“The Magic of Math” by Art Benjamin

by Gabriel Ngwe ’17


“The Magic of Math” is a book on general mathematics which aims to reveal the underlying magic. What lies behind “The Magic of Math” is the same thing that lies behind magic in general: manipulation and redirection. These themes underlie the book, and Arthur Benjamin uses them well to explain the basic concepts.

One of Benjamin’s best examples of the magic in mathematics is infinite series, where evaluating a sum may lead to contradictory results. One example is the “proof” that the sum of all powers of 2 is -1.


Gabriel Ngwe ’17 is a math major from Chicago, Illinois. He enjoys chess, fencing, and mathematical analysis.