Magic Numbers of the Professor

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Brand new. We distribute directly for the publisher. The Professor in Owen O'Shea's book is the imaginary American Richard Stein. As Owen O'Shea and the Professor travel through ... Ireland, O'Shea notes the Professor's collection of amazing magic numbers in fascinating detail. His mathematical curiosities are wide ranging, concerning the 1915 sinking of the Lusitania to coincidences about Apollo 11 to the first moon walk to new numerical curiosities. The new curiosities, among many others, center on Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy; the USA and Ireland; the two World Wars; the King James Version of the Bible, and James Joyce.The Magic Numbers of the Professor reveals astonishing details about the year 1776; the year of American Independence. It contains discussions on prime numbers, gives some wonderful number patterns, and reveals many other eye-opening properties of numbers. It asks, for instance, if you know in how many different ways a US dollar can be changed. The Professor gives the answer to this and other currency questions. The number of the Beast 666, is discussed as well, as are many new equations involving that famous numberall appearing here for the first time. And for those fascinated by games and gambling, a number of curious proposition bets involving dice, darts, and playing cards, and various mathematical puzzles are scattered throughout this singularly entertaining book. Read more Show Less

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Brand new. We distribute directly for the publisher. The Professor in Owen O'Shea's book is the imaginary American Richard Stein. As Owen O'Shea and the Professor travel through ... Ireland, O'Shea notes the Professor's collection of amazing magic numbers in fascinating detail. His mathematical curiosities are wide ranging, concerning the 1915 sinking of the Lusitania to coincidences about Apollo 11 to the first moon walk to new numerical curiosities. The new curiosities, among many others, center on Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy; the USA and Ireland; the two World Wars; the King James Version of the Bible, and James Joyce.The Magic Numbers of the Professor reveals astonishing details about the year 1776; the year of American Independence. It contains discussions on prime numbers, gives some wonderful number patterns, and reveals many other eye-opening properties of numbers. It asks, for instance, if you know in how many different ways a US dollar can be changed. The Professor gives the answer to this and other currency questions. The number of the Beast 666, is discussed as well, as are many new equations involving that famous number???all appearing here for the first time. And for those fascinated by games and gambling, a number of curious proposition bets involving dice, darts, and playing cards, and various mathematical puzzles are scattered throughout this singularly entertaining book. Read more Show Less

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2007 Hardcover New Book New and in stock. 3/8/2007. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you ... will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

The Professor in Owen O'Shea's book is the imaginary American Richard Stein. As Owen O'Shea and the Professor travel through Ireland, O'Shea notes the Professor's collection of amazing magic numbers in fascinating detail. His mathematical curiosities are wide ranging, concerning the 1915 sinking of the Lusitania to coincidences about Apollo 11 to the first moon walk to new numerical curiosities. The new curiosities, among many others, center on Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy; the USA and Ireland; the two World Wars; the King James Version of the Bible, and James Joyce. The Number of the Beast, 666, is discussed as well, as are many new equations involving that famous number - all appearing here for the first time. And for those fascinated by games and gambling, a number of curious proposition bets involving dice, darts, and playing cards, and various mathematical puzzles are scattered throughout this singularly entertaining book.

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What People Are Saying

Clifford A. Pickover
From the Number of the Beast and triangular number to Friedman numbers and pandigital squares, this smorgasbord of mathematical puzzles, curiosities and coincidences is sure to delight readers of all levels of mathematical sophistication. (Clifford A. Pickover, author of Mobius Strip and A Passion for Mathematics)
Martin Gardner
Owen O'Shea, more than anyone, has the uncanny ability to find remarkable coincidences everywhere he looks. How he does it is a mystery. Some (not all!) of his astounding discoveries are packed into this entertaining mind bewildering book. (Martin Gardner, author of aha! Insight and aha! Gotcha and Mathematical Games)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780883855577
  • Publisher: Mathematical Association of America
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Series: Spectrum Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Read an Excerpt

I write a monthly article on recreational mathematics for the fictional magazine, The Mathematical Universe. The magazine circulates in Ireland, the U.K., and, more feebly, in the U. S., Canada, Europe, and elsewhere. However, there are two subscribers in Botswana. It is a magazine produced and written for non-specialists, with a view to giving them information and insight into the wonderful world of mathematics.

