An innovative and appealing way for the layperson to develop math skills--while actually enjoying it
Most people agree that math is important, but few would say it's fun. This book will show you that the subject you learned to hate in high school can be as entertaining as a witty remark, as engrossing as the mystery novel you can't put down--in short, fun! As veteran math educators Posamentier and Lehmann demonstrate, when you realize that doing math can be enjoyable, you open a door into a world of unexpected insights while learning an important skill.
The authors illustrate the point with many easily understandable examples. One of these is what mathematicians call the "Ruth-Aaron pair" (714 and 715), named after the respective career home runs of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. These two consecutive integers contain a host of interesting features, one of which is that their prime factors when added together have the same sum.
The authors also explore the unusual aspects of such numbers as 11 and 18, which have intriguing properties usually overlooked by standard math curriculums. And to make you a better all-around problem solver, a variety of problems is presented that appear simple but have surprisingly clever solutions.
If math has frustrated you over the years, this delightful approach will teach you many things you thought were beyond your reach, while conveying the key message that math can and should be anything but boring.
About the Author
ALFRED S. POSAMENTIER is dean of the School of Education and professor of mathematics education at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Previously, he had the same positions at the City College of the City University of New York for forty years. He has published over fifty-five books in the area of mathematics and mathematics education, including Magnificent Mistakes in Mathematics and The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers (with Ingmar Lehmann).
INGMAR LEHMANN is retired from the mathematics faculty at Humboldt University in Berlin. For many years he led the Berlin Mathematics Student Society for gifted secondary-school students, with which he is still closely engaged today. He is the coauthor with Alfred S. Posamentier of Magnificent Mistakes in Mathematics and The Glorious Golden Ratio, and four other books.
“Mathematical Curiosities takes the reader on a delightful journey through the fascinating relationships that exist in mathematics. From amazing arithmetic surprises to a gaggle of geometry gems, this book will instill a love and appreciation for the beauty of mathematics in both experienced and casual mathematicians. You are sure to enjoy this foray into the curious and surprising mathematical world that, until now, was only accessible to professional mathematicians and enthusiasts.”
—Daniel Jaye, chief academic officer, Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County
“This book truly presents a most unusual collection of mathematical curiosities that will motivate and interest a broad audience. I was amazed at the plethora of clever relationships that have been exposed by the authors—many of which will be new to most readers—despite the fact that most are relatively elementary. This book, which demonstrates many mind-boggling mathematical relationships, should be attractive to those who already love mathematics, and it should win over those who might be skeptical about their relationship with this subject.”
—Charlotte K. Frank, PhD, senior advisor, Research and Development, McGraw-Hill Education
“It’s a treasure trove, indeed.... There are many reasons to share in this arithmetic potluck with the authors. Did you ever hear anything about the clever way Babylonian peasants solved multiplications of large numbers? This book will tell you and entertain you.”
—Dr. Gerhard Ackermann, professor and retired president, Beuth University of Applied Sciences, Berlin
“Posamentier and Lehmann are bringing back two neglected arts: the joy of teaching and the joy of learning. Nothing could be more important.”
—Harry Phillips III, New York State Board of Regents