The Puzzler's Dilemma

From the Lighthouse of Alexandria to Monty Hall, a Fresh Look at Classic Conundr ums of Logic, Mathematics, and Life


Author: Derrick Niederman

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101560878

Category: Mathematics

Page: 224

View: 2418

Calling all puzzlers... From mathematics to word puzzles, from logic to lateral thinking, veteran puzzle maker Derrick Niederman delights in tackling the trickiest brainteasers in a new way. Among the old chestnuts he cracks wide open are the following classics: Knights and knaves The monk and the mountain The dominoes and the chessboard The unexpected hanging The Tower of Hanoi Using real-world analogies, infectious humor, and a fresh approach, this deceptively simple volume will challenge, amuse, enlighten, and surprise even the most experienced puzzle solver.

Sports Math

An Introductory Course in the Mathematics of Sports Science and Sports Analytics


Author: Roland B. Minton

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1498706320

Category: Mathematics

Page: 278

View: 599

Can you really keep your eye on the ball? How is massive data collection changing sports? Sports science courses are growing in popularity. The author’s course at Roanoke College is a mix of physics, physiology, mathematics, and statistics. Many students of both genders find it exciting to think about sports. Sports problems are easy to create and state, even for students who do not live sports 24/7. Sports are part of their culture and knowledge base, and the opportunity to be an expert on some area of sports is invigorating. This should be the primary reason for the growth of mathematics of sports courses: the topic provides intrinsic motivation for students to do their best work. From the Author: "The topics covered in Sports Science and Sports Analytics courses vary widely. To use a golfing analogy, writing a book like this is like hitting a drive at a driving range; there are many directions you can go without going out of bounds. At the driving range, I pick out a small target to focus on, and that is what I have done here. I have chosen a sample of topics I find very interesting. Ideally, users of this book will have enough to choose from to suit whichever version of a sports course is being run." "The book is very appealing to teach from as well as to learn from. Students seem to have a growing interest in ways to apply traditionally different areas to solve problems. This, coupled with an enthusiasm for sports, makes Dr. Minton’s book appealing to me."—Kevin Hutson, Furman University Features Provides an introduction to several topics within the field of sports analytics Contains numerous sports examples showing how things actually work Includes concrete examples of how Moneyball ideas actually work Covers sports illusions (can you really "keep your eye on the ball") in a unique way Discusses many of the concepts, terms, and metrics that are new to sports


Context and Adaptation from Archidamus to Airpower


Author: Richard Bailey,James Forsyth

Publisher: Naval Institute Press

ISBN: 1682470172

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 2434

How does one engage in the study of strategy? Strategy: The Study of Strategy from Archidamus to Airpower, argues that strategy is not just concerned with amassing knowledge; it is also about recognizing our imperfect understanding of the environment, and respecting the complex nature of adaptation to the unforeseen or unexpected. In essence, the strongest strategists are those who commit to an education that cultivates a more holistic and adaptive way of thinking. With that thought in mind, the authors of Strategy offer ways of thinking strategically about a variety of subject matters, from classical history to cyber power. Each contributing chapter author is a current or former professor at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies in Montgomery, AL, widely considered the DoD’s premier school of strategy. Each earned a PhD in either history or political science. All contributors are prolific and widely respected in their fields. Practitioners in the profession of arms, perhaps more than anyone else, must think strategically about the application of power on land, at sea, and in the air, space and cyberspace. In addition to the exploration of various sub-disciplines regarding strategy’s role in the employment of power, and perhaps more importantly, Strategy illuminates different approaches to thinking about strategy, which have implications beyond the profession of arms. Therefore, the authors examine the learning and teaching of strategic concepts. The book does not provide a blueprint for how to teach or learn strategy (in fact, the authors contend that such a blueprint would be short-sighted and perhaps even dangerous). On the contrary, the work explores how one should think about the study of strategy through an appreciation of both context and uncertainty. Thus, the book not only contributes to a greater understanding of the strategic aspects of the employment of power, but also widens the aperture in recognizing different ways to explore new concepts. The authors contend that only through a willingness to explore different approaches do budding strategists make the most of their journey.

