The Mathematics of Oz: Mental Gymnastics from beyond the Edge

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Grab a pencil. Relax. Then take off on a mind-boggling journey to the ultimate frontier of math, mind, and meaning as acclaimed author Clifford Pickover, Dorothy, and Dr. Oz explore some of the oddest and quirkiest highways and byways of the numerically obsessed. The thought-provoking mysteries, puzzles, and problems range from zebra numbers and circular primes to Legion's number—a number so big that it makes a trillion pale in comparison. The strange mazes, bizarre consequences, and dizzying arrays of logic problems entertain readers at all levels of mathematical sophistication. The tests devised by enigmatic Dr. Oz to assess human intelligence will tease the brain of even the most avid puzzle fan. They feature a host of mathematical topics: geometry and mazes, sequences, series, sets, arrangements, probability and misdirection, number theory, arithmetic, and even several problems dealing with the physical world. With numerous illustrations, this is an original, fun-filled, and unusual introduction to numbers and their role in creativity, computers, games, practical research, and absurd adventures that teeter on the edge of logic and insanity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Be ready for a wonderful experience as you go through the numerical adventures of Oz."
Mathematics Teacher

"Overall, this is a book of high quality puzzles...The solutions are very complete and understandable."
The Mathematical Association of America Online

"A stimulating romp through often mind-bending terrain."
Science News

"A perpetual idea machine, Clifford Pickover is one of the most creative, original thinkers in the world today."
Journal of Recreational Mathematics

"Bucky Fuller thought big, Arthur C. Clarke thinks big, but Cliff Pickover outdoes them both."

"Filled with an abundance of complex mysteries."
Paper Clips

"A must for anyone interested in puzzles, brainteasers, and mathematical oddities--particularly those who have ever wondered how many Great Pyramids could be constructed from the bricks making up a yellow-brick road extending coast to coast across the US. Recommended."

"Readers cannot deny the wit, humor, and intelligent challenges Pickover demands of them. Those who love solving puzzles will surely appreciate the whimsy and the sport."
Leonardo, 36(5), 2003

"This text with its strange mazes, bizarre consequences, and dizzying arrays of logic problems would entertain readers at all levels of mathematical sophistication... An original, fun-filled, and unusual introduction to numbers and their rules in creativity, computers, games, practical research, and adventures that teeter on the edge of logic and amusement. Certainly, fans of recreational mathematics will enjoy this text that offers a range of challenging puzzles with a detailed and plain language answer keys for all puzzles."
Medhat H. Raim, School Science and Mathematics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521700849
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2007
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Clifford A. Pickover received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is the author of over twenty highly-acclaimed books on topics such as computers and creativity, art, mathematics, black holes, human behavior and intelligence, time travel, alien life, and science fiction. Pickover is a prolific inventor with dozens of patents, is the associate editor for several journals, the author of colorful puzzle calendars, and puzzle contributor to magazines geared to children and adults. The Los Angeles Times recently wrote, 'Pickover has published nearly a book a year in which he stretches the limits of computers, art, and thought.' Wired magazine wrote, 'Bucky Fuller thought big, Arthur C. Clarke thinks big, but Cliff Pickover outdoes them both.' Pickover's computer graphics have been featured on the cover of many popular magazines and on TV shows. His web site,, has received over a half-million visits.
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Table of Contents

Travel guide; Preface; Introduction; Puzzles: 1. The yellow-brick road; 2. Animal array; 3. An experiment with Kansas; 4. An experiment with signs; 5. The logic of greenness; 6. Magical maze; 7. Kansas railway contraction; 8. The problem of the bones; 9. Square overdrive; 10. Squares and cubes; 11. Plex's matrix; 12. Chaos at the clock factory; 13. The upsilon configuration; 14. Bone toss; 15. Animal farm courthouse; 16. Omega sphere; 17. Leg bone shatter produces triangle; 18. Z-bar ranch; 19. Mystery of phasers; 20. Salty number cycle; 21. Where are the composites?; 22. Brain trip; 23. The gaps of omicron; 24. Hutchinson problem; 25. Flint hill series; 26. Wacky tiles; 27. Toto clone puzzle; 28. Legion's number; 29. The problems of the tombs; 30. Plex's tiles; 31. Phasers on targets; 32. The chamber of death and despair; 33. Zebra irrationals; 34. Creatures in resin; 35. Prime-poor equations; 36. Number satellite; 37. Flatworm math; 38. Regolith paradox; 39.; 40. Entroy; 41. Animal gap; 42. Arranging alien heads; 43. Ramanujan congruences and the quest for transcendence; 44. Getting noticed; 45. Juggler numbers; 46. Friends from Mars; 47. Phi in four 4s; 48; On planet zyph; 49. The jellyfish of europa; 50. Archeological dissection; 51. The gamma gambit; 52. Robot hand hive; 53. Ramanujan and the quattuordecillion; 54. Lunatic ferris wheel; 55. The ultimate spindle; 56. Prairie artifact; 57. Alien pellets; 58. The beauty of polygon slicing; 59. Cosmic call; 60. Knight moves; 61. Sphere; 62. Potawatomi target; 63. Sliders; 64. Swapping; 65. Triangle dissection; 66. A simple code; 67. Heterosquare; 68. Insertion; 69. Missing landscape; 70. The choice; 71. Animal selection; 72. The skeletal men of Uranus; 73. Hindbrain stimulation; 74. The arrays of absolution; 75. Trochophore abduction; 76. The dream pyramids of Missouri; 77. Mathematical flower petal; 78. Blood and water; 79. Cavern problems; 80. Three triplets; 81. Oos and oob gambit; 82. Napiform mathematics; 83. Toto, Mr. plex, elephant; 84. Witch overdrive; 85. What is art?; 86. Wendy magic square; 87. Heaven and hell; 88. The stars of heaven; 89. Vacation in the Tarantula nebula; 90. Hot lava; 91. Circular primes; 92. The truth about cats and dogs; 93. Disc mania; 94. N2+m2=s; 95. 2, 271, 2718281; 96. Android watch; 97. Knight moves; 98. Pool table gambit; 99. A connection between pi and e; 100. Venusian number bush; 101. Triangle cave; 102. Rat attack; 103. The scarecrow formula; 104. Circle math; 105. A, AB, ABA; 106. Ants and cheese; 107. The omega crystal; 108. Attack of undulating undecamorphs; Epilog; Further exploring; For further reading; About the author.
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