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Persi Diaconis is a legend in the worlds of magic and mathematics. As a magician, he was a young prodigy and keeper of Dai Vernon's most treasured secrets. As a mathematician, he is a tenured professor at Stanford University and was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship in 1982. Magical Mathematics is his collaboration with fellow mathematician Ron Graham to explore the intersection of these two fields.

Magical Mathematics assumes no prior knowledge of magic and very little knowledge about math. Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham provide easy, step-by-step instructions for each trick, explaining how to set up the effect and offering tips on what to say and do while performing it. Each card trick introduces a new mathematical idea, and varying the tricks in turn takes readers to the very threshold of today’s mathematical knowledge.

Diaconis and Graham tell the stories—and reveal the best tricks—of the eccentric and brilliant inventors of mathematical magic. The book exposes old gambling secrets through the mathematics of shuffling cards, explains the classic street-gambling scam of three-card Monte, traces the history of mathematical magic back to the oldest mathematical trick—and much more.

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