Number Freak

From 1 to 200- The Hidden Language of Numbers Revealed


Author: Derrick Niederman

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101135484

Category: Mathematics

Page: 304

View: 6135

A compulsively readable look at the secret language of numbers- their role in nature, movies, science, and everything in between. What do Fight Club, wallpaper patterns, George Balanchine's Serenade, and Italian superstitions have in common? They're all included in the entry for the number 17 in this engaging book about numbers- detailing their unique properties, patterns, appeal, history, and lore. Author Derrick Niederman takes readers on a guided tour of the numbers 1 to 300-covering everything from basic mathematical principles to ancient unsolved theorems, from sublime theory to delightfully arcane trivia. Illustrated with diagrams, drawings, and photographs, plus 50 challenging mathematical brainteasers (with answers), this book will fascinate and engage readers of all levels of mathematical skill and knowledge. Includes such gems as: ? There are 42 eyes in a deck of cards, and 42 dots on a pair of dice ? In order to fill in a map so that neighboring regions never get the same color, one never needs more than four colors ? Hells Angels use the number 81 in their insignia because the initials "H" and "A" are the eighth and first numbers in the alphabet respectively

Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers


Author: Paul J. Nahin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400843049

Category: Mathematics

Page: 304

View: 877

What are your chances of dying on your next flight, being called for jury duty, or winning the lottery? We all encounter probability problems in our everyday lives. In this collection of twenty-one puzzles, Paul Nahin challenges us to think creatively about the laws of probability as they apply in playful, sometimes deceptive, ways to a fascinating array of speculative situations. Games of Russian roulette, problems involving the accumulation of insects on flypaper, and strategies for determining the odds of the underdog winning the World Series all reveal intriguing dimensions to the workings of probability. Over the years, Nahin, a veteran writer and teacher of the subject, has collected these and other favorite puzzles designed to instruct and entertain math enthusiasts of all backgrounds. If idiots A and B alternately take aim at each other with a six-shot revolver containing one bullet, what is the probability idiot A will win? What are the chances it will snow on your birthday in any given year? How can researchers use coin flipping and the laws of probability to obtain honest answers to embarrassing survey questions? The solutions are presented here in detail, and many contain a profound element of surprise. And some puzzles are beautiful illustrations of basic mathematical concepts: "The Blind Spider and the Fly," for example, is a clever variation of a "random walk" problem, and "Duelling Idiots" and "The Underdog and the World Series" are straightforward introductions to binomial distributions. Written in an informal way and containing a plethora of interesting historical material, Duelling Idiots is ideal for those who are fascinated by mathematics and the role it plays in everyday life and in our imaginations.

