Charming Proofs: A Journey Into Elegant Mathematics

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MAA, 2010 - Mathematics - 295 pages
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Theorems and their proofs lie at the heart of mathematics. In speaking of the purely aesthetic qualities of theorems and proofs, G. H. Hardy wrote that in beautiful proofs 'there is a very high degree of unexpectedness, combined with inevitability and economy'. Charming Proofs presents a collection of remarkable proofs in elementary mathematics that are exceptionally elegant, full of ingenuity, and succinct. By means of a surprising argument or a powerful visual representation, the proofs in this collection will invite readers to enjoy the beauty of mathematics, and to develop the ability to create proofs themselves. The authors consider proofs from topics such as geometry, number theory, inequalities, plane tilings, origami and polyhedra. Secondary school and university teachers can use this book to introduce their students to mathematical elegance. More than 130 exercises for the reader (with solutions) are also included.

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About the author (2010)

Claudi Alsina received his BA and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Barcelona. His postdoctoral studies were at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. As Professor of Mathematics at the Technical University of Catalonia, Claudi has delivered a wide range of research papers, publications and lectures on mathematics and mathematics education. His latest books include Associative Functions (co-authored with M. J. Frank and B. Schweizer, WSP, 2006) and Math Made Visual (co-authored with Roger B. Nelsen, MAA, 2006).

Roger B. Nelsen received his BA in Mathematics from DePauw University and his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1969. He taught mathematics and statistics at Lewis and Clark College for forty years before his retirement in 2009. His previous books include Proofs Without Words (MAA, 1993) and An Introduction to Copulas (Springer, 1999).

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