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Mathematical Cranks by Underwood Dudley
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Mathematical Cranks

by Underwood Dudley

Series: MAA Spectrum

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I have not yet finished this book, but am careening (and laughing) through it -- Mathematical Cranks is one of the funnier books I have read in a looooong time. If you are a mathematics dork (a term of praise and endearment, I contend), and also find great entertainment in the human comedy -- in particular 'why people believe weird things' -- you will enjoy the living daylights out of this book.

Dudley is a fine writer with a finely-honed sense of humor. I want to try out some of his more strictly mathematical texts.

First class! ( )
  chexmix | Nov 20, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0883855070, Paperback)

A delightful collection of articles about people who claim they have achieved the mathematically impossible (squaring the circle, duplicating the cube); people who think they have done something they have not (proving Fermat's Last Theorem); people who pray in matrices; people who find the American Revolution ruled by the number 57; people who have in common eccentric mathematical views, some mild (thinking we should count by 12s instead of 10s), some bizarre (thinking that second-order differential equations will solve all problems of economics, politics and philosophy). This is a truly unique book. It is written with wit and style and is a part of folk mathematics.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:37 -0400)

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