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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures,
By D. Jones (Warwickshire)  See all my reviews (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER) (TOP 100 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)
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This review is from: Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures (Kindle Edition)
Ian Stewart is a professor of mathematics and over the years he has kept bits of notes on mathematical curiosities, puzzles, facts, stories he has come across. This book is a publication of some of those little treasures. This book carries on from his earlier Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities which had a different collection of curiosities.
There are about 150 topics in all, some run to many pages such as the development of the abacus, others are short and to the point. Some puzzles I could solve fairly quickly others remained baffling. I guess it is just down to whether you see a method to solve it straight away or you just flail around. But that is the enjoyment of puzzle solving. You will find a story about Newton's cats (not that interesting) alongside a logic puzzle about swallowing elephants (quite interesting). And that is the nature of this book, each reader will find a different mix of things to enjoy. The stories and puzzles cover a huge range of topics including number theory, topology, mathematical tricks, cryptography, cosmology. It is a fine book to just dip into, as each item has nothing to do with the others. Professor Stewart does provide outline answers to most of the puzzles although even understanding some of the methods used at times is a challenge in itself! I enjoyed this book and came away from the book with a few extra party tricks to try out with friends and family along with a collection of 'did you know' stories (did you know that the = sign was developed by a Welshman in 1557!) Highly recommended for anyone who likes intellectual puzzles or learning interesting snippets of information.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
A great little book,
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This review is from: Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures (Hardcover)
A really great book. Its precursor, "Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities", was a hard act to follow, but I think that "Hoard of Mathematical Treasures" is even better. There's something interesting, thoughtprovoking or amusing on every one of its 339 pages. I also appreciate its modest dimensions so that you can take it along in a bag to dip into on boring trips.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Math can be interesting and fun.,
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This review is from: Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures (Hardcover)
Ian Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures is the successor of Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities by the same author. A cynic might suspect that it will contain leftovers for which there was no more space in Cabinet, but that is certainly not the case. There are fewer well known topics than in Cabinet, but that makes the book only more interesting.
There are more than 150 entries. The shortest consists of only one sentence (Halloween=Christmas), but the longest extends over eight pages. They are not all equally interesting, but Stewart writes in a very engaging way and can make even complicated things understandable. There are entries on the history of mathematics (e.g, the abacus, the equal sign, Egyptian fractions, the slide ruler, Hilbert's problems, the symbol for pi, the factorial symbol, and the square root symbol), entries on number theory (e.g., the rule of eleven, the Catalan conjecture, congruent numbers, the GreenTao theorem, Euler's conjecture, and primes), entries on topology (e.g., hexaflexagons, flexible polyhedrons, the bellow's conjecture, the hairy ball theorem, horned spheres, knots, the ham sandwich theorem, the four color theorem, and how to turn a sphere inside out), and entries on applications of mathematics (e.g., codes and CAT scans). There are also quite a few entries that are really about physics (e.g., falling cats, antimatter, celestial resonance, global warming, and Lagrange points), which I found less interesting. There are only a few entries on well knows topics (e.g, magic squares and the Klein bottle) and I found only one entry copied from one of his other books (Common knowledge from Math Hysteria). For readers that want to become active there are many puzzles. Some are quite simple, others will keep you occupied for many hours. No less than 67 pages are devoted to the solutions. Personally I like How to Cut a Cake and Math Hysteria better, because these book delve deeper in the problems that they discuss, but I still highly recommend Hoard of Mathematical Treasures.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Intelligent, erudite, very well written, very well explained!,
By WheezingWeasel (UK)  See all my reviews
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This review is from: Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures (Hardcover)
I bought this book as a gift for a cousin who likes me, loves mathematics. I thought I'd cheekily be able to read it beforehand, and boy, does it delight! It certainly gripped me: the puzzles are absorbing and presented in such an approachable manner. It even got me, formally trained in the subject, interested in looking up those other areas I've not looked at in years. And the recipient of the gift felt likewise too.
This is certainly popular science writing at its finest, a joy for the reader, and an inspiration for us all scientists/mathematicians/engineers who sometimes work with the public.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Really fun and interesting,
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This review is from: Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures (Hardcover)
Ian Stewart is terrific. As a maths teacher I have used this book to develop some interesting angles from which to extend or introduce a new topic. I'm not sure if everybody could access the book as it does include explanations needing A level maths undstanding.
A great book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Brilliant book,
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This review is from: Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures (Paperback)
This is an interesting mix of mathematics problems and short stories from the history of mathematics. It would be a challenge for those students starting GCSE but, if student interest in maths is waning around Alevel decision time, I think it could inspire them to give A level maths a try. Also, for the more mature members of the public with an interest in maths, there are entertaining stories in this book that you probably have never met before. Definitely recommend.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great book,
By Smashon (UK)  See all my reviews
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This review is from: Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures (Paperback)
I gave it to my BF for christmas and we've both enjoyed working through  it was a lot better than I thought it would be.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fantastic book.,
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This review is from: Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures (Paperback)
A must read for anyone interested in mathematics, from young enthusiast to seasoned professional. Professor Stewart, these are treasures indeed. It should be noted that there are many references to the Cabinet of Methematical Curiosities (another brilliant book), so it might be worth buying them as a pair.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Professor Stewarts Hoard of Mathematical Treasures,
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This review is from: Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures (Paperback)
There is a lot in this book, and I am still working my way through it after several weeks.
If you love mathematical recreations, and enjoy challenging mathematical problems, then you will probably find, as I did, that this book a welcome addition to your libary.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A great read,
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This review is from: Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures (Hardcover)
It doesn't have to be read in sequence and having something that I can jump in and out of for 10 mins here and there is just perfect for my daily train journey.
If you like maths then Ian Stewarts books are definitely worth getting. 
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Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures by Ian Stewart (Hardcover  8 Oct. 2009)
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