Word Freak

Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players


Author: Stefan Fatsis

Publisher: HMH

ISBN: 0547524315

Category: Games & Activities

Page: 384

View: 8484

This “marvelously absorbing” book is “a walk on the wild side of words and ventures into the zone where language and mathematics intersect” (San Jose Mercury News). A former Wall Street Journal reporter and NPR regular, Stefan Fatsis recounts his remarkable rise through the ranks of elite Scrabble players while exploring the game’s strange, potent hold over them—and him. At least thirty million American homes have a Scrabble set—but the game’s most talented competitors inhabit a sphere far removed from the masses of “living room players.” Theirs is a surprisingly diverse subculture whose stars include a vitamin-popping standup comic; a former bank teller whose intestinal troubles earned him the nickname “G.I. Joel”; a burly, unemployed African American from Baltimore’s inner city; the three-time national champion who plays according to Zen principles; and the author himself, who over the course of the book is transformed from a curious reporter to a confirmed Scrabble nut. Fatsis begins by haunting the gritty corner of a Greenwich Village park where pickup Scrabble games can be found whenever weather permits. His curiosity soon morphs into compulsion, as he sets about memorizing thousands of obscure words and fills his evenings with solo Scrabble played on his living room floor. Before long he finds himself at tournaments, socializing—and competing—with Scrabble’s elite. But this book is about more than hardcore Scrabblers, for the game yields insights into realms as disparate as linguistics, psychology, and mathematics. Word Freak extends its reach even farther, pondering the light Scrabble throws on such notions as brilliance, memory, competition, failure, and hope. It is a geography of obsession that celebrates the uncanny powers locked in all of us, “a can’t-put-it-down narrative that dances between memoir and reportage” (Los Angeles Times). “Funny, thoughtful, character-rich, unchallengeably winning writing.” —The Atlantic Monthly This edition includes a new afterword by the author.

Digital Dice

Computational Solutions to Practical Probability Problems


Author: Paul J. Nahin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691158215

Category: Computers

Page: 288

View: 5635

Some probability problems are so difficult that they stump the smartest mathematicians. But even the hardest of these problems can often be solved with a computer and a Monte Carlo simulation, in which a random-number generator simulates a physical process, such as a million rolls of a pair of dice. This is what Digital Dice is all about: how to get numerical answers to difficult probability problems without having to solve complicated mathematical equations. Popular-math writer Paul Nahin challenges readers to solve twenty-one difficult but fun problems, from determining the odds of coin-flipping games to figuring out the behavior of elevators. Problems build from relatively easy (deciding whether a dishwasher who breaks most of the dishes at a restaurant during a given week is clumsy or just the victim of randomness) to the very difficult (tackling branching processes of the kind that had to be solved by Manhattan Project mathematician Stanislaw Ulam). In his characteristic style, Nahin brings the problems to life with interesting and odd historical anecdotes. Readers learn, for example, not just how to determine the optimal stopping point in any selection process but that astronomer Johannes Kepler selected his second wife by interviewing eleven women. The book shows readers how to write elementary computer codes using any common programming language, and provides solutions and line-by-line walk-throughs of a MATLAB code for each problem. Digital Dice will appeal to anyone who enjoys popular math or computer science. In a new preface, Nahin wittily addresses some of the responses he received to the first edition.

What the Numbers Say

A Field Guide to Mastering Our Numerical World


Author: Derrick Niederman,David Boyum

Publisher: Crown Business

ISBN: 9780307419569

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 9356

A decade ago, computer scientist Douglas Hofstadter coined the term innumeracy, which aptly described the widespread ailment of poor quantitative thinking in American society. So, in What the Numbers Say, Derrick Niederman and David Boyum present clear and comprehensible methods to help us process and calculate our way through the world of “data smog” that we live in. Avoiding abstruse formulations and equations, Niederman and Boyum anchor their presentations in the real world by covering a particular quantitative idea in relation to a context–like probability in the stock market or interest-rate percentages. And while this information is useful toward helping us to be more financially adept, What the Numbers Say is not merely about money. We learn why there were such dramatic polling swings in the 2000 U.S. presidential election and why the system of scoring for women’s figure skating was so controversial in the 2002 Winter Olympics, showing us that good quantitative thinking skills are not only practical but fun.

Edgar Allan Poe's Pie

Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems


Author: J. Patrick Lewis

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547822588

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 40

View: 5064

Is this poetry? Math? A brainteaser? Yes! It’s all that and more. The poet J. Patrick Lewis has reimagined classic poems—such as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” and Langston Hughes’s “April Rain Song”—and added a dash of math. Between the silly parodies and the wonderfully wacky art, kids will have so much fun figuring out the puzzles, they won’t guess they’re learning! Answers appear unobtrusively on each page, and engaging information about the original poets is included. Math games and concepts, poetry and poet biographies—it’s all so cleverly put together. This funny book is a treat for fans of words and numbers alike.


