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A Ton of Interesting Mathematics for One Cent

This week's resource is quite different from others. On ebay over the past few months, someone named gdixierose (High Point, SC) has been offering an unusual product: Fun with Mathematics - Over 200 PDF Books on DVDrom (+ Math History & Fiction). I ordered one, at the vast expense of a $0.01 plus $3.59 in shipping.

Basically, gdixierose locates books that have lost their copyright, makes pdf's of them, and then collects them on a DVD around a common theme. Seems like of a lot of work!

This particular DVD is advertised as including the "History of Mathematics, the Greatest Mathematicians, Higher Mathematics, and Math Tricks and Amusements, even Math in Theology plus much more." And, this is accurate....if you like exploring both old mathematics books and odd ideas.

Consider this sample of the 200 titles included:

  • Scientific Amusements in Philosophy and Mathematics
  • Recreations in Mathematics by H.E. Licks (1917)
  • Mathematical Wrinkles for Teachers and Private Learners by Samuel I. Jones (1912)
  • Mathematical Recreations and Essays by W.W. Rouse Ball (1920)
  • "Theology and Mathematics," an article in the Catholic World (1910)
  • A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume 1 by Augustus De Morgan (1915)
  • "The Definition of Infinity," an article in The Journal of Philosophy (1918)
  • The Canterbury Puzzles, and other Curious Problems by Henry Enrest Dudeney (1919)
  • "The World's Best Puzzles," an article in the Strand Magazine (1908)
  • Amusements in Mathematics by Henry Enrest Dudeney (1917)
  • A New Demonstration of the Binomial Theorem by T. Knight (1816)
  • Magic Squares and Cubes by William Symes Andrews (1908)
  • Number Puzzles Before the Log Fire by David Smith (1919)
  • "Geometry Detected by Sherlock Holmes," an article in The Mathematics Teacher (1921)
  • Classic Unknowns in Mathematics by G.A. Miller (1915)
  • "The Mystical Relations of Numbers and Letters," an article in The New Age Magazine (1920)
  • "A Graded Series of Geometrical Puzzles," an article in the Journal of Experimental Psychology (1916)
  • The Elements of Non-Euclidean Geometry by Julian Coolidge (1909)
  • The Computation of 666 and Its Relation to Antichristian Systems (1891)
  • A New Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary by Peter Barlow (1814)
  • The Educational Significance of Sixteenth Century Arithmetic by L.L. Jackson (1906)
  • Important Discoveries in Plane and Solid Geometry by P.D. Woodlock (1912)
  • A History of Elementary Mathematics by Florian Cajori (1897)
  • "The Origin and Development of Geometry," an article in The Monist (1902)
  • Hypatia - New Foes with an Old Face by Charles Kingsley (1915)
  • Euclid and His Modern Rivals by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) (1879)
  • Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott (1884)
And this is just a sample of the titles. How can you go wrong?

Though the bidding process is over, the DVD should still be available through the vendor's on-line store for about $1.50 plus shipping. Plus, the vendor offers a ton of other similar collections, most with odd subjects. The one that appealed to me was the DVD of old manuals of magic and conjuring.