By Alfred S. Posamentier, Ingmar Lehmann

ISBN-10: 1616149310

ISBN-13: 9781616149314

An cutting edge and attractive means for the layperson to increase math skills--while really having fun with it

Most humans agree that math is necessary, yet few could say it's enjoyable. This booklet will exhibit you that the topic you discovered to hate in highschool should be as exciting as a witty comment, as engrossing because the secret novel you can't placed down--in brief, enjoyable! As veteran math educators Posamentier and Lehmann reveal, should you discover that doing math will be relaxing, you open a door right into a international of unforeseen insights whereas studying a big skill.

The authors illustrate the purpose with many simply comprehensible examples. this type of is what mathematicians name the "Ruth-Aaron pair" (714 and 715), named after the respective occupation domestic runs of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. those consecutive integers comprise a bunch of attention-grabbing gains, one in all that's that their top elements whilst extra jointly have a similar sum.

The authors additionally discover the bizarre elements of such numbers as eleven and 18, that have exciting houses frequently missed via common math curriculums. And to make you a greater all-around challenge solver, a number of difficulties is gifted that seem easy yet have strangely shrewdpermanent solutions.

If math has pissed off you through the years, this pleasant method will educate you several stuff you suggestion have been past your succeed in, whereas conveying the main message that math can and will be something yet boring.

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Additional info for Mathematical Curiosities: A Treasure Trove of Unexpected Entertainments

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Xn ) ≥ 0 for all (x1 , x2 , . . , xn ) ∈ Rn , can one find a set of s real polynomials Qk (x1 , x2 , . . , xn ), 1 ≤ k ≤ s, such that P (x1 , x2 , . . , xn ) = Q21 + Q22 + · · · + Q2s ? This problem turns out to be wonderfully rich. It leads to work that is deeper and more wide ranging than our earlier problems, and, even now, it continues to inspire new research. A Definitive Answer — In a Special Case As usual, one does well to look for motivation by examining some simple cases. Here the first case that is not completely trivial occurs when n = 1 and the polynomial P (x) is simply a quadratic ax2 + bx + c with a = 0.

Almost without help, it pulls itself up by the bootstraps to a new result which covers cases that were left untouched by the original. Under normal circumstances, this generalization might seem to be too easy to qualify as a challenge problem, but the final result is so important the problem easily clears the hurdle. 2 (The AM-GM Inequality with Rational Weights) Suppose that p1 , p2 , . . , pn are nonnegative rational numbers that sum to one, and show that for any nonnegative real numbers a1 , a2 , .

Minkowski’s conjecture is now on the ropes; we just need to land a knock-out punch. When we look back at our candidate P (x, y), we see the striking feature that all of its coefficients are nonnegative except for the coefficient of x2 y 2 which is equal to −3. This observation suggests that we should see what one can say about the possible values of the coefficient of x2 y 2 in the sum Q21 (x, y) + Q22 (x, y) + · · · + Q2s (x, y). Here we have some genuine luck. 9) of the terms Qk (x, y), 1 ≤ k ≤ s, we can easily check that the coefficient of x2 y 2 in the polynomial Q21 (x, y) + Q22 (x, y) + · · · + Q2s (x, y) is just b21 + b22 + · · · + b2s .

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Mathematical Curiosities: A Treasure Trove of Unexpected Entertainments by Alfred S. Posamentier, Ingmar Lehmann


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