Nets, Puzzles, and Postmen: An Exploration of Mathematical Connections

Nets, Puzzles, and Postmen: An Exploration of Mathematical Connections


By (author) Peter M. Higgins


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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 18mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 25 March 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199218439
  • ISBN 13: 9780199218431
  • Illustrations note: Numerous B&W line diagrams
  • Sales rank: 484,159

Product description

What do road and railway systems, electrical circuits, mingling at parties, mazes, family trees, and the internet all have in common? All are networks - either people or places or things that relate and connect to one another. Only relatively recently have mathematicians begun to explore such networks and connections, and their importance has taken everyone by surprise. The mathematics of networks form the basis of many fascinating puzzles and problems, from tic-tac-toe and circular sudoku to the 'Chinese Postman Problem' (can he deliver all his letters without traversing the same street twice?). Peter Higgins shows how such puzzles as well as many real-world phenomena are underpinned by the same deep mathematical structure. Understanding mathematical networks can give us remarkable new insights into them all.

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Author information

Peter M. Higgins is Professor of Mathematics and Head of Mathematical Sciences at the Univesity of Essex, UK. His previous mathematics books for a popular audience include Mathematics for the Curious, Mathematics for the Imagination, and The Official Book of Circular Sudoku. He is the inventor of Circular Sudoku which has now appeared throughout the world in magazines, book, the internet and on handheld computer games.

Review quote

The book will open the eyes of the reader to hidden networks, hence it can be recommended to people wanting to discover a remarkable new view of our world. EMS Newsletter

Table of contents

Preface ; 1. Nets, trees and lies ; 2. Trees and games of logic ; 3. The nature of networks ; 4. Coloring and Planarity ; 5. How to traverse a network ; 6. One-way systems ; 7. Spanning networks ; 8. Going with the flow ; 9. Novel applications of nets ; 10. For Connoisseurs