I finally succumbed and bought Martin Gardner’s Mathematical Games: The Entire Collection of His Scientific American Columns. Of course, as it had to be sent from America, the postage wasn’t cheap and it locked up my computer when I first tried it. Turning off CD autorun solved that problem.
Now I can spend the summer reading all those articles I’ve never read or even only half-remembered. The ability to search all the articles is a real boon. Did you know, for example, pi is mentioned 5645 times in the books?
In Fractal Music, Hypercards and More… Martin Gardner refers to the problem (which I’ve mentioned before) and says:
- Dozens of proofs have already been published. One of the shortest is based on the fact from elementary calculus that has a maximum value when equals . Hence is greater than . Multiplying each exponent by and canceling yields the inequality .
The perils of publishing mathematics Can you spot the error and correct it?