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School maths is not the interesting part. The real fun is elsewhere. Like a magpie, Ian Stewart has collected the most enlightening, entertaining and vexing ‘curiosities’ of maths over the years . Now, the private collection is displayed in his cabinet.
There are some hidden gems of logic, geometry and probability – like how to extract a cherry from a cocktail glass (harder than you think), a pop up dodecahedron, the real reason why you can’t divide anything by zero and some tips for making money by proving the obvious. Scattered among these are keys to unlocking the mysteries of Fermat’s last theorem, the Poincare Conjecture, chaos theory, and the P/NP problem for which a million dollar prize is on offer. There are beguiling secrets about familiar names like Pythagoras or prime numbers, as well as anecdotes about great mathematicians. Pull out the drawers of the Professor’s cabinet and who knows what could happen .
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