Slicing Pizzas, Racing Turtles, and Further Adventures in Applied Mathematics

Princeton University Press, 2002 - Mathematics - 286 pages

Have you ever daydreamed about digging a hole to the other side of the world? Robert Banks not only entertains such ideas but, better yet, he supplies the mathematical know-how to turn fantasies into problem-solving adventures. In this sequel to the popular Towing Icebergs, Falling Dominoes (Princeton, 1998), Banks presents another collection of puzzles for readers interested in sharpening their thinking and mathematical skills. The problems range from the wondrous to the eminently practical. In one chapter, the author helps us determine the total number of people who have lived on earth; in another, he shows how an understanding of mathematical curves can help a thrifty lover, armed with construction paper and scissors, keep expenses down on Valentine's Day.

In twenty-six chapters, Banks chooses topics that are fairly easy to analyze using relatively simple mathematics. The phenomena he describes are ones that we encounter in our daily lives or can visualize without much trouble. For example, how do you get the most pizza slices with the least number of cuts? To go from point A to point B in a downpour of rain, should you walk slowly, jog moderately, or run as fast as possible to get least wet? What is the length of the seam on a baseball? If all the ice in the world melted, what would happen to Florida, the Mississippi River, and Niagara Falls? Why do snowflakes have six sides?

Covering a broad range of fields, from geography and environmental studies to map- and flag-making, Banks uses basic algebra and geometry to solve problems. If famous scientists have also pondered these questions, the author shares the historical details with the reader. Designed to entertain and to stimulate thinking, this book can be read for sheer personal enjoyment.

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Contents

 Broad Stripes and Bright Stars در در ن Chapter 2 More Stars Honeycombs and Snowflakes 13 Slicing Things Like Pizzas and Watermelons 23 Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head and Other Goodies 34 Raindrops and Other Goodies Revisited 44 Which Major Rivers Flow Uphill? 49 A Brief Look at a e and Some Other Famous Numbers 57 Another Look at Some Famous Numbers 69 Prime Fibonacci and Hailstone 78
 The Great Explosion of 2023 146 How to Make Fairly Nice Valentines 153 Somewhere Over the Rainbow 163 Making Mathematical Mountains 177 How to Make Mountains out of Molehills 184 Moving Continents from Here to There 196 How to Flatten Spheres 204 Growth and Spreading and Mathematical Analogies 219

 A Fast Way to Escape 97 How to Get Anywhere in About FortyTwo Minutes 105 How Fast Should You Run in the Rain? 114 Pursuit Curves 123 Logarithmic Spirals 131 How Many People Have Ever Lived? 138
 How Long Is the Seam on a Baseball? 232 Baseball Seams Pipe Connections and World Travels 247 Lengths Areas and Volumes of All kinds of Shapes 256 References 279 Index 285 Copyright

References to this book

 Ants, Bikes, and Clocks: Problem Solving for UndergraduatesWilliam BriggsNo preview available - 2005
 Ants, Bikes, and Clocks: Problem Solving for UndergraduatesWilliam BriggsNo preview available - 2005
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