The Lost Art of Thinking with 101 Ways to Reason Better and Improve Your Mind


Author: Steve Allen

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1615922687

Category: Social Science

Page: N.A

View: 2026

Dumbth (pron. dum-th) adj: a tendency toward muddleheadedness, or willful stupidity appearing in all segments of American life.Updated, expanded with 20 new ways to think better, and highlighted with a new introduction, this is Steve Allen's humorous and provocative examination of contemporary thought or lack of it in our society.When it first appeared nearly a decade ago, Dumbth: and 81 Ways to Make Americans Smarter was hailed by critics across the country as the book that would wake up Americans to their tendency toward poor thinking. Labeling the ineptitude phenomenon as dumbth, Allen has probed the depths of mass ignorance in thinking, speech, and actions for more than thirty years as he observed increased inefficiency, shoddy workmanship, bad service, and an overall breakdown in the capacity to reason. Today, while politicians and school boards play into the popular foolishness by proposing use of dumbed down texts and a street language called ebonics to reach students, Allen urges another kind of education.Allen explains the problem of fuzzy thinking in detail, and optimistically proposes many simple yet necessary remedies to dumbth in the 101 rules for good thinking, reading, writing, speaking, and, most importantly, reasoning.Steve Allen (1921-2000) was known as television's renaissance man. He authored more than fifty books and composed over 8,500 songs. Allen was the creator and original host of the Tonight Show and the award-winning PBS series Meeting of Minds. You can learn more about this legendary entertainer by visiting his official Web site at

Chases and Escapes

The Mathematics of Pursuit and Evasion


Author: Paul J. Nahin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400842069

Category: Mathematics

Page: 272

View: 2291

We all played tag when we were kids. What most of us don't realize is that this simple chase game is in fact an application of pursuit theory, and that the same principles of games like tag, dodgeball, and hide-and-seek are also at play in military strategy, high-seas chases by the Coast Guard, and even romantic pursuits. In Chases and Escapes, Paul Nahin gives us the first complete history of this fascinating area of mathematics, from its classical analytical beginnings to the present day. Drawing on game theory, geometry, linear algebra, target-tracking algorithms, and much more, Nahin also offers an array of challenging puzzles with their historical background and broader applications. Chases and Escapes includes solutions to all problems and provides computer programs that readers can use for their own cutting-edge analysis. Now with a gripping new preface on how the Enola Gay escaped the shock wave from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, this book will appeal to anyone interested in the mathematics that underlie pursuit and evasion. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

Challenging Logic Puzzles


Author: Barry R. Clarke

Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.

ISBN: 9781402705410

Category: Games

Page: 95

View: 8744

So, you think you've got the brain-power to tackle tough logic puzzles? Well, try this extraordinary assortment of challenges, including Mix-and-Match logic puzzles and "Find the Liar" type puzzles. Some puzzles have tables that can be used to deduce relationships between people or items, some use word-play to present the problem, and still others use illustrations to highlight the challenge. Whatever their form, each is designed to stretch your mind to the max. And the level of difficulty increases as you move through the book, concluding with a series so diabolical, even the most expert puzzle sleuths may have to beg for mercy! Fortunately, solutions for every puzzle are included, along with explanations of how the answers are determined, so you'll even be able to build your puzzle-solving skills.

The Counter-terrorism Puzzle

A Guide for Decision Makers


Author: Abraham Kaplan

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351484419

Category: Political Science

Page: 317

View: 1752

The expansion and escalation of global terrorism has left populations across the world and decision-makers responsible for contending with it unprepared. This book, now in paperback, is the first attempt of its kind to create a manual of counter-terrorism measures on all the relevant operational levels. The author's main purpose is to give decision-makers the tools to make rational and effective decisions in both preventing and countering terrorism. The need to contend with terrorism can be found in almost every sphere of life: security, prevention and suppression of terrorism, legal and ethical dilemmas regarding democratic issues, such as the individual's human rights, intelligence interrogations, the right of the public to know, as well as coping with social, psychological, and media-related issues.

