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Math Horizons Contents—September 2014

Math enthusiasts crave the exhilarating Aha! experience when solving a problem or puzzle. In this issue Pradeep Mutalik argues that this emotional problem-solving reward is what made us human. Longtime problem-poser Stan Wagon gives us plenty of Aha! moments as he shares his 10 most surprising problems. Baseball enthusiasts will also enjoy the double header in this issue. Tim Chartier, John Harris, and Kevin Hutson analyze how bad the situation was for the mighty Casey when he faced two strikes and no balls. And Ben Baumer writes about his time as a sabermetrician for the New York Mets.

Read these articles, and more, online today. Remember: Every MAA member has online access to Math Horizons.  

Congratulations to Jordan Ellenberg, recipient of the 2014 Trevor Evans Award. Read his award-winning article "The Beauty of Bounded Gaps: A huge discovery about prime numbers and what it means for the future of mathematics."

Math Horizons is now on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us. David Richeson, editor


Volume 22, Issue 1


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The Travels of Two

Amy Shell-Gellasch

Ethiopian, Russian, and Egyptian cultures used doubling and halving to perform arithmetic.


Test Your Intuition

Stan Wagon

Longtime problem poser Stan Wagon shares his most surprising problems.

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How Puzzles Made Us Human

Pradeep Mutalik

The exhilarating Aha! moment we experience when solving a puzzle is an important human characteristic.

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THE VIEW FROM HERE: The Math behind College Admissions

James Cousins and Christian Millichap

Two students use their mathematical training to tackle the challenging problems of college admissions. 

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To Swing, Or Not to Swing

Tim Chartier, John Harris, and Kevin Hutson

Just how bad did the mighty Casey have it, being down two strikes, no balls?

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Applied Mathematics at the Ballpark: The Life of One Sabermetrician

Ben Baumer 

Ben Baumer writes about working as a statistician for his favorite baseball team. (pdf)


The Greatest Two-Point Answer Ever

William Dunham and Hank Sneddon

A first-year student proves a new theorem to earn two points on an exam. 

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Colm Mulcahy

Colm Mulcahy reviews Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner.

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DO THE MATH: Fibonacci Lemonade

Andrea Hawksley

Taste the Fibonacci sequence and the golden ratio in this delicious beverage.

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The Math Horizons problem section, edited by Gary Gordon


AFTERMATH: Bad at Math Is a Lie

Matt Waite

Despite what journalism professor Matt Waite told himself growing up, he is not Bad at Math.

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