The Magic of Math by Arthur T. Benjamin

The Magic of Math

The world's greatest mental mathematical magician takes us on a spellbinding journey through the wonders of numbers (and more)"Arthur Benjamin ... joyfully shows you how to make nature's numbers dance."--Bill Nye (the science guy)The Magic of Math is the math book you wish you had in school. Using a delightful assortment of examples-from ice-cream scoops and poker hands to measuring mountains and making magic squares-this book revels in key mathe...

Details The Magic of Math

TitleThe Magic of Math
Release DateSep 8th, 2015
PublisherBasic Books
GenreNonfiction, Science, Mathematics, Education

Reviews The Magic of Math

  • Darren
    To a not-so-talented amateur who is from a “pre-pocket calculator” generation, it is not a given that you may be an expert or lover of mathematics; one can imagine that things have not improved with successive generations, where everything can be answered at the touch of a button.As long as you know what buttons to press, that is. Yet something like this book can light a fire in your mind. You can temporarily forget that it may be full of con...
  • C.P. Cabaniss
    *I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*I really enjoyed this book. There's a lot of interesting math that's explored. I do think this would probably be most interesting to people who already know quite a bit of math, but there is something here for everyone. I've always enjoyed puzzles (that's what got me interested in math) so I liked seeing the patterns and puzzles within the math. Full review will be up on my...
  • Peter Mcloughlin
    Cool mathematics tricks and concepts at a high school level. Really liked the parts on the fibonacci sequence and modular arithmetic to get the day of the week for July 4 1776. Really cool calculation tricks. and nothing a high school student couldn't handle.
  • David Quinn
    My star rating is 5 raised to the power of 0 or 1 raised to the power of negative 1.I generally read nonfiction and my typical goals are to be entertained and to learn something. This book delivered neither. The author's enthusiasm was nice at first but it quickly became annoying ("By becoming more familiar with the beautiful patterns that emerge when numbers dance, we have a better chance of finding a beautiful answer to this question.") and ove...
  • A Reader's Heaven
    (I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)The Magic of Math is the math book you wish you had in school. Using a delightful assortment of examples, from ice cream scoops and poker hands that teach you factorials to mnemonics that help you memorize pi, this book empowers you to see the beauty, simplicity, and fun behind those formulas and equations that once left your head spinning. You’ll learn the k...
  • Jsrott
    This book is definitely written for the reader who has an interest in math, but may not remember a lot of what they learned in school. For me, the first few chapters dragged, then the interest picked up once the author moved past arithmetic, then it lagged again once he got to calculus, and then finally picked up once again in the final chapter. There were some new and interesting ideas presented, and there were some proofs of some ideas that I'v...
  • Brian Clegg
    There are broadly three types of popular maths. There are books like A Brief History of Infinity which introduce mathematical concepts and history without actually doing any maths - and these can be fascinating. There are books of recreational maths, like Martin Gardner's classic Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions, or Ian Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities, which explore the weird and wonderful of maths, with a need for a bit of pract...
  • Daniele
    Chi ha detto che la matematica è noiosa? Al contrario, è piena di sorprese inaspettate. In questo libro vengono mostrati moltissimi esempi della "magia della matematica", dall'algebra ai numeri di Fibonacci, dalla trigonometria all'infinito, dai numeri irrazionali a quelli immaginari. Non servono particolari conoscenze pregresse per riuscire a leggere agevolmente il libro, è sufficiente essere affascinati dai numeri.È un peccato che l'edizion...
  • Rob
    I found several parts of the book to be very entertaining and worthy of all the introductory comments by the author in regards to the book being accessible to all. However, there were too many chapters that were too much like the normal high school curriculum. Being one of those math teachers, I find this material to be interesting, but know that there are many people that would not be as enthralled.
  • Anthony
    Usually for math, for most, is either a hit or a miss for people. Some people love math and some people hate it. If you love math this book is definitely for you. Arthur Benjamin does a great job on this book making it interesting all the way through. He mixed in personal experiences and packed it full of cool tips tricks. The tricks involve the “magic” of math this book is based on and you can use them to trick your friends and teachers. Asi...
  • Carl
    This was an ok math book for a non-maths person. I could follow most of the logic, and about half of the higher level math jargon and notation, but there were a few things that author assumed I knew that really obscured some of his points because I didn’t know them. Made me wish I had kept going with math in high school and college instead of just taking the required courses, but life choices are life choices (you have to live with them).Now th...
  • Erikka
    I'm going to review this book in two parts. Before chapter 8, it had some fun tips and tricks and some interesting math ideas. That being said, I hated--HATED--that he would say "here's a really easy way to explain this concept. Got it so far? Great. Here, let me vomit some incredibly complex explanations now. Still with me? No? But come on, I told you, this math is so easy." Thank you for making me feel dumber than I usually do about math. But t...
  • Richard Fried
    I read most of the reviews on here, but I think a good majority of them have missed the overall purpose of the book. If you expect a few hundred pages full of quick tricks and tips for math this probably isn't for you (check out his previous book for that). The content in here is in greater depth than that as it goes into proofs and shows how all the ideas in mathematics untimely connect together. Most have never seen this connected view of math ...
