The Joy of Mathematics [NOOK Book]


Part of the joy of mathematics is that it is everywhere-in soap bubbles, electricity, da Vinci's masterpieces, even in an ocean wave. Written by the well-known mathematics teacher consultant, this volume's collection of over 200 clearly illustrated mathematical ideas, concepts, puzzles, and games shows where they turn up in the "real" world. You'll find out what a googol is, visit hotel infinity, read a thorny logic problem that was stumping ...
See more details below
The Joy of Mathematics

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - Second Edition)
$9.49 price
(Save 13%)$10.95 List Price


Part of the joy of mathematics is that it is everywhere-in soap bubbles, electricity, da Vinci's masterpieces, even in an ocean wave. Written by the well-known mathematics teacher consultant, this volume's collection of over 200 clearly illustrated mathematical ideas, concepts, puzzles, and games shows where they turn up in the "real" world. You'll find out what a googol is, visit hotel infinity, read a thorny logic problem that was stumping them back in the 8th century.

THE JOY OF MATHEMATICS is designed to be opened at random…it's mini essays are self-contained providing the reader with an enjoyable way to explore and experience mathematics at its best.

This book will help you discover a few of the treasures of mathematics and give glimpses of the many places mathematics exists.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781884550485
  • Publisher: Wide World Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/23/1993
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 572,068
  • File size: 11 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Mathematics teacher and consultant Theoni Pappas received her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966 and her M.A. from Stanford University in 1967. Pappas is committed to demystifying mathematics and to helping eliminate the elitism and fear often associated with it. In 2000 she received The Excellence in Achievement Award from the University of California Alumni Association.

Pappas has written over 14 books which are focused on introducing people to the many wonders of mathematics. She is perhaps best known for ever popular The Mathematics Calendar. Her other innovative creations include: The Math-T-Shirt, The Children's Mathematics Calendar, The Mathematics Engagement Calendar, and What Do You See?—an optical illusion slide show with text.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

