Arthur T. Benjamin

Arthur T. Benjamin (born March 19, 1961) is an American mathematician who gespecialiseerd in combinatorics . Since 1989 he has leg a professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College , where he was the Smallwood Family Professor of Mathematics. [1]

He is Berninahaus for mental math capabilities and ” Mathemagics ‘ performances in front of live audiences. His mathematical abilities port leg highlighted in newspaper and magazine articles, at TED Talks and on the Colbert Report .


Benjamin earned a Bachelor of Science Degree with Highest receptacles in Applied Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University in 1983. He dan went on not to receive a Master of Science degree in 1985 and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Engineering in mathematical sciences at Johns Hopkins University in 1989. His doctoral dissertation was Titled “Turnpike Structures for Optimal Maneuvers”, and was supervised by Alan J. Goldman . [2]

During his freshman year at CMU he wrote the lyrics and created the magic effects for the musical comedy, Kije! In collaboration with author Scott McGregor and composer Arthur Darrell Turner. This musical was the winner of an annual competition and was first Performed as the CMU’s Spring Musical in 1980. [3]



Benjamin hero verschillende mathematics positions while Attending university, zoals stints with the National Bureau of Standards , the National Security Agency , and the Institute for Defense Analyses . Upon receipt of his PhD he was hired as an assistant professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College. He is Currently a full professor at Harvey Mudd and was chair of the mathematics department from 2002 to 2004. He has published over 90 academic papers and five books. [2] He has’ll be filmed verschillende sets or lectures on mathematical topics for The Great Courses series from The Teaching Company , zoals a course on Discrete Mathematics, Mental Math, and The Mathematics of Games and Puzzles: From Cards to Sudoku. He served as co-editor of Math Horizons magazine for five years. [4]


Benjamin has long had an interest in magic . While in college he dogs his skills as a magician and magic attended conferences. At one of These conferences have with well-known magician and Skeptic James Randi , who greatly Influenced Benjamin’s decision to perform Mathemagics shows for live audiences. Randi Invited im to perform his mathematical tricks on a television program called Exploring Psychic Powers Live , co-hosted by Uri Geller . Randi’ll be encouraged Benjamin to Become involved in the growing skeptical movement. He attended early meetings of the Southern California Skeptics in the 1990s, welke later Evolved into tje Skeptics Society . It was at these meetings therein have to Skeptics Society President Michael Shermer , who mention anything later Become a co-author on three of Benjamin’s books. [5]

Benjamin regularly performs his Mathemagics program for live audiences