Mathemagic!
Reported September 2010
ATLANTA, GA (Ivanhoe Newswire)  What do you think of when you think of mathematics? Numbers? Equations? How about magic? It turns out that the basic principals of mathematics can make for some pretty impressive card tricks, where the hand and the math is quicker than the eye.
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Spelman college professor Colm Mulcahy isn’t just a mathematician he's also a mathemagician. A little simple addition and he’ll tell you what your cards were.
Magic? Sure, but here’s the math: the cards in his deck one, two, three, five, eight and 13 for the king make up something called the fibonacci sequence. Each number is the sum of the two previous numbers
"What’s magic about them is if you add any two of them and tell somebody what the total is they know what the two numbers must have been." Dr. Mulcahy told Ivanhoe.
The magic is all in the math.
"Yeah, it’s definitely amazing!" Student Janiene Thiong said.
"People think sometimes that math merely has applications to engineering or rocket science or whatever, but it also has entertainment value" Dr. Mulcahy explained.
It’s totally mathemagic!
"Yes, this is living proof that math is literally everywhere." Student Cheyanne Goings said.
Dr. Mulcahy says he uses mathemagic often in the math classes he teaches, and he’s always on the lookout for new applications of math ideas that he can turn into card tricks.
The American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.
Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:
Colm Mulcahy
Spelman College
colm@spelman.edu
Mike Breen and Annette Emerson
American Mathematical Society
Providence, RI 029042294
(800) 3214267
http://www.ams.org
paoffice@ams.org
Ivars Peterson
Mathematical Association of America,
Washington, DC 200361358
(800) 7419415
http://www.maa.org
ipeterson@maa.org

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