please math buffs, students, and experienced mathematicians alike. In each chapter, Clifford Pickover provides factoids, anecdotes, definitions,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Marvellous collection of curious math facts

Clifford A. Pickover's book A Passion for Mathematics is a marvellous collection of curious math facts that is sure to please lovers of Recreational Mathematics everywhere. Pickover's book is filled with math curiosities that will enchant all those with a genuine interest in and love of recreational mathematics. Pickover's book contains many mathematical gems. Within its covers there are many beautiful and interesting formulas involving the famous math constant, Pi. On page 78 of the book Pickover gives a truly beautiful and wonderful equation involving the two famous transcendentals, Pi and e. This equation illustrates the beauty and harmony that is to be found throughout mathematics. The book is crammed with extremely interesting number facts. Many delightful puzzles are also packed between its covers. I particularly liked Pickover's discussion of Sam Loyd's mixed teas puzzle, which illustrates just how good a mathematician Sam Loyd was. This book will find a very welcome place on my bookshelf. Pickover's book will also be welcomed by all those who like to read about or collect curious mathematical facts and oddities.

Beyond Ordinary Numbers

Clifford A. Pickover, "A Passion for Mathematics," many figures, an answer section, a section of mathematical artwork. The book is a real treat. Chapter 2, titled "Cool Numbers" (pgs 45-110) is particularly encyclopedic. In this chapter, the reader learns about fascinating numbers and strange number sequences. Topic covered: transcendental numbers, octonions, surreal numbers, obstinate numbers, cyclic numbers, Vibonacci numbers perfect numbers, automorphic numbers, prime numbers, Wilson primes, palindromic primes, Fibonacci primes, Sophie Germain primes, Baxter-Hickerson primes, star-congruent primes, narcissistic numbers, amenable numbers, amicable numbers, p-adic numbers, large palindromes, factorions, hyperfactorials, primorials, palindions and hyperpalindions, exotic-looking formulas for pi, the Golay-Rudin-Shapiro sequence, Mill's constant, wonderful Pochhammer notation, famous and curious math constants (like Liouville's constant, the Copeland-Erdös constant, Brun's constant, Champernowne's number, Euler's gamma, Chaitin's constant, the Landau-Ramanujan constant, the golden ratio, Apéry's constant, and mathematical constants almost too strange to contemplate.) Other topics: Jesus and mathematics. Why is the number 13 considered unlucky? Who discovered pi? What are "nimbers"? What would happen if everyone's body weight were quantized and came in multiples of pi pounds? Something for all readers.

Unique & Passionate Math Book

A truly passionate and exciting book, focusing on a wide variety of math concepts. In this book, Cliff Pickover gives you everything your math teachers somehow forgot to reveal to you -- exotic and beautiful insights and math curiosities you can hardly imagine. The book is lively, with an inviting visual format. Here you'll read about unusual, outstanding mathematicians, about Jesus and multiplication, Fibonacci snakes, the number 10 and the Jews, rare sums, mathematics and romance, mathematics of toilet paper, how to create kissing circles, about the mystery of infinity, mathematics and beauty, and more... Cliff Pickover reveals hidden mysteries of the mathematical world, expands your mind and shows you how mathematics can make your everyday life exciting and colorful. He does this in a fun, relaxing, playful, and extremely pleasing way. After reading "A Passion for Mathematics," you'll keep it close to your bedside, discuss it with your friends, and what's most important -- you'll never be scared of mathematics anymore. And finally you'll get the answer to the question that bothered you for years: why on Earth do we have to learn mathematics? An amazing math book, which brings a smile on your face and enriches your life.

A Treasure Chest of Curisoities

I enjoyed this book quite a bit and found material I had never encountered before in any book. In particular, these novel topics included: Schmidhuber circles (created by some very simple rules), the world's most forgettable license plate, calculating prodigy Rudiger Gamm, and several fascinating snippets on tic-tac-toe. Pickover has a particularly interesting set of sections that introduce the reader to numbers like Conway's nimbers, octonions, surreal numbers, and related. There's also quite a collection of mathematical constants to ponder: Apery's, Brun's, Chaitin, Champernowne, coincidental, Copeland-Erdös, Euler's gamma, Euler-Mascheroni, fine structure, golden ratio, infinite power tower, Landau-Ramanujan, Liouville, Mandelbrot, Mill's, pi, and Thue. Finally, the book is littered with great-looking formulas from Ramanujan. Just how could Ramanujan have discovered these gems? I liked some if the odd prime number contests and challenges, especially the "Triangle of the Gods," where Pickover had asked colleagues to find the first prime number in this interesting growing triangle: 1 12 123 1234 12345 123456 1234567 12345678 123456789 1234567890 12345678901 123456789012 1234567890123 etc...

More wonders of numbers

In a "Passion for Mathematics", Clifford Pickover takes up where he left off in his widely-acclaimed book "Wonders of Numbers." The passion in the title refers to the work of Ramanujan, a mathematician from India who startled the world with equations seemingly pulled from thin air. Ramanujan credited a goddess, Namagiri, for his inspiration. Thus, part of this work deals with the life and legacy of Ramanujan. The passion may also refer to Pickover's infatuation with the riddles of mathematics. He deals with classic problems such as that of the Bridges of Konigsberg or the always popular secrets of magic squares. Some of the mathematical investigations are a little further off the beaten track. For example, what is the most forgettable license plate? A friend of Pickover, a physicist, actually has a plate with the string of letters "syzygys." (See "customer image") Is this impossible to remember? Most people may say yes. However, it is easy to recall if you are a solar eclipse devotee or a fan of the musical group of that name. Pickover concludes that the string with the highest entropy (the most disorder) is the most forgettable, e.g., the binary string 11010010. This is an excellent book for those who would like to share the passion for mathematics of Ramujan and Pickover.
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