Benjamin’s Book Ranked Among the Best

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How would you prove that, among any six people, there must exist either three mutual friends or three mutual strangers? Harvey Mudd mathematics Professor Arthur Benjamin’s book The Fascinating World of Graph Theory helps you tackle such problems with an informative approach that has earned it the American Library Association’s Outstanding Academic Title distinction.

Graph theory is the mathematics often used to express relationships between objects, such as those in fields like transportation science, data structures and social media. Co-authored by Benjamin, Smallwood Family Professor of Mathematics, and Western Michigan University mathematics professors Gary Chartrand and Ping Zhang, The Fascinating World of Graph Theory (Princeton University Press) has been praised for its accessibility, offering readers a vast array of fun, challenging questions and puzzles that can be solved by someone with a math background of high school algebra.

Based on overall presentation, scholarship, academic relevance and value to students, the Outstanding Academic Title distinction is afforded to a small number of academic texts reviewed each year in Choice, the American Library Association’s magazine. This prestigious list reflects the best in scholarly titles selected by the editors of Choice and brings with it the recognition of the academic library community. At around just 10 percent of more than 6,500 works reviewed in Choice last year, the list is extremely selective. Thousands of academic librarians, faculty and key decision makers rely on Choice magazine’s reviews for collection development and scholarly research.

Benjamin is no stranger to writing fun and accessible mathematics texts. He is the author of Secrets of Mental Math—a guide to performing his trademark Mathemagics—and Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof (co-authored with Jennifer J. Quinn), a book on mathematical patterns that was also a Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2004. His latest book, The Magic of Math: Solving for x and Figuring Out Why, seeks to show how the math we learned in school—from basic counting and arithmetic to algebra, geometry and beyond—can be easy, intuitive and fun.