The Zen of Magic Squares, Circles, and Stars: An Exhibition of Surprising Structures across Dimensions

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Overview

"A refreshing new look at a timeless topic, brimming over with ideas, littered with surprising twists. Anyone who loves numbers, anyone who enjoys puzzles, will find The Zen of Magic Squares, Circles, and Stars compulsive (and compulsory!) reading."—Ian Stewart, University of Warwick, author of Flatterland and Does God Play Dice?

"Pickcover carries the mystique of magic squares and their relatives into the twenty-first century with his new book, The Zen of Magic Squares, Circles, and Stars. Whether you're seeking an introduction to magic squares, an in-depth study, some historical information, or just some enjoyable magic figure problems, tricks, properties, or novelties-this book is for you. Pickover does not leave a magic square unturned, and tantalizes us just enough to want to explore further. From the very famous to the less known, Pickover brings them all together in this amazing collection as he points out their roles in science, our lives and the universe."—Theoni Pappas author of The Joy of Mathematics and Math-A-Day

"At first glance magic squares may seem frivolous (Ben Franklin's opinion, even as he spent countless hours studying them!), but I think that is wrong. The great nineteenth-century German mathematician Leopold Kronecker said 'God Himself made the whole numbers—everything else is the work of men,' and Cliff Pickover's stimulating book hints strongly at the possibility that God may have done more with the integers than just create them. I don't believe in magic in the physical world, but magic squares come as close as we will probably ever see to being mathematical magic."—Paul J. Nahin, University of New Hampshire, author of Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers

"Clifford Pickover has compiled such a wonderfully voluminous collection of magic squares and related configurations that the physical book itself threatens to take the shape of a magic cube. Whether or not you achieve arithmetical satori contemplating these engagingly intricate patterns, you will surely come to appreciate their history, beauty, and richness."—John Allen Paulos, Temple University, author of Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

"Who would have thought that the simple numbers we used when learning to count as children could be arranged into so many geometric patterns with interesting properties? If playing with numbers is your thing, this latest work by Cliff Pickover will provide you will countless hours of mystical entertainment and mental challenges."—Julien Clinton Sprott, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Every generation seems to demand its own updated book dedicated to magic squares. Pickover's work meets the needs of the present generation. It is an enthusiastic, whimsical, and idiosyncratic compendium of magic squares and their variants, some of which are centuries old, some as fresh as corn picked this morning."—Sherman Stein, University of California, Davis

"Well documented and illustrated, this book is essentially a huge catalogue of these arithmetical beasts called magic squares. No book that I know of presents such a large range of 'mysterious, odd, and fun' patterns, as the author puts it. This includes the numerous geometrical diagrams that reveal some hidden symmetries not obvious to the eye contemplating the number arrays. Throughout, Pickover convincingly substantiates his claim that the field of magic square study is still wide open."—Arturo Sangalli, author of The Importance of Being Fuzzy

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Editorial Reviews

Scientific American - Ian Stewart
Pickover just seems to exist in more dimensions than the rest of us.
Journal of Recreational Mathematics - Charles Ashbacker
It is a safe bet to conjecture that this is the best recreational mathematics book that will be published in this year. . . . Pickover writes with his usual style and straightforward simplicity in this book. The material is presented well and can be understood by anyone with a basic middle school mathematics background. This is a cool book!
Mathematics Teacher - Harold Don Allen
Through accessible and readable prose and through detailed, highquality line illustrations, Pickover ably transports the general reader from culturally embedded traditional topics to a new and surprising frontier.
Notices of the American Mathematical Society - Andrew Bremner
A splendid recreational book. . . . An extremely alluring page-turner.
From the Publisher
"A perpetual idea machine, Clifford Pickover is one of the most creative, original thinkers in the world today."—Journal of Recreational Mathematics

"Pickover just seems to exist in more dimensions than the rest of us."—Ian Stewart, Scientific American

"Clifford Pickover is many things—scientist, scholar, author, editor, and visionary. . . ."—Games

"It is a safe bet to conjecture that this is the best recreational mathematics book that will be published in this year. . . . Pickover writes with his usual style and straightforward simplicity in this book. The material is presented well and can be understood by anyone with a basic middle school mathematics background. This is a cool book!"—Charles Ashbacker, Journal of Recreational Mathematics

"Through accessible and readable prose and through detailed, highquality line illustrations, Pickover ably transports the general reader from culturally embedded traditional topics to a new and surprising frontier."—Harold Don Allen, Mathematics Teacher

"Pickover writes about his subject with contagious enthusiasm and comprehensive erudition."—Choice

"A splendid recreational book. . . . An extremely alluring page-turner."—Andrew Bremner, Notices of the American Mathematical Society

Journal of Recreational Mathematics
A perpetual idea machine, Clifford Pickover is one of the most creative, original thinkers in the world today.
Scientific American
Pickover just seems to exist in more dimensions than the rest of us.
— Ian Stewart
Games
Clifford Pickover is many things—scientist, scholar, author, editor, and visionary. . . .
Mathematics Teacher
Through accessible and readable prose and through detailed, highquality line illustrations, Pickover ably transports the general reader from culturally embedded traditional topics to a new and surprising frontier.
— Harold Don Allen
Choice
Pickover writes about his subject with contagious enthusiasm and comprehensive erudition.
Notices of the American Mathematical Society
A splendid recreational book. . . . An extremely alluring page-turner.
— Andrew Bremner
Journal of Recreational Mathematics
It is a safe bet to conjecture that this is the best recreational mathematics book that will be published in this year. . . . Pickover writes with his usual style and straightforward simplicity in this book. The material is presented well and can be understood by anyone with a basic middle school mathematics background. This is a cool book!
— Charles Ashbacker
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691115979
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/29/2003
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 816,010
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Acknowledgments xix
Introduction 1
CHAPTER ONE: Magic Construction 37
CHAPTER TWO: Classification 65
CHAPTER THREE: Gallery I : Squares, Cubes, and Tesseracts 147
CHAPTER FOUR: Gallery 2: Circles and Spheres 297
CHAPTER FIVE: Gallery 3: Stars, Hexagons, and Other Beauties 325
Some Final Thoughts 369
Notes 375
For Further Reading 395
Index 397
About the Author 403

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    TO EVERYONE!

    Hahaha im the first to post something!!!! Oh i loved the book u should read it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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