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Kvant Selecta: Combinatorics, I
Edited by: Serge Tabachnikov, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, AR

Mathematical World
2002; 131 pp; softcover
Volume: 17
ISBN-10: 0-8218-2171-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-2171-8
List Price: US$36
Member Price: US$28.80
Order Code: MAWRLD/17
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There is a tradition in Russia that holds that mathematics can be both challenging and fun. One fine outgrowth of that tradition is the magazine, Kvant, which has been enjoyed by many of the best students since its founding in 1970. The articles in Kvant assume only a minimal background, that of a good high school student, yet are capable of entertaining mathematicians of almost any level. Sometimes the articles require careful thought or a moment's work with a pencil and paper. However, the industrious reader will be generously rewarded by the elegance and beauty of the subjects.

This book is the third collection of articles from Kvant to be published by the AMS. The volume is devoted mainly to combinatorics and discrete mathematics. Several of the topics are well known: nonrepeating sequences, detecting a counterfeit coin, and linear inequalities in economics, but they are discussed here with the entertaining and engaging style typical of the magazine. The two previous collections treat aspects of algebra and analysis, including connections to number theory and other topics. They were published as Volumes 14 and 15 in the Mathematical World series.

The articles are written so as to present genuine mathematics in a conceptual, entertaining, and accessible way. The books are designed to be used by students and teachers who love mathematics and want to study its various aspects, deepening and expanding upon the school curriculum.


Graduate students and research mathematicians interested in combinatorics and discrete mathematics.

Table of Contents

  • I. M. Yaglom -- Two games with matchsticks
  • A. B. Katok -- Economics and linear inequalities
  • A. B. Katok -- Economics and linear inequalities (Continuation)
  • R. V. Freĭvald -- Switching networks
  • G. M. Adel'son-Vel'skiĭ, I. N. Bernshteĭn, and M. L. Gerver -- Who will go to Rio?
  • A. L. Toom -- From the life of units
  • G. A. Gurevich -- Nonrepeating sequences
  • A. M. Stepin and A. T. Tagi-Zade -- Words with restrictions
  • S. Ovchinnikov -- Planar switching circuits
  • P. Bleher and M. Kel'bert -- Classification algorithms
  • G. Shestopal -- How to detect a counterfeit coin
  • M. Mamikon -- The generalized problem of counterfeit coins
  • P. Bleher -- Truthtellers, liars, and deceivers
  • V. A. Uspenskiĭ and A. L. Semenov -- Solvable and unsolvable algorithmic problems
  • P. A. Pevzner -- Best bet for simpletons
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