In Praise of Simple Physics

The Science and Mathematics behind Everyday Questions


Author: Paul J. Nahin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400880513

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 2286

Physics can explain many of the things that we commonly encounter. It can tell us why the night is dark, what causes the tides, and even how best to catch a baseball. With In Praise of Simple Physics, popular math and science writer Paul Nahin presents a plethora of situations that explore the science and math behind the wonders of everyday life. Roaming through a diverse range of puzzles, he illustrates how physics shows us ways to wring more energy from renewable sources, to measure the gravity in our car garages, to figure out which of three light switches in the basement controls the light bulb in the attic, and much, much more. How fast can you travel from London to Paris? How do scientists calculate the energy of an atomic bomb explosion? How do you kick a football so it stays in the air and goes a long way downfield? Nahin begins with simpler problems and progresses to more challenging questions, and his entertaining, accessible, and scientifically and mathematically informed explanations are all punctuated by his trademark humor. Readers are presumed to have some background in beginning differential and integral calculus. Whether you simply have a personal interest in physics' influence in the world or you're an engineering and science student who wants to gain more physics know-how, this book has an intriguing scenario for you. In Praise of Simple Physics proves that if we look carefully at the world around us, physics has answers for the most astonishing day-to-day occurrences.

Math Puzzles for the Clever Mind


Author: Derrick Niederman

Publisher: Puzzlewright

ISBN: 9781454909736

Category: Games

Page: 95

View: 9541

It's true--playing with numbers can raise your I.Q., and help you think more clearly. And, these 100 examples are among the best. Find the shortcut for adding 2, 3, and 4 to form 6 different 3-digit numbers. Or, try this: What is the smallest number that when multiplied by 3 gives an answer consisting of all 4's? Other braintwisters involve flipping coins, burning candles, and taking apart a Rubik's cube in your head. T hey're all fun. "A puzzle book for a large audience....People who enjoy mathematical puzzles, but are stumped by puzzles at the level of Mensa, will find this book much more manageable."--"Science Books & Film."

Pencil Puzzlers


Author: Steve Ryan

Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company Incorporated

ISBN: 9780806985428

Category: Games

Page: 96

View: 738

A collection of puzzles from the author's nationally syndicated column featuring mazes, math teaser, scramblers, word games, and mechanical wrenchers.

Emma Dilemma

Big Sister Poems


Author: Kristine O'Connell George

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780618428427

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 47

View: 2087

Emma is Jess's little sister and her dilemma. The highlights and low points of this sibling relationship are evoked in short and simple poems.

Alice in Puzzle-land

A Carrollian Tale for Children Under Eighty


Author: Raymond M. Smullyan,Martin Gardner,Greer Fitting

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486482006

Category: Mathematics

Page: 182

View: 3800

Characters from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass populate these 88 intriguing puzzles. Mathematician Raymond Smullyan re-creates the spirit of Lewis Carroll's writings in puzzles involving word play, logic and metalogic, and philosophical paradoxes. Challenges range from easy to difficult and include solutions, plus 60 charming illustrations. "An ingenious book." — Boston Globe.

Family Puzzlers


Author: Mary Bondurant Warren

Publisher: N.A


Category: Genealogy

Page: N.A

View: 2960

Death Wore White


Author: Jim Kelly

Publisher: Minotaur Books

ISBN: 1429990430

Category: Fiction

Page: 400

View: 2335

Rookie detective Peter Shaw, along with his chain-smoking, hard-as-nails, veteran partner, is confronted with a baffling crime that stretches his wits and nerves to the breaking point, in Jim Kelly's quirky and intelligent mystery novel Death Wore White. The Washington Post say Jim Kelly has a "biting knack for capturing the essence of people."