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Mathematics without ApologiesPortrait of a Problematic Vocation$
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Michael Harris

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175836

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175836.001.0001

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The Science of Tricks

The Science of Tricks

(p.222) Chapter 8 The Science of Tricks
Mathematics without Apologies

Michael Harris

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that there is no such thing as a trickster in mathematics. There are, however, plenty of mathematical tricks, enough to fill a “Tricks Wiki” or “repository for mathematical tricks and techniques.” But even the rare mathematicians skilled at inventing trick after trick are not known as “tricksters.” Instead, a trickster is a role, a persona, one of several, an attribute not of the author who invents or employs it but rather of the text in which this kind of argument or idea or style of thought appears.

Keywords:   mathematicians, tricks, mathematics, tricksters

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