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Number Mosaics: Journeys in Search of Universals Hardcover – June 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-9810218881 ISBN-10: 9810218885

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 358 pages
  • Publisher: World Scientific Pub Co Inc (June 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9810218885
  • ISBN-13: 978-9810218881
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,333,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Number Mosaics has little in common with most other books ofrecreational mathematics. Though it contains much for the reader tomarvel at and wonder about, it is far from being just another book ofmind bending puzzles. It is more in the nature of a story of discoveryand adventure in hitherto unexplored regions of the fascinatinguniverse of numbers and patterns. As the story unfolds, the reader isdrawn into it and soon becomes a member of the exploring party. Theproblems which feature in the book are intriguing in themselves, butthe focus is not so much on obtaining the right answers as on thenumerous and ingenious ways of arriving at the solutions. Theapproach adopted is similar to that often used in the past by oldmasters like Fermat, Euler and Gauss, to name a few. The criticalexamination of raw data initially invokes a response in the form of aconjecture which is then refined and tested in wider and wider fields.The book abounds with illustrative examples and illuminating diagrams,and throughout it the search for universals continues like a powerfulundercurrent, as master keys are forged which work under all manner ofchanging conditions for solving a variety of problems, often withoutthe need for calculations. This is a book which lovers of number lorewill surely relish.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you're drawn to things like magic squares, Fibonacci number puzzles or fractal geometry, you'll find "Number Mosaics" by A. R. Kanga irresistible. "Number Mosaics" is recreational mathematics on steroids. The author weaves ordinary numbers into geometrical arrangements such as spirals, stars, lattices and ladders, exploring the arithmetical properties they generate, much like magic squares. He takes a neglected corner of the arithmetical universe and spins a fascinating gossamer web, articulating a novel theory of numbers.
While this is not a text on traditional number theory, it's not George Gammow's "One, Two, Three... Infinity," either. This book is quite narrow in focus. It's not a popularization, since this is probably the only treatment of the subject in existence. It's as if Kanga hit on a vein of numerical ore, exhaustively mining and refining it into a unique theory of - Number Mosaics! The closest thing I have read is, "Magic Squares and Cubes," by W. S. Andrews, which is both a survey and a presentation of novel material.
In contrast, most popular books on mathematics today take the reader on a wide-ranging tour of dozens of topics, but don't offer original treatments such as Number Mosaics does. A sampling of my personal favorites includes: "Fractals, Chaos, Power Laws - Minutes From An Infinite Paradise," by Manfred Schroeder (1990) - This book demands some high-school math to get the most out of but is well written and chock full; "The Story Of [the square-root of minus-one], An Imaginary Tale," by Paul J. Nahin (1998); "The Divine Proportion," by H. E. Huntley (1970); "The Mathematical Tourist," by Ivars Peterson; and an excellent book by Devlin.
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