The Price of Cake
And 99 Other Classic Mathematical Riddles
Ingeniously designed mathematical riddles to delight armchair, and seasoned, mathematicians, in high school and beyond.
In The Price of Cake, brothers Clément and Guillaume Deslandes have assembled a uniquely rich and accessible collection of mathematical riddles, organized by difficulty and accompanied by unique hand-drawn illustrations. The challenges are exceptional in both their range and their precision. There are no "tricks" here—just good math to test your skills.
While any student will be thrilled to encounter fresh presentations of classic conundrums such as Simpson's paradox, Hilbert's infinite hotel, Monty Hall's paradox, and Seven Bridges of Königsberg, seasoned solvers will also appreciate challenging original puzzles using the Axiom of Choice and Conway's Soldiers problem. The Deslandes' lucid and elegant solutions offer new insights, as they seamlessly connect the skills applied in each problem to broader theoretical revelations. Moreover, as Fields Medalist Cédric Villani writes in his preface, these riddles are much more than just exercises. They capture "a certain dose of decorum and mystery," and to decipher them will require both imagination and tenacity.
To aid you on this journey, the authors provide hints to each puzzle, detailed proofs and solutions, and a series of Math Refreshers to revisit important concepts that are used to arrive at those answers. Entertaining and rigorous in equal measure, The Price of Cake is bound to captivate mathematics enthusiasts and students of all levels.
“The Price of Cake is a collection of some of the greatest mathematical puzzles that have ever been created. It features classic puzzles every person should solve at least once in their lives and some new puzzle ideas for even the most seasoned solver."
John C. Urschel, former NFL player; Harvard University Junior Fellow in Mathematics; author of Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football
“This book was carefully crafted to both challenge and equip readers in their pursuit of clear mathematical thinking. It is far more than a mere collection of riddles.”
Tai-Danae Bradley, Mathematician at SandboxAQ; coauthor of Topology: A Categorical Approach; creator of Math3ma
“Looking for delight, intrigue, wonder, and awe in mathematics? Look no further. These 100 gems bring it all!”
James Tanton, Mathematician-at-Large, Mathematical Association of America