Famous Puzzles of Great Mathematicians
About this Title
Miodrag S. Petković, University of Nis, Nis, Serbia
Publication: Miscellaneous Books
Publication Year: 2009; Volume 63
ISBNs: 978-0-8218-4814-2 (print); 978-1-4704-1599-0 (online)
MathSciNet review: MR2541498
MSC: Primary 00A08; Secondary 01A70
This entertaining book presents a collection of 180 famous mathematical puzzles and intriguing elementary problems that great mathematicians have posed, discussed, and/or solved. The selected problems do not require advanced mathematics, making this book accessible to a variety of readers.
Mathematical recreations offer a rich playground for both amateur and professional mathematicians. Believing that creative stimuli and aesthetic considerations are closely related, great mathematicians from ancient times to the present have always taken an interest in puzzles and diversions. The goal of this book is to show that famous mathematicians have all communicated brilliant ideas, methodological approaches, and absolute genius in mathematical thoughts by using recreational mathematics as a framework. Concise biographies of many mathematicians mentioned in the text are also included.
The majority of the mathematical problems presented in this book originated in number theory, graph theory, optimization, and probability. Others are based on combinatorial and chess problems, while still others are geometrical and arithmetical puzzles.
This book is intended to be both entertaining as well as an introduction to various intriguing mathematical topics and ideas. Certainly, many stories and famous puzzles can be very useful to prepare classroom lectures, to inspire and amuse students, and to instill affection for mathematics.
General readers and undergraduate students interested in puzzles and recreational mathematics.
Table of Contents
- 1. Recreational mathematics
- 2. Arithmetics
- 3. Number theory
- 4. Geometry
- 5. Tiling and packing
- 6. Physics
- 7. Combinatorics
- 8. Probability
- 9. Graphs
- 10. Chess
- 11. Miscellany
- Appendix A. Method of continued fractions for solving Pell’s equation
- Appendix B. Geometrical inversion
- Appendix C. Some basic facts from graph theory
- Appendix D. Linear difference equations with constant coefficients