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Mathematical Curiosities: A Treasure Trove of Unexpected Entertainments
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An innovative and appealing way for the layperson to develop maths 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 maths 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 maths 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 maths can and should be anything but boring.
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