Cows in the Maze

Cows in the Maze

Book - 2010
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Blackwell Publishing
How do you make an ice-cream cone into a square?

What shape is a teardrop?

Does a confession increase the probability of being guilty?

In Cows in the Maze, Ian Stewart returns with another selection of puzzles to amaze and delight. We encounter a diverse range of mathematical investigations and discoveries, from the mathematical patterns of animal movement (Walking with Quadrupeds) and time travel (Forward to the Future) to intriguing facts about familiar objects (The Lore and Lure of Dice) and, of course, the problem of how to find a cow in a maze...

Including lively 'feedback' sections from readers of his Scientific American column, Stewart reveals the deeper principles underlying these curious facts and puzzles, making mathematics inspiring and fun.

`Maths can be fun! What's more, as Ian Stewart shows, it can be explained in everyday language . it is such a surprise to find mathematics being made so accessible.'

Oxford University Press
Following on the success of his books Math Hysteria and How to Cut a Cake, Ian Stewart is back with more stories and puzzles that are as quirky as they are fascinating, and each from the cutting edge of the world of mathematics.
From the math of mazes, to cones with a twist, and the amazing sphericon--and how to make one--Cows in the Maze takes readers on an exhilarating tour of the world of mathematics. We find out about the mathematics of time travel, explore the shape of teardrops (which are not tear-drop shaped, but something much, much more strange), dance with dodecahedra, and play the game of Hex, among many more strange and delightful mathematical diversions. In the title essay, Stewart introduces readers to Robert Abbott's mind-bending "Where Are the Cows?" maze, which changes every time you pass through it, and is said to be the most difficult maze ever invented. In addition, he shows how a 90-year old woman and a computer scientist cracked a long-standing question about counting magic squares, describes the mathematical patterns in animal movement (walk, trot, gallop), looks at a fusion of art, mathematics, and the physics of sand piles, and reveals how mathematicians can--and do--prove a negative.
Populated by amazing creatures, strange characters, and astonishing mathematics explained in an accessible and fun way, and illustrated with quirky cartoons by artist Spike Gerrell, Cows in the Maze will delight everyone who loves mathematics, puzzles and mathematical conundrums.

Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2010
ISBN: 9780199562077
Branch Call Number: 510 St494c 2010
Characteristics: xi, 306 p. : ill. ; 20 cm


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