Magical Mathematics by Persi Diaconis

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Eight perfect shuffles will return a 52-card deck to its original order, with every card cycling back to its starting position...These findings are among the many fascinating results explored in "Magical Mathematics," a dazzling tour of math-based magic tricks.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

Magical Mathematics reveals the secrets of fun-to-perform card tricks—and the profound mathematical ideas behind them—that will astound even the most accomplished magician. Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham provide easy, step-by-step instructions for each trick, explaining how to set up the effect and offering tips on what to say and do while performing it. Each card trick introduces a new mathematical idea, and varying the tricks in turn takes readers to the very threshold of today’s mathematical knowledge.

Diaconis and Graham tell the stories—and reveal the best tricks—of the eccentric and brilliant inventors of mathematical magic. The book exposes old gambling secrets through the mathematics of shuffling cards, explains the classic street-gambling scam of three-card Monte, traces the history of mathematical magic back to the oldest mathematical trick—and much more.

 

About Persi Diaconis

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Persi Diaconis is professor of mathematics and statistics at Stanford University and a professional magician. Ron Graham is professor of mathematics and computer science at the University of California, San Diego, and a professional juggler.
 
Published October 3, 2011 by Princeton University Press. 264 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science & Math, Professional & Technical, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Alex Stone on Dec 10 2011

Eight perfect shuffles will return a 52-card deck to its original order, with every card cycling back to its starting position...These findings are among the many fascinating results explored in "Magical Mathematics," a dazzling tour of math-based magic tricks.

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