Not too long ago, I received a telephone call from the fictional editor of The Mathematical Universe.

"O'Shea," he said, "I've got a lead for you."

My fictional editor is a fine and generous man-he's said that someday he might even be able to pay me something for my columns-but he has seen too many old newspaper movies. He would like to be at the center of a busy newsroom, dispatching reporters hither and yon, and although he isn't he tends to talk as if he were. If tobacco were more fashionable than it is, he'd chew on cigar butts.

"What is it?" I asked.

"There's a guy from the States who'll be in Cobh to talk with you. Name of Richard Stein. I've set up a meeting. The Commodore Hotel, 7 o'clock Tuesday. In the bar. Carry a copy of the Universe so he'll know you. I told him you'd have one. Give him dinner. Don't send me the bill."

"But . ," I started to say. Even though my column was young, less than two years old, I had had experience with correspondents who were wasters of my time, some of them persistent. I had no wish to be trapped with someone who might well be a crank, much less to feed him at my expense.

"Don't argue, O'Shea," my editor said. "He's highly recommended. He'll have some good stuff for your column. It could certainly use it. Talk to him."

Mine not to reason why. I said that I would be at the hotel on time. (I should mention that I am fortunate enough to live in Cobh, pronounced "cove", County Cork, Ireland, about which I could say a good deal (of which I will give you a small sample in Chapter 8) but this is not a travel book.)

At the appointed time in the appointed place, I was approached by a person who introduced himself as Richard Stein. He was, on the surface, unremarkable. A bit over medium height, a bit under medium weight, hair beginning ever so slightly to thin, soft-spoken, with an American accent. Despite his name, he was, he said, of Irish extraction, "something around three-quarters, plus or minus a few sixteenths," and was going to be in Ireland for an indefinite though limited time. He told me that he had always been interested in recreational mathematics, science, philosophy, conjuring, and all sorts of curiosities and coincidences.

"It makes growing up difficult, as you may know from experience," he said, "when you don't share the tastes of your peers. Early on I was given the derisive title of The Professor. Even though I've by now encountered quite a few real professors, I don't mind it. In fact I rather like it."

During dinner I asked him if he was familiar with Ireland or its history. He said he had studied a little Irish history over the years. I found out over time that what was to him a little would be quite a lot to ordinary mortals. He told me that, according to tradition, Ireland's patron saint, Patrick, first came to Ireland in the year 432 a.d. The professor-I'll so refer to him from time to time, because, as readers will see, he certainly deserves some title-pointed out that that was a very suitable date for such a significant event, given the fact that the island of Ireland contains 4 provinces and 32 counties and, what's more, 432 = 4ú33ú22. He also mentioned that 432 + 1 and 432 - 1 (note the 4, 3, 2, 1 sequence) were twin primes. There were more curiosities to follow.

He told me that Ireland consists of 1 major island, 2 jurisdictions, and 4 provinces, that the longitude of the center of Ireland is 8ø west of Greenwich, that Ireland had a major insurrection in the year 16 (1916), and the island of Ireland contains 32 counties. The numbers 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 are the first six numbers in the doubling sequence, and their product, 32,768, is very close to the area of the island of Ireland, 32,588 square miles.

"We are owed 180 square miles by someone," I said. "Where can they be? Did the English take them?"

He said that there may be no missing 180 square miles, because 32,588 is an appropriate area for a country with 32 counties ....

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Martin Gardner; Introduction; 1. Digit curiosities; 2. The 9/11 atrocities; 3. The Professor speaks on the U. S. and Ireland; 4. Curiosities in armed conflicts; 5. Number and word palindromes; 6. The U. S.-Iraq war; 7. The number of the Beast; 8. Curios of the Lusitania and other curious matters; 9. Wordplay and other curiosities; 10. New coincidences on Lincoln and Kennedy; 11. Dart and card curiosities; 12. The Professor gives some number patterns; 13. The King James Bible and some currency curiosities; 14. The Professor at the university; Index; About the authors.

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