The evolution of base ten 2
The Pythagorean Theorem 4
Optical illusions and computer graphics 5
The cycloid 6
A triangle to a square problem 9
Halley's comet 10
The impossible tribar 13
The quipu 14
Calligraphy, typography and mathematics 16
The wheat and the chessboard problem 17
Probability and [pi] 18
Earthquakes and logarithms 20
Parabolic ceiling and the Capitol 22
Computers, counting and electricity 24
Topo - a mathematical game 26
Fibonacci sequence 28
A twist to the Pythagorean Theorem 30
Trinity of rings-a topological problem 31
Anatomy and the golden section 32
Catenary and parabolic curves 34
The T problem 35
Thales and the Great Pyramid 36
Hotel Infinity 37
Crystals - nature's polyhedra 38
Pascal's triangle 40
Mathematics of the billiard table 42
The electron's path and geometry 43
The Moebius strip and the Klein bottle 44
A Sam Loyd puzzle 47
Mathematics and paperfolding 48
The Fibonacci trick 51
The evolution of mathematical symbols 52
Some geometric designs of Leonardo da Vinci 55
Ten historic dates 56
Napoleon's theorem 57
Lewis Carroll-the mathematician 58
Counting on fingers 60
A twist to the Moebius strip 61
Heron's theorem 62
A look at Gothic architecture 63
Napier's bones 64
Art and projective geometry 66
Infinity and the circle 68
The amazing track 69
Persian horses and Sam Loyd's puzzle 70
The lunes 72
Hexagons in nature 74
The googol and the googolplex 76
A magic cube 77
Fractals-real or imaginary 78
Nanoseconds-measuring time on computers 80
Geodesic dome of Leonardo da Vinci 81
Magic squares 82
A special "magic" square 87
The Chinese triangle 88
The death of Archimedes 89
A non-Euclidean world 90
Cannon balls and pyramids 93
Conchoid of Nicomedes 94
The trefoil knot 96
The magic square of Benjamin Franklin 97
Irrational numbers and the Pythagorean Theorem 98
Prime numbers 100
The golden rectangle 102
Making a tri-tetra flexagon 107
Finding infinity in small places 108
The five Platonic solids 110
The pyramid method-making magic squares 112
The Kepler-Poinsot solids 113
The false spiral optical illusion 114
The icosahedron and the golden rectangle 115
Zeno's paradox-Achilles and the tortoise 116
The mystic hexagram 118
The penny puzzle 119
Tessellations 120
Diophantus' riddle 123
The Konigsberg Bridge problem 124
Networks 126
Aztec calendar 128
The impossible trio-three ancient construction problems 130
Ancient Tibetan magic square 133
Perimeter, area, and infinite series 134
The checkerboard problem 136
Pascal's calculator 137
Isaac Newton and calculus 138
Japanese abacus 139
The proof of 1=2 140
The symmetry of crystals 141
The mathematics of music 142
Numerical palindromes 146
The unexpected exam paradox 147
Babylonian cuneiform text 148
The spiral of Archimedes 149
The evolution of mathematical ideas 150
The four color map problem takes a turn 152
Art and dynamic symmetry 154
Transfinite numbers 156
Logic problem 159
The snowflake curve 160
Zero-when and where 162
Pappus' theorem and the nine coin puzzle 163
The Japanese magic circle & Gauss' problem 164
Spherical dome and water distillation 165
The helix 166
Magic "line" 169
Mathematics and architecture 170
History of optical illusions 172
Trisecting the equilateral triangle 174
The wood, water, and grain problem 175
Charles Babbage, the Leonardo da Vinci of computers 176
Mathematics and Moslem art 178
A Chinese magic square 179
Infinity and limits 180
Counterfeit coin puzzle 181
The Parthenon-an optical and mathematical design 182
Probability and Pascal's triangle 183
The involute curve 187
The pentagon, the pentagram, and the golden triangle 188
Three men facing a wall problem 190
Geometric fallacy and the Fibonacci sequence 191
Mazes 192
Chinese "checkerboards" 195
Conic sections 196
The screw of Archimedes 198
Irradiation optical illusion 199
The Pythagorean Theorem and President Garfield 200
The wheel paradox of Aristotole & Galileo's solution 202
Stonehenge 203
How many dimensions are there? 204
Computers and dimensions 206
The "double" Moebius strip 207
Paradoxical curve-the space-filling curve 208
The abacus 209
Mathematics and weaving 210
Mersenne's number 211
The tangram puzzle 212
Infinite vs finite 213
Triangular, square, and pentagonal numbers 214
Eratosthenes measures the Earth 215
Projective geometry and linear programming 216
The spider and the fly 218
Mathematics and soap bubbles 219
The coin paradox 220
Hexaminoes 221
The Fibonacci sequence and nature 222
The monkey and the coconuts 226
Spiders and spirals 228
Solutions 229
Index 235
About the author 241
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2007

    A reviewer

    Topics are interesting but quality of printing spoils the content and loses the reader attention. Errors in graphics and printing are a real mess. Many of the graphics are pathetic. Should the printing be improved would gladly look at this book again and buy a copy, but don't waste your time now.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    Fallen rose

    Chapter 19 Marys POV- She woke up. It was saturday. She got up and got dressed. When she walked down stairs she found Malinda cooking a firstclass breakfast. It was totally fancy. I sat down at the high-end table. Malinda gave me the omlet she was baking. "Thanks" I said. "Your welcome sugar" she replied back. Then jason came down. His hair was tangled and his clothes were all wrinkled. But he was still hot. Malinda gave him an omlet. I finished mine quickly. I then got up. "Im thanks for everything jason" i said trying to be polite. "Um.. but I goota run" I finished. "Goodbye mary" he said back. He winked at me. I jumped out the door and ran to my bike. I peddled home as fast as i could. I walked inside the house. My dad was gone for work already. So I was alone. I did some cleaning then went up to my room. I stared out the window listening to music as it began to rain again. Then i saw a car pull up. A shiny red mustang. Jason got out of the car. I opened my window to see what was going on. "Mary!" He yelled. "Yes?" I replied. "I need to tell you something!" He shouted back. "What?" I asked. He paused for a minute. "Do you know why I broke up with wendy?" He aked. "Because shes a brat and bossy" I answered. "Well tats part of it. Can you guess the rest?" He asked. I shook my head. "Because.... because.. i wanted to be with you!" He shouted. I gasped. "I have dreams about you every night Mary" he finished. A smile appeared on my face. "So will you go out with me?" He asked. "Yes!" I shouted happily. He jumped up happily in the air. He then climbed back into his car and drove off.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)