Congratulations to Dr. Satyan Devadoss, Book Release

Congratulations to Dr. Satyan Devadoss, Book Release

Satyan Devadoss, PhD, recently wrote a general audience book, something that has been on his mind for eight years. The book title is Mage Merlin's Unsolved Mathematical Mysteries. It was launched last week, published by MIT Press and distributed by Penguin.

The book introduces the reader to 16 unsolved problems, packaged around a theme of Merlin’s adventures in Camelot, narrated in honor of Maryam Mirzakhani. The goal is to bring anyone to the edge of unknown mathematics, avoiding formulas and equations but using colors, toys, tiles, strings, paper.  It's also a personal embodiment of my teaching philosophy on math education.

Description from the MIT website:

Most people think of mathematics as a set of useful tools designed to answer analytical questions, beginning with simple arithmetic and ending with advanced calculus. But, as Mage Merlin's Unsolved Mathematical Mysteries shows, mathematics is filled with intriguing mysteries that take us to the edge of the unknown. This richly illustrated, story-driven volume presents sixteen of today's greatest unsolved mathematical puzzles, all understandable by anyone with elementary math skills. These intriguing mysteries are presented to readers as puzzles that have time-traveled from Camelot, preserved in the notebook of Merlin, the wise magician in King Arthur's court.

Our guide is Mage Maryam (named in honor of the brilliant young mathematician, the late Maryam Mirzakhani), a distant descendant of Merlin. Maryam introduces the mysteries—each of which is presented across two beautifully illustrated pages—and provides mathematical and historical context afterward. We find Merlin confronting mathematical puzzles involving tinker toys (a present for Camelot's princesses from the sorceress Morgana), cake-slicing at a festival, Lancelot's labyrinth, a vault for the Holy Grail, and more. Each mystery is a sword awaiting removal from its stone, capturing the beauty and power of mathematics.


Listen to Dr. Devadoss's recent radio interview on the NewBooksNetwork to promote the book.

Watch a video interview about Dr. Devadoss's new book. 

Satyan Devadoss, Ph.D.

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