- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press (January 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691070415
- ISBN-13: 978-0691070414
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,079,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Zen of Magic Squares, Circles, and Stars: An Exhibition of Surprising Structures across Dimensions
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From Scientific American
"In this book," Pickover writes, "we will go far beyond ordinary magic squares and consider many unusual variations, some in higher dimensions, all with mind-boggling patterns." You do not have to reach the "miniature epiphany" he says you might have while contemplating the intriguing structures he describes, but you should get instruction and pleasure from them. Pickover, a research staff member at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, is the author of many other books on mathematical subjects.
Editors of Scientific American
"A perpetual idea machine, Clifford Pickover is one of the most creative, original thinkers in the world today."--Journal of Recreational Mathematics
"Pickover just seems to exist in more dimensions than the rest of us."--Ian Stewart, Scientific American
"Clifford Pickover is many things--scientist, scholar, author, editor, and visionary."--Games
"It is a safe bet to conjecture that this is the best recreational mathematics book that will be published in this year. . . . Pickover writes with his usual style and straightforward simplicity in this book. The material is presented well and can be understood by anyone with a basic middle school mathematics background. This is a cool book!"--Charles Ashbacker, Journal of Recreational Mathematics
"Through accessible and readable prose and through detailed, highquality line illustrations, Pickover ably transports the general reader from culturally embedded traditional topics to a new and surprising frontier."--Harold Don Allen, Mathematics Teacher
"Pickover writes about his subject with contagious enthusiasm and comprehensive erudition."--Choice
"A splendid recreational book. . . . An extremely alluring page-turner."--Andrew Bremner, Notices of the American Mathematical Society
Top customer reviews
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I have been looking for a book on the subject of "Magic Squares" for sometime. When I first spotted this title< I was hooked by its appeal Thus, my expectations were very high. My expecations were exceeded significantly. Clifford Pickover is a brillian writer. John Tyler Gibson, Livonia, Michigan.
In my point of view, the very very interesting parts are the 230 pages of chapters 2 and 3, the heart of the book.
Cliff explains and classifies the different and numerous magic objects according to their properties.
And you will find the state of the art about magic squares, magic cubes but also about magic objects using more than our current 3-dimensional space !
The excellent and recent work of John Hendricks, one of the world's main specialist on magic square, is oftenly presented and described.
The end of the book describes very strange magic objects that will really astonish you : circles, spheres, stars, hexagons, flowers ( !), spider, ...
An excellent book, THE NEW REFERENCE on the subject !
With a lot of figures, notes and references.
My only regret is self-centred : my new record for multimagic squares were probably too recent to be in the book.
Cliff's book, page 136 : « A magic square is p-multimagic if the square formed by replacing each element by its kth power (for k=1, 2, ..., p) is also magic. As we discussed, a 2-multimagic square is called a bimagic square, and a 3-multimagic square is called a trimagic square. I do not know if a quadramagic or pentamagic square exists and welcome feedback from readers ».
So, feedback : both squares have been discovered in 2001. Our pentamagic square, 1024x1024 sized, is magic as far as the 5th power.
Cliff, I hope that the new record for multimagic squares, by André Viricel and Christian Boyer, will be in the next edition !
And you will probably have a next edition, I am sure that your book will be really successful.
Most of the ideas in this book can be explored with just a pencil and paper! You can even discover new patterns in old magic squares that no one has ever found before. Even the famous eighteenth-century American Benjamin Franklin loved magic squares although he once considered them a waste of time.
Pickover presents interesting people and their magic squares. From Benjamin Franklin's magic squares to four-dimensional magic tesseracts, the patterns fascinate us with their elegance. The book is a treasure and has gotten some rave reviews in the press. I enjoyed the magic spheres best of all, but I think each reader will find something new and interesting as they browse. A lot of magic squares deal with the chess board. Some focus on DNA sequences! A few were made by prisioners in jail. The author has certainly searched far and wide to assemble this massive collection.