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Math Horizons - February 2004

Content Teasers for February 2004

Top 5 Reasons to Like Mathematical Card Tricks
Colm Mulcahy 

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.

A Conversation with Jason Latimer, Math Major & Magician 
Kenneth C. Millet

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.

Some Magic Squares of Distinction
Paul C. Pasles

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. 

Unshuffling for the Imperfect Magician
Doug Ensley

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. 

A Book of Corollaries, Variation on a Theme
S. Brent Morris

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. 

Book Reviews
James Lawrence & Matthew Macauley

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

REU Spotlight: Grand Valley State University
Edwaurd Aboufadel & Steven Schlicker
Alumni Profiles: The United States Naval Academy
T. S. Michael

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.

Math Fun Facts: Magical Miscellany
Francis Edward Su

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 L. Nelson

Jessica explains her mathematical tattoo in her own words.

Problem Section
Andy Liu, Editor
Contest: Do You Tattoo?

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