  • Liz
    This is an interesting crash course / miscellany / compilation of some of the most basic "pretty" features math has. It would probably be interesting and enjoyable to a non mathematician, and I think Benjamin does a great job of keeping the explanations accessible to people who might be uncomfortable with highly academic vocabulary or extensive explanations. He includes slightly more in depth explanations or examples in grey boxes throughout, whi...
  • Nick
    Great book! The jokes.... OH THE LAME JOKES!! They’re painfully humorous! It reads very well. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I know I’ll look through this book again to write down all the mathematical goodies I found. Thank you, Dr Benjamin and everyone involved in making this book.
  • Geneviève Dale
    A very interesting look at the behind the scenes of mathematics.
  • Keri
    I am not a math genius.Math and I never really got along.So when I started reading "The Magic of Math" I was a little skeptical, curious, and daunted. I wasn't sure that I was going to like a math book, and I read books about almost anything. But this isn't just a math book. This isn't a text book like you had in school. This breaks down the more, well, magical side of math and numbers. The chapters are divided into different topics and areas of ...
  • Judie
    To say my math skills are severely limited (I wasn’t able to take classes beyond first year algebra and plain geometry) would be an understatement. But I have a nephew, Elijah, who recently turned nine who knows more than I ever did and, probably, more than most adults I know. When he goes to a friend’s house and brings something to play with, it’s usually a math book. When I saw a blurb for THE MAGIC OF MATH by Arthur Benjamin, I thought h...
  • Maurizio Codogno
    La matematica è magica? Forse sì, ma nello stesso senso dei prestigiatori: il trucco c'è ma non si vede... a meno che un matemago come Arthur Benjamin ce lo racconti. Questo libro parte dalla proposizione di alcuni trucchi di calcolo mentale, con la spiegazione matematica relativa, per proseguire con una carrellata di temi che si studiano a scuola - almeno in genere, alcuni in realtà sono un po' alieni - cercando sempre di spiegare prima cosa...
  • Mishehu
    The Magic of Math is an exceptionally fine entry in the pop math literature. One often encounters the same ideas in these sorts of books -- old sows in new sties (or however Garrison Keiler might put it were this a folksy book review broadcast on Prairie Home Companion). Not so TMoM. Benjamin packs an enormous amount of interesting, entertaining, and -- at times -- quite challenging math into this charmingly written book. Benjamin writes as I ima...
  • Terry Barker
    This is one of those rare books that makes a technical subject interesting, but not only for the nontechnical average Joe, but also for those who are very comfortable with math. So, why would someone like me, who majored in math, find another math book interesting? Because it ties together the different branches of math and brings them together in a fun way. Like tying probability to an ice cream shop. By showing how adding numbers together (Fibo...
  • Tom Schulte
    In 2010, I was intrigued and entertained by this author’s appearance and display of calculation gymnastics on The Colbert Report. In more recent years, I found his Joy of Mathematics course, a series of twenty-four half-hour lectures, rich source material for my lectures to first-year college students. I was immensely please to learn that elements of that course along with tricks of the stage used by this “mathemagician” (a title previously...
  • Arun Mahendrakar
    The book starts with some really amazing patterns with addition of integers - something I never knew, but then there are so many things in math that I'm new to. The author provides many tricks that I did during my school days. Some chapters begin with questions and the solution described in the book was simpler than the one I chose.The discussion about Combinations and Permutations are very well explained. The author divulges the hidden magic amo...
  • Jennifer
    I hate math with a passion. I always tell my kids that I have a degree in English for a reason. That being said, when a friend recommended this book to help my son in math, I thought it couldn't hurt. He loves magic, after all. I found myself actually reading the book after my son used one of the tricks in the algebra section on me.I actually found it very interesting. Mr. Benjamin doesn't assume that everyone reading this book is a math lover, b...
  • Larry Scheckel
    Benjamin employs experiences from everyday life. This is the kind of math book that adults wish they had when they were kids. The book has something for everyone and is a good resource for teacher and student. The book has 12 broad topics and the graphics are excellent. The author, Arthur Benjamin, draws the reader in and takes the reader behind the scenes, as if you are getting a special peek that no one else is allowed to have. There is an emph...
  • Patricia
    Meh. Not nearly as interesting as I hoped. It does have a lot of mathematical "tricks" in it (of the 'take a number, add X, multiply by your original number, etc., the answer is always 9' variety) but none that I found truly interesting. It was a nice review of algebra, trig, geometry, and calc that I hadn't thought about for years - but not entertaining.
  • TJ
    Just not very interesting. It's an incredibly dry read. I get it; math is dry. But for a book that promises to make a dry subject entertaining, it fails. I honestly cannot say any of the "tricks" are very memorable or useful. The author clearly has a passion for the subject but I fear his mathematical genius does not easily transfer from author to reader.
  • Neeti Sinha
    Grabbed it at the Book Expo 2016, based on the reviews by the leading mathematicians and his TED talk that I had earlier watched. It is a fun book of the fabric and spin of mathematics--the things we don't commonly encounter in text books. Especially good for those curious about math and haven't gotten the taste of this language. And it could be enticing for young readers too.
  • Patrick Tai
    Wonderful book. If you are a student bored with math formulas, or a teacher/tutor of pre-calculus mathematics, this is the book to get. It will show you mathematics as you might never have known before.