Dewey Decimal Project: 510 BEN The Magic of Math: Solving for x and Figuring Out Why

As I was NewImagescanning the bookshelves filled with math books, this caught my eye because I knew Arthur Benjamin back when he was a brand new professor at Harvey Mudd College. I spent a summer working in the college’s math department computer lab, some of it paid by the department, some, assorted freelance TeX-related projects. A couple other student workers and I spent a lot of time playing backgammon and Professor Benjamin (who we called “Benji”) taught us some strategies and techniques for backgammon (mostly the other students) and I went from being the best backgammon player in the group to the worst.

This book teaches an assortment of mathematical techniques and ideas while conveying Benji’s personality in the writing. I can see this being a good book for a bright high school student or a semi-mathematically-inclined college student. Back in the ’00s I taught a class called “Mathematics for Liberal Arts Majors” and I could see, after creating a set of exercises to accompany the book, using this as the text for that class.


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