Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities Hardcover – 2 Oct 2008
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This is a superb Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities that deserves a place with the classics of the genre. (Mathematics today)
The book's goofy and unabashed enthusiasm will charm any interested teenager (Daily Telegraph)
interesting and illuminating... (BBC Focus)
Stewart has served up the instructive equivalent of a Michelin-starred tasting menu, or perhaps a smorgasbord of appetisers. And of course, appetisers are designed to give you an appetite for more. (Tim Radford Guardian)
A book of mathematical oddities: games, puzzles, facts, numbers and delightful mathematical nibbles for the curious and adventurous mind.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
although the solution to the problem on page 143 is wrong
Packed full of puzzles, and funny quirks of number patterns, this book is for readers of all abilities who have an interest in numerical gymnastics.
The other main component of the book is the history of mathematical research and development, in which Stewart gives an insight into the discovery of numerous maths theories and laws. And whilst this is -- at times -- heavy going, it's delivered in bite-size sections, interspersed throughout the book, which itself is given in tiny portions, allowing the reader to pick up and read at any time.
Brilliantly collected puzzles and stories with easy-to-understand solutions and explanations, Stewart's jovial delivery makes this book an unalloyed pleasure. 10/10!
Andy Gibson, 35, Fleet, Hampshire.
So my initial advice for any readers of this would be get a notepad and some pens and keep them nearby. Fans of recreational mathematics will find much that is familiar here, as some problems recur in just about every such 'popular' level book on maths, such as the problem of the bridges of Konigsberg or lots of factoids about pi.
That may sound like damning with faint praise, but there is a depth of mathematics on display here that is rather splendid. Many of the ideas are really quite profound, yet the way they are presented makes them quite accessible. A non mathematician might disagree with me, but it may be interesting to find out from others if there are areas where they get stuck.
There is a general trend for the puzzles to get a little bit more difficult later on in the book. So we are given some treats that will be unfamiliar even to those who did maths at A-level. We deal with topics ranging from geometry, number theory, topology and even some complexity is thrown in at the end.
I probably ought to add that for any sections that ask questions there are answers provided at the back of the book.Read more ›
Forget about what some of the other comments said, if your a average person with average abilities in mathematics you should easily understand this book just as I did, I'm no brain box. If your not too good at math then maybe give this a miss, otherwise pick this book up and give it a read.
the version that i have has an incorrect printing of the 3x3 "nearly magic" square on p66, the first of the two examples. the fix is fairly easy though and provides a nice additional problem for anyone interested!
There are lots and lots of maths-themed topics and while there are some equations, they are straight forward, school-level stuff (we are not in "A Brief History of Time" territory here!), so they don't alienate the average reader like me. Stewart also writes in a nice, accessible and jaunty style and so makes it fun.
A good read. Recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good book, that has started to inspire my daughter beyond the norms of her maths school work.Published 2 months ago by Umesh Patel
Really interesting, but not for beginners. A level I suggest at least. But some of the tricks could be useful for KS1 children as well.Published 5 months ago by A.
This book is great, but I would say many of the "curiosities"almost need you to be taking your own notes in order to grapple with the subject matter. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Richard
This book was actually recommended to me by a tutor!!
Upon reading it I was really miffed because it's full of what can only be described as claptrap! Read more
I like this book. It is quite quirkily written and is interesting.Published 21 months ago by R B A Mungall
This is the second review of a trilogy, I'm reading in entirely the wrong order (book 3, then 1 here, and 2 to follow), so for me, this book is a predecessor to Professor Stewart's... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Brian Clegg