Contents

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Contents Preface xi Part I Movies 1 Good Math Hunting 3 1.1 How to Become a Math Consultant 3 1.2 Actors Versus Blackboards 4 1.3 Lambeau, the Fields Medalist 5 1.4 A Professor Turns Actor 6 1.5 Mathematics: “Perceval” 7 1.6 Students in Action 8 1.7 Mathematics: Graph Theory 1 9 1.8 Mathematics: Eigenvalues 12 1.9 Mathematics: Graph Theory 2 13 1.10 Mathematics: Graph Theory 3 16 1.11 Mathematics: The Salieri Scene 17 1.12 Further References and Remarks 18 1.13 Parodies 18 2 The Clever Hand Behind A Beautiful Mind 21 2.1 Real Math Beats Fake Math 23 2.2 Signature Scene 23 2.3 The Riemann Hypothesis 27 2.4 The Blonde and the Nobel Prize 33 2.5 Hand Double 36 2.6 Bits and Pieces 37 3 Escalante Stands and Delivers 41 3.1 Welcome to the Finger Man 42 3.2 Filling the Hole 42 3.3 Let X Be the Number of Girlfriends 45 v vi Contents 3.4 Newton Was an Idiot 46 3.5 The Students Stand and Deliver, Again 50 3.6 Will the Real Jaime Escalante Please Stand Up? 51 4 The Annotated Pi Files 53 4.1 Max the Mathematician 53 4.2 Mathematics Is the Language of Nature 54 4.3 Pattern in Pi 54 4.4 Numerology: Father + Mother = Child 57 4.5 The Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Ratio 58 4.6 Archimedes the Goldﬁsh 63 4.7 Coincidence, or Is It? 64 4.8 Back to the Golden Ratio 66 4.9 Staring into the Sun 67 4.10 The Name of God 69 4.11 Living Happily Ever After 69 5 Nitpicking in Mathmagic Land 71 5.1 Tiny Nitpick: What Is Pi? 71 5.2 Historical Nitpick: Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans 72 5.3 Small Nitpick: Pythagorean Music 73 5.4 Medium Nitpick: The Golden Section 74 5.5 Large Nitpick: Three-Cushion Billiards 77 5.6 NOTpick 82 5.7 Notes 83 6 Escape from the Cube 85 6.1 The Cube in Cube 85 6.2 First Insight: The Power of Primes 86 6.3 How to Avoid Prime Numbers 87 6.4 Second Insight: The Cube in Coordinates 89 6.5 Third Insight: Permutations 90 6.6 Final Insight: Prime Powers 95 6.7 Other Cubes 96 7 The Incredible Shrinking Room 97 7.1 How Good a Puzzler Are You? 98 7.2 Answers to the Puzzles 99 7.3 Notes 102 8 Murder in the Hot House 103 8.1 The Story 103 8.2 Let’s Kill Some Mathematicians 104 8.3 The Writing on the Wall 106 8.4 Let’s Run Away and Join the Circus 107 Contents vii 9 A Word Problem for Die Hards 109 9.1 Playing Billiards with the Die Hard Problem 110 9.2 A Recipe 111 9.3 Thwarting a Diﬀerent Simon 112 9.4 The Least Common Multiple 112 9.5 References 113 10 7 × 13 = 28 115 10.1 First Proof: Bogus Division 115 10.2 Second Proof: Bogus Multiplication 117 10.3 Third Proof: Bogus Addition 118 10.4 Play it Again, Abbott 119 10.5 General Bogus Math 120 11 One Mirror Has Two Faces, Two Mirrors Have . . . 121 11.1 Real Life 121 11.2 Prime Numbers 122 11.3 Calculus 123 11.4 Mathematical Miscellany 127 11.5 The Other Mirror 130 11.6 Notes 131 12 It’s My Turn for Some Serious Mathematics 133 12.1 The Snake Rears Its Lovely Head 133 12.2 The Classiﬁcation of Finite Simple Groups 136 12.3 Questions and Answers 139 12.4 Notes 139 Part II Mathematics 13 Beautiful Math, or Better Oﬀ Dead 143 13.1 The Direct Approach 143 13.2 The Poetic Approach 146 13.3 The All-Singing, All-Dancing Approach 148 13.4 Any Place, Any Time 149 14 Pythagoras and Fermat at the Movies 151 14.1 Pythagoras’s Theorem 151 14.2 Fermat’s Last Theorem 154 14.3 Fermat’s Last Tango 157 15 Survival in the Fourth Dimension 161 15.1 Time, Space, Both, or What? 162 15.2 The Hypercube Via Analogy 163 viii Contents 15.3 Picturing the Hypercube 165 15.4 Dimension Drive 171 15.5 Intersections 173 15.6 The Hypersphere 175 16 To Inﬁnity, and Beyond! 177 16.1 Mystical Musings 178...