Synopses & Reviews
Can you solve history's most mind-boggling puzzles?
Ever since the Sphinx asked his legendary riddle of Oedipus, paradoxes, conundrums, and puzzles of all kinds have kept humankind perplexed and amused. Why is this so? What do puzzles reveal about the human mind? Do they have implications for the study of mathematics?
The Liar Paradox and the Towers of Hanoi answers these questions, taking you on an interactive tour of the world's most enduringly intriguing brain twisters-ingenious puzzles that have played a pivotal role in shaping mathematical history. Marcel Danesi introduces you to ten masterpieces, explaining the math behind them and including exercises and answers-as well as the chance to try your hand at similar puzzles. As you navigate the maze of labyrinths, bridges, maps, and baffling problems, you'll see how certain ideas in mathematics originated in the form of puzzles, from optical illusions to sequences to impossibility theory. From die-hard puzzle mavens to math aficionados, this kaleidoscope of conundrums is sure to enlighten, entertain, and impress.
Review
""With the proliferation of puzzle books, one looks for something different, and here it is! ... This treatment will arouse interest, ally suspicion and banish fear."" (""Mathematical Association of America Online"")
""Delightful."" (""Mathematics Teacher"")
Review
"As an undergraduate math major, I studied various areas of mathematics as if under a sequence of microscopes. I had no clear picture of what mathematics as a whole was about. Here is a book, based on ten great puzzles, that provides that much needed view from 40,000 feet. Big concepts such as topology, combinatorics, logic, the infinite, and many others come into clear view at this altitude. For those seeking more detail, there is always the option to land and explore a host of mathematical issues, puzzles and related references. Danesi’s approach to relating difficult material is seductive."
—Sam Savage, Consulting Professor, Stanford University and Inventor of the Shmuzzle™ Puzzle.
Synopsis
A walk through history's most mind-boggling puzzles
Ever since the Sphinx asked his legendary riddle of Oedipus, riddles, conundrums, and puzzles of all sizes have kept humankind perplexed and amused. The Liar Paradox and the Towers of Hanoi takes die-hard puzzle mavens on a tour of the world's most enduringly intriguing braintwisters, from K?nigsberg's Bridges and the Hanoi Towers to Fibonacci's Rabbits, the Four Color Problem, and the Magic Square. Each chapter introduces the basic puzzle, discusses the mathematics behind it, and includes exercises and answers plus additional puzzles similar to the one under discussion. Here is a veritable kaleidoscope of puzzling labyrinths, maps, bridges, and optical illusions that will keep aficionados entertained for hours.
Marcel Danesi (Etobicoke, ON, Canada) is the author of Increase Your Puzzle IQ
Synopsis
Marcel Danesi (Etobicoke, ON, Canada) is the author of Increase Your Puzzle IQ
About the Author
MARCEL DANESI is the author of Increase Your Puzzle IQ (Wiley) and The Puzzle Instinct, among many other books on semiotic topics. He is Professor of Semiotics and Linguistics at the University of Toronto and Director of the Program in Semiotics and Communication Theory. Danesi has also been cross-appointed as a professor of education, having established a continuing studies mathematics program for students with difficulties in this subject.
Table of Contents
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.
Introduction.
1. The Riddle of the Sphinx.
2. Alcuin’s River-Crossing Puzzle.
3. Fibonacci’s Rabbit Puzzle.
4. Euler’s Königsberg Bridges Puzzle.
5. Guthrie’s Four-Color Problem.
6. Lucas’s Towers of Hanoi Puzzle.
7. Loyd’s Get Off the Earth Puzzle.
8. Epimenides’ Liar Paradox.
9. The Lo Shu Magic Square.
10. The Cretan Labyrinth.
ANSWERS AND EXPLANATIONS.
GLOSSARY.
INDEX.