Content Teasers for February 2004

No sleight of hand required, just a slightly nimble mind! Colm Mulcahy reveals cards tricks involving matching, symmetry groups, hidden set partitions, and spelling fixed points.

Winning the triennial Grand Prix in 2003 makes Jason Latimer magic's equivalent of a world champion or Olympic Gold Medalist. Jason's Performance in Amsterdam before 2500 magicians brought him to a level attained by only two American before him, Lance Burton and Johnny "Ace" Palmer. Jason is also a mathematics major at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

A brief journey through history looking for magic squares of distinction --- that is square matrices of nonnegative (not necessarily distinct) integers in which each row column and diagonal adds to the same constant.

The perfect shuffle involves interweaving two halves of a deck of cards exactly. It has many interesting and magical properties. For those of us without the dexterity to perform a perfect shuffle, there is the perfect unshuffle where a packet of cards is alternately dealt into two piles and then the piles are reassembled on top of one another. Card tricks involving the perfect unshuffle can be mastered by even the clumsiest of magicians.

This article turns the February 2004 issue of Math Horizons and two decks of cards into an amazing prediction trick based on Alex Elmsley's Book of Fortunes.

Students review Magic Tricks, Card Shuffling, and Dynamics Computer Memories by S. Brent Morris and The Mathematics of Juggling by Burkhard Polster.

Learn about Mathematics at the Naval Academy and see what Kate Oliver, Richard Bower, Grant Moody, and Tom Logue have done with their degrees since graduation.

Mathematical tidbits on an amazing property of 3x3 magic squares, Kaprekar's constant, fair division of pizza slices, and a spherical generalization of the Pythagorean theorem.

Jessica explains her mathematical tattoo in her own words.

Seeking other mathematical tattoos....real or imagined.