Department of Mathematics
Harvey Mudd College
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-8688


Honors and Awards:

Work Experience:

Sabbatical appointments:

Papers (includes 85 research papers, 13 expository papers, 11 book reviews and letters,  DVD courses, and 8 books):

Click here to see a list of my papers, preprints, and books.

Research Talks (314 talks (including 3 TED talks), and counting):

Click here to see a list of my research talks.


  1. Teach Your Child Math.
    (with Michael B. Shermer)
    McGraw Hill, New York, 177 pages, 1991. (Out of Print.)
  2. Mathemagics: How to Look like a Genius Without Really Trying.
    (with Michael B. Shermer)
    McGraw Hill (Book-of-the-Month-Club Selection), New York, 218 pages, 1993, 1998. (Out of Print. Updated as Secrets of Mental Math.)
  3. Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof.
    (with Jennifer J. Quinn)
    Mathematical Association of America, Dolciani Series, Washington DC, 208 pages, 2003. (Order here!)
  4. Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician's Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks.
    (with Michael B. Shermer; translated into more than 10 languages!)
    Random House, New York, 279 pages, 2006. (This is an updated version of Mathemagics.)
  5. Biscuits of Number Theory.
    (co-edited with Ezra B. Brown)
    Mathematical Association of America, Dolciani Series, Washington DC, 311 pages, 2009. (Order here!)

  6. The Art of Mental Calculation: Addition & Subtraction
    (with Natalya St. Clair)
    self-published with, 60 pages, 2014. (Order here!)

  7. The Fascinating World of Graph Theory
    (with Gary Chartrand and Ping Zhang)
    Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 322 pages, 2015. (Order here!)
  8. The Magic of Math: Solving for x and Figuring Out Why
    Basic Books, New York, NY, 336 pages, 2015. (A New York Times Bestseller!)

DVD Courses (from The Great Courses):

  1. The Joy of Mathematics.
    The Great Courses, Chantilly, VA (24 thirty minute lectures on DVD), 2007. (Order here!)

  2. Discrete Mathematics.
    The Great Courses,, Chantilly, VA (24 thirty minute lectures on DVD), 2009. (Order here!)
  3. The Secrets of Mental Math
    The Great Courses,, Chantilly, VA (12 thirty minute lectures on DVD), 2011. (Order here!)

  4. The Mathematics of Games and Puzzles: From Cards to Sudoku
    The Great Courses, Chantilly, VA (12 forty-five minute lectures on DVD), 2013. (Order here!)

  5. Math and Magic
    The Great Courses, Chantilly, VA (12 thirty minute lectures on DVD), 2018. (Order here!)


I organized the Eighth Annual HMC Mathematics Conference in 2006. The topic was Enumerative Combinatorics and our speakers were George Andrews (Pennyslvania State), Igor Pak (MIT), Carla Savage (North Carolina State), and Doron Zeilberger (Rutgers).

Mathemagics Presentations:

Click here to see a list of my recent performances.

Senior Theses:

  1. Jeremy Billones, Optimal Strategies in Pai-Gow Poker, 1991.
  2. Eric Huggins, Optimal Blackjack Strategies with Lucky Bucks, 1991.
  3. Roderick Lee, Chance and Determinism: What Happens When You Add a Coin to a Nim-Like Game?, 1991.
  4. Greg Levin, A Comparison of Negative Cycle Detection Methods, 1992.
  5. Jeff Vogel, A Brief Introduction to the Theory of Matroids, 1992.
  6. Michael Buksas, Juggling by the Numbers: A Mathematical Model of Juggling, 1993.
  7. Cliff McCarthy, Determinants of the Tournaments, 1994.
  8. Mike Munson, Winning Backgammon, 1994.
  9. Tim Kokesh, Mathematics of Baseball, 1995.
  10. Andrew Ross, Optimal Racing in Backgammon, 1996.
  11. Jessica Sidman, Splitting Numbers, 1997.
  12. Kan Yasuda, Squares of Magic Squares, 1997.
  13. Aaron Archer, Coloring Theorems, 1998.
  14. Andrew Hutchings, Applications of Semi-Definite Programming, 1998.
  15. Matthew Fluet, Searching for Optimal Strategies in Knock 'm Down, 1999.
  16. David Rudel, Solving x^2 + y^2 = z^n, 1999.
  17. Helen Monroe, N-Person Coalitional Games: The Power of More Than One, 2000.
  18. Kylie Bryant, Genetic Algorithms and the Travelling Salesman Problem, 2001.
  19. Greg Preston, A Combinatorial Approach to Harmonic Numbers, 2001
  20. Jeremy Rouse, Combinatorial Proofs of Congruences, 2003.
  21. Alexander Eustis, The Negs and Regs of Continued Fractions, 2006.
  22. Jonathan Azose, A Tiling Interpretation of q-Binomial Coefficients, 2007.
  23. Daniel Walton, A Tiling Approach to Chebyshev Polynomials, 2007.
  24. Sean Plott, Functions of the Binomial Coefficient, 2008.
  25. Bob Chen, Combinatorial Proofs Using Complex Weights, 2010.
  26. Elizabeth Reiland, Combinatorial Proofs of Fibonomial Identities, 2011.
  27. Curtis Heberle, A Combinatorial Approach to r-Fibonacci Numbers, 2012.
  28. Kym Louie, Flatterland: The Play, 2012.
  29. Eric Stucky, Kastelyn's Solution of the Dimer Model, 2015.
  30. Robert Bennett, Fibonomial Tilings and other Up-Down Tilings, 2016.
  31. Natchanon Suaysom, Iterative Matrix Factorization Method for Social Media Data Location Prediction, 2017.

Editorial Boards:

Service to the Profession:


Referee for these journals and book series:

Courses Taught:


I enjoy attending theatre, playing competitive backgammon, writing parodies, racing calculators and performing magic.

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