Adventures in group theory: Rubik's Cube, Merlin's machine, and other mathematical toys

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Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002 - Mathematics - 262 pages
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Group theory deals with symmetry, in the most abstract form possible. It is a core part of the undergraduate math curriculum, and forms part of the training of theoretical physicists and chemical crystallographers. Group theory has tended to be very dry--until now. David Joyner uses mathematical toys (primarily the Rubik's Cube and its more modern cousins, the Megaminx, the Pyraminx, and so on) as well as other mathematical examples (e.g., bell ringing) to breathe new life into a time-honored subject. "Why," asks the author, "should two such different topics, mechanical puzzles and abstract group theory, be related? This book takes the reader on an intellectual trip to answer this curiosity." Adventures in Group Theory will not only appeal to all math enthusiasts and interested general readers but will also find use in the classroom as a wonderful supplementary text in any abstract algebra or group theory course.

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Review: Adventures in Group Theory: Rubik's Cube, Merlin's Machine, and Other Mathematical Toys

User Review  - Andrea Frazier - Goodreads

I'd be interested in hearing from someone who used this in a second course in abstract algebra. Read full review


Elementary my dear Watson
And you do addition?
A procession of permutation puzzles

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About the author (2002)

David Joyner is a professor of mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy. He is coauthor of Linear Algebra with Applications and editor of Coding Theory and Cryptography: From Enigma and Geheimschreiber to Quantum Theory.

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