Discover Mathemagics and Love Math for Life! – USA

Arthur Benjamin was recently selected as one of “America’s Best 300 Professors” by the The Princeton Review, and after spending a few minutes with him, it’s easy to understand why. Benjamin combines his two loves of math and magic and has managed, literally, to bring magic into his work (he calls it “mathemagics”). He is one of those impressive math teachers who are able to demystify the subject for students who either don’t like math, or think they can’t do it at all.

Benjamin’s focus is mental math – doing problems in your head – and he’s amazed audiences world-wide with his mental agility, being able to perform rapid mental calculations faster than a calculator. (Be sure to check out his TED Talks, linked below.) Benjamin emphasizes, “Creativity is just as important as the pragmatic aspects of math. Sometimes there’s more than one way to solve a problem – just like life. When I give my students assignments, I like to ask they don’t simply solve the problem in one way but to give me several different ways to solve it. ”

I recently spoke to Arthur, who hopes that his work ultimately changes people’s attitudes about math. Benjamin believes his mission is to “bring mathematics to the masses” and after seeing his work, I’m sure you will agree that learning Mathematics can be fun, exciting, rewarding, enjoyable and meaningful…  I’m thrilled to share here our fascinating conversation – which included an unexpected math quiz for me.

About Arthur Benjamin
Mathemagician and Professor of Mathematics, Harvey Mudd College Arthur Benjamin combines his two passions – magic and math — in “Mathemagics,” and he has been widely recognized for his ability to make complex mathematical concepts fun. Named “America’s Best Math Whiz” by Readers’ Digest, Benjamin has also been featured in the New York Times, The Today Show, CNN, Colbert Report, and National Public Radio. He’s delivered several popular TED talks and, using his mathematical prowess, won the American Backgammon Tour in 1997. Benjamin is the author of five popular books, 75 research articles and three DVD courses.

Who  inspires you the most?  My children
What  website do you check every day? The Onion
What is your favorite book? Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery by Martin Gardner
What  is your favorite motto?  If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up someplace else.
Benjamin is the co-author, with Michael Shermer, of Secrets of Mental Math (which shares his secrets for rapid mental  calculation), as well as the co-author of the MAA award-winning Proofs That Really  Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof.

You  can purchase his DVD courses on The Secrets of Mental Math, The Joy of Mathematics, and Discrete Mathematics from The Great Courses.

Arthur Benjamin will be at the USA Science & Engineering Festival to present his book on April 28 and 29. He will be in Hall B, Booth Number BF-3.

He will also be giving his Mathemagics show
on Saturday, April 28 at 12 PM
on Sunday, April 29 at 10:30 AM
Both presentations will be in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on the Curie stage

Learn how to do math in your head faster than a calculator, and rediscover the joy of mathematics!


More information about the USA Science & Engineering Festival
When: Sat,  April 28, 2012, 10am-6pm and Sun, April 29, 2012, 10am-4pm
Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Closest Metro Stop: Mt.Vernon Sq/7th St-Convention Center
Open to all ages
Free of charge

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