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Play That Piece Again...and Again...

Each day/month/year/decade, new math problems are solved, a few perhaps wih fame attached...though most are perhaps important but of little worth except to those specialists who care. And, new problems are posed!

George Szpiro's A Mathematical Medley: Fifty Easy Pieces on Mathematics (2010) attempts to show that mathematics is a thriving problem-populated world, complete with constantly evolving applications.

Restricting his fifty stories to a few pages each in layman's terms, Szpiro describes mathematical problems recently solved, mathematical research recently published, and general observations about the role of mathematics in our lives. Tangents include anecdotal tidbits about mathematicians or famous "olde" mathematics problems.

Some examples:

  • Number mystics and numerology
  • Mock functions (mock and otherwise) made famous by Ramanujan
  • Arbitrarily long arithmetic sequences of prime numbers
  • Queues--Fair and Unfair?
  • Bedford's distribution and the digit 9
  • Stephen Smale--The Yippie Mathematician
  • Mathematics of traffic bottlenecks
  • An interesting Olympics prediction
  • Earthquakes, epileptic fits, and the stock market crash
  • "In Dubio Pro Reo"
  • Fight sloppy mathematics!
So, if you like mathematics or stories about mathematics, this book is for you. Each story is short...and written so that it grabs your interest...fifty times! And when you finish the book, you will wonder when Szpiro will provide the next batch of fifty stories...