## Strange Curves, Counting Rabbits, and Other Mathematical ExplorationsHow does mathematics enable us to send pictures from space back to Earth? Where does the bell-shaped curve come from? Why do you need only 23 people in a room for a 50/50 chance of two of them sharing the same birthday? In Strange Curves, Counting Rabbits, and Other Mathematical Explorations, Keith Ball highlights how ideas, mostly from pure math, can answer these questions and many more. Drawing on areas of mathematics from probability theory, number theory, and geometry, he explores a wide range of concepts, some more light-hearted, others central to the development of the field and used daily by mathematicians, physicists, and engineers. Each of the book's ten chapters begins by outlining key concepts and goes on to discuss, with the minimum of technical detail, the principles that underlie them. Each includes puzzles and problems of varying difficulty. While the chapters are self-contained, they also reveal the links between seemingly unrelated topics. For example, the problem of how to design codes for satellite communication gives rise to the same idea of uncertainty as the problem of screening blood samples for disease. Accessible to anyone familiar with basic calculus, this book is a treasure trove of ideas that will entertain, amuse, and bemuse students, teachers, and math lovers of all ages. |

### What people are saying - Write a review

#### Review: Strange Curves, Counting Rabbits, and Other Mathematical Explorations

User Review - Martin Cohen - GoodreadsThis is recreational mathematics at its best. The topics are interesting and the explanations and proofs are clear. There are problems interspersed in the text that are integral to the explanation ... Read full review

#### Review: Strange Curves, Counting Rabbits, and Other Mathematical Explorations

User Review - Michelle - GoodreadsMost memorable chapter- the book shows how isbns are constructed to show if a digit in the sequence is off. Otherwise, meh. :) Read full review

### Contents

III | 1 |

IV | 5 |

V | 7 |

VI | 11 |

VII | 13 |

VIII | 19 |

IX | 21 |

X | 22 |

XLVI | 122 |

XLVII | 124 |

XLVIII | 125 |

XLIX | 127 |

L | 128 |

LI | 131 |

LII | 134 |

LIII | 139 |

XI | 25 |

XII | 27 |

XIII | 31 |

XIV | 32 |

XV | 34 |

XVI | 35 |

XVII | 41 |

XVIII | 43 |

XIX | 46 |

XX | 48 |

XXI | 50 |

XXII | 55 |

XXIII | 56 |

XXIV | 58 |

XXV | 63 |

XXVI | 65 |

XXVII | 70 |

XXVIII | 71 |

XXIX | 73 |

XXX | 75 |

XXXI | 76 |

XXXII | 79 |

XXXIII | 80 |

XXXIV | 83 |

XXXV | 84 |

XXXVI | 89 |

XXXVII | 91 |

XXXVIII | 93 |

XXXIX | 100 |

XL | 105 |

XLI | 106 |

XLII | 109 |

XLIII | 110 |

XLIV | 114 |

XLV | 117 |

LIV | 141 |

LV | 144 |

LVI | 147 |

LVII | 149 |

LVIII | 151 |

LIX | 153 |

LX | 154 |

LXI | 158 |

LXII | 161 |

LXIII | 165 |

LXIV | 169 |

LXV | 174 |

LXVI | 178 |

LXVII | 181 |

LXVIII | 182 |

LXIX | 189 |

LXX | 193 |

LXXI | 202 |

LXXII | 207 |

LXXIII | 210 |

LXXIV | 213 |

LXXV | 214 |

LXXVI | 215 |

LXXVII | 219 |

LXXVIII | 220 |

LXXIX | 223 |

LXXX | 225 |

LXXXI | 230 |

LXXXII | 233 |

LXXXIII | 236 |

LXXXIV | 238 |

LXXXV | 242 |

LXXXVI | 243 |

247 | |

### Common terms and phrases

3-separated affected sample algebraic approach argument average batch binary protocol binomial coefficient blood samples calculate chance codeword coefficients coins column continued fraction Coprimality corners decimal expansions denominator digits divide divisible equal equation estimate example expected number expression fact Fermat's Little Theorem Fibonacci numbers Fibonacci sequence function Golden Ratio guess half-point Hamming code happens hump hyperbolae idea integers interval Iog2 irrational irrationality ISBN lattice points lattice polygon Little Theorem logarithm look Lucas numbers matches mathe mathematicians mathematics matrix method multiply Newton's method normal curve number of tests pair parity rules parity-check matrix period Pick formula Pick's Theorem polynomial prime number probability problem question rectangle recurs repetition code shown in Figure Solution Spirograph steps Stirling's formula string Suppose tangent line Taylor series tile tion total area triangle weighings whole numbers