Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Archimedes' Revenge Mass Market Paperback – July 30, 1989

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$23.99 $0.01

Wiley Summer Savings Event.
Wiley Summer Savings Event.
Save up to 40% during Wiley's Summer Savings Event. Learn more.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Archimedes' Revenge is an extremely accessible, lighthearted account of a number of mathematical topics, many with modern interest, such as complexity theory. Hoffman quotes living mathematicians extensively, giving the reader a feel for the nature of the mathematical community and insight into how this community attempts to resolve open questions. This book is low in mathematical rigor, making it suitable for any interested reader.

From School Library Journal

YA-- This collection of highly readable essays on a variety of mathematical puzzles will both appeal to YAs and expand their understanding of the topics with which mathematicians grapple. Hoffman explains how to construct an unbreakable code, how to build an Easter egg, what a Mobius strip is, and how that relates to molecular structure. He discusses a puzzle which has remained unsolved since Archimedes' time, and explains why some problems are truly insoluble, even by computers. He discusses the origins and limits of computers, and the relationship between mathematical statistics and politics. The book can be read in total, or at random. Students and teachers will appreciate its content and style.
- Dorcas Hand, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, Tex.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Fawcett; Reprint edition (July 30, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449217507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449217504
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,637,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tung Yin VINE VOICE on June 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Most people have math-phobia, which is too bad, because math exhibits a certain beauty and perfection. The great thing about Paul Hoffman's "Archimedes' Revenge" is that he shows you the beauty and perfection without your having to be a math major to understand.
Moreover, for anyone who's wondered what use math is, Hoffman can answer that as well. Among the subjects covered are: cryptology (code making and code breaking), architecture, computer science, and political science.
The book is divided into a number of sections, ranging from number theory to topology to game theory. While these may sound like esoteric (and useless) concepts, Hoffman masterfully weaves in stories, such as the (in)famous Beale cipher, a secretly coded treasure map that has resisted all attempts to crack it for over 100 years.
I recommended to a colleague of mine that she buy this book for her teenage son, who is bright but a slacker. She reported that he raved about the book and was so eager to discuss it with her!
As an example of the sort of thing covered in this book, Hoffman describes a game where A, B, and C all have balloons and darts. A hits his target 80% of the time; B hits his target 60% of the time; and C hits his target 40% of the time. If each person attacks his strongest opponent, who wins most often? Surprisingly, the answer is C, because A and B concentrate their attacks on each other.
In summary, if you have math-phobia but would like to conquer it, this is a great place to start. There are no equations to speak of, just concepts explained in (relatively) plain English. It may take a couple of readings to understand it all, but it's definitely within grasp for those who progressed no farther than Algebra 2 in high school.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This book is perfect for math buffs. The author discusses the
intricacies of dot patterns, prime numbers, codes, geometric
shapes, conic forms, states and the Palindrom check-just to
mention a few of the topics treated. Math majors would find this
work a delight. It is perfect for a school math project.
You could also develop a thesis from some of the challenges
proposed in this book. It is worth the price for persons
interested in higher mathematics and the sciences. It could be
useful for computer scientists and machine language specialists.
3 Comments 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an enjoyable, well-written easy read for anyone with at least college math. The author presents a bunch of unusual and interesting math oddities and discoveries (are math results actually "discoveries" or creations?). Get it for amusement on a long plane trip, then give it to a friend.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book might always have come across as a disjointed read (as it delves into four separate areas of mathematics) but it also suffers because these areas fail to hold the reader's attention. The four sections covered are number theory, shapes and topology, computer science, and the mathematics of voting.
Of the four, the number theory section is the most interesting, but a more in-depth and charming analysis of this area of mathematics can be found in Simon Singh's two books: Fermat's Last Theorem and The Code Book.
The chapter on computing machines is weakened by the fact that the book was published first in 1989 and consequently is rather dated.
Overall I would describe this book as a page-turner but only in the sense that I skipped pages to swiftly conclude certain chapters.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I found the book to be rather interesting, and not difficult to understand. A scientific or mathematical background is an added plus while reading the book. I felt that it got bogged down in some sections, but they were of little interest to me and skipping them did not hinder the overall effect of the book. Enjoyable light reading, for if you ever thought,"What the hell is math good for?". Good section on cryptology.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?