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The Mathematics of Oz


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Table of Contents

Travel guide; Preface; Introduction; Puzzles: 1. The yellow-brick road; 2. Animal array; 3. An experiment with Kansas; 4. An experiment with signs; 5. The logic of greenness; 6. Magical maze; 7. Kansas railway contraction; 8. The problem of the bones; 9. Square overdrive; 10. Squares and cubes; 11. Plex's matrix; 12. Chaos at the clock factory; 13. The upsilon configuration; 14. Bone toss; 15. Animal farm courthouse; 16. Omega sphere; 17. Leg bone shatter produces triangle; 18. Z-bar ranch; 19. Mystery of phasers; 20. Salty number cycle; 21. Where are the composites?; 22. Brain trip; 23. The gaps of omicron; 24. Hutchinson problem; 25. Flint hill series; 26. Wacky tiles; 27. Toto clone puzzle; 28. Legion's number; 29. The problems of the tombs; 30. Plex's tiles; 31. Phasers on targets; 32. The chamber of death and despair; 33. Zebra irrationals; 34. Creatures in resin; 35. Prime-poor equations; 36. Number satellite; 37. Flatworm math; 38. Regolith paradox; 39.; 40. Entroy; 41. Animal gap; 42. Arranging alien heads; 43. Ramanujan congruences and the quest for transcendence; 44. Getting noticed; 45. Juggler numbers; 46. Friends from Mars; 47. Phi in four 4s; 48; On planet zyph; 49. The jellyfish of europa; 50. Archeological dissection; 51. The gamma gambit; 52. Robot hand hive; 53. Ramanujan and the quattuordecillion; 54. Lunatic ferris wheel; 55. The ultimate spindle; 56. Prairie artifact; 57. Alien pellets; 58. The beauty of polygon slicing; 59. Cosmic call; 60. Knight moves; 61. Sphere; 62. Potawatomi target; 63. Sliders; 64. Swapping; 65. Triangle dissection; 66. A simple code; 67. Heterosquare; 68. Insertion; 69. Missing landscape; 70. The choice; 71. Animal selection; 72. The skeletal men of Uranus; 73. Hindbrain stimulation; 74. The arrays of absolution; 75. Trochophore abduction; 76. The dream pyramids of Missouri; 77. Mathematical flower petal; 78. Blood and water; 79. Cavern problems; 80. Three triplets; 81. Oos and oob gambit; 82. Napiform mathematics; 83. Toto, Mr. plex, elephant; 84. Witch overdrive; 85. What is art?; 86. Wendy magic square; 87. Heaven and hell; 88. The stars of heaven; 89. Vacation in the Tarantula nebula; 90. Hot lava; 91. Circular primes; 92. The truth about cats and dogs; 93. Disc mania; 94. N2+m2=s; 95. 2, 271, 2718281; 96. Android watch; 97. Knight moves; 98. Pool table gambit; 99. A connection between pi and e; 100. Venusian number bush; 101. Triangle cave; 102. Rat attack; 103. The scarecrow formula; 104. Circle math; 105. A, AB, ABA; 106. Ants and cheese; 107. The omega crystal; 108. Attack of undulating undecamorphs; Epilog; Further exploring; For further reading; About the author.

Promotional Information

Thought-provoking mysteries, puzzles, and problems ranging from zebra numbers and circular primes to Legion's number.

About the Author

Clifford A. Pickover received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is the author of over twenty highly-acclaimed books on topics such as computers and creativity, art, mathematics, black holes, human behavior and intelligence, time travel, alien life, and science fiction. Pickover is a prolific inventor with dozens of patents, is the associate editor for several journals, the author of colorful puzzle calendars, and puzzle contributor to magazines geared to children and adults. The Los Angeles Times recently wrote, 'Pickover has published nearly a book a year in which he stretches the limits of computers, art, and thought.' Wired magazine wrote, 'Bucky Fuller thought big, Arthur C. Clarke thinks big, but Cliff Pickover outdoes them both.' Pickover's computer graphics have been featured on the cover of many popular magazines and on TV shows. His web site,, has received over a half-million visits.


'... this book is an excellent one ... anyone wishing to open it for the first time should be warned about the danger of becoming addicted to reading it on a regular basis.' Yuri V. Rogovchenko, Zentralblatt MATH 'A perpetual idea machine, Clifford Pickover is one of the most creative, original thinkers in the world today.' Journal of Recreational Mathematics 'Run, leap, scurry and scoot to your nearest bookstore and get his books.' BYTE 'Pickover inspires a new generation of da Vincis to build unknown flying machines and create new Mona Lisas.' Christian Science Monitor 'Pickover is van Leeuwenhoek's twentieth century equivalent.' OMNI 'The Mathematics of Oz stands out from the crowd. There are enough challenges here to keep you away from the TV all Christmas.' New Scientist '... the material in the book is not duplicated in other collections, and some of it is even new, a real rarity in recreational mathematics.' Underwood Dudley, author of Mathematical Cranks 'Readers cannot deny the wit, humor, and intelligent challenges Pickover demands of them. those who love solving puzzles will surely appreciate the whimsy and the sport.' Leonardo 'This is an excellent collection of mathematical problems and puzzles at all levels of mathematical sophistication ... The reader is guided to think about many interesting areas, and various methods are exploited and presented in a non-traditional way.' European Mathematical Society '... [an] astounding collection of more than 100 puzzles ... Mathematics of Oz is a stimulating romp through often mind-bending terrain.' Science News '... an excellent collection of mathematical problems and puzzles at all levels of mathematical sophistication.' EMS Newsletter '... the problems themselves - more than a hundred in total - amaze, challenge and delight in equal proportion.' The Mathematical Gazette 'Beside being a pleasant reading, this book is capable of endearing its readers to mathematics. ...useful reading for not only mathematics-orientated people, but laymen interested in thinking can find exciting riddles and thinking methods as well. ...This book is a recommended reading for each Homo sapiens who likes thinking.' Acta Scientiarum Mathematicarum

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