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The Art of Mathematics
Coffee Time in Memphis


  • Date Published: September 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521693950

£ 25.99

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About the Authors
  • Can a Christian escape from a lion? How quickly can a rumour spread? Can you fool an airline into accepting oversize baggage? Recreational mathematics is full of frivolous questions where the mathematician's art can be brought to bear. But play often has a purpose. In mathematics, it can sharpen skills, provide amusement, or simply surprise, and books of problems have been the stock-in-trade of mathematicians for centuries. This collection is designed to be sipped from, rather than consumed in one sitting. The questions range in difficulty: the most challenging offer a glimpse of deep results that engage mathematicians today; even the easiest prompt readers to think about mathematics. All come with solutions, many with hints, and most with illustrations. Whether you are an expert, or a beginner or an amateur mathematician, this book will delight for a lifetime.

    • Aimed at a broad audience ranging from professional mathematicians to interested amateur
    • Entertaining mix of problems ranging from the frivolous to others that show how mathematicians discover new ideas
    • Inspired by two of the twentieth century's leading mathematicians, Paul Erdos and J. E. Littlewood, who were both inveterate problem posers and solvers
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '…a marvellous collection of problems and solutions from various areas of mathematics. All the problems are challenging and the whole book is most entertaining. I have always wanted to write something like this, but now it is done and it is done in an excellent and professional way … it is an awesome collection of new problems, results and ideas. I wish I had this book when I was a student.' Acta Scientiarum Mathematicarum

    'The beauty of this book is not only the variety of problems and the every day appeal of many of them, but also that the questions and answers are provided separately so one can have a go at them alone first … an excellent way to engage in elegant mathematics and provide some yoga for your brain.'

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521693950
    • length: 386 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 161 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • contains: 85 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Problems
    Part II. The Hints
    Part III. The Solutions.

  • Author

    Béla Bollobás, Trinity College, Cambridge
    Béla Bollobás is a Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge and is the Jabie Hardin Chair of Excellence in Combinatorics at the University of Memphis. He has held visiting positions from Seattle to Singapore, from Brazil to Zurich. This is his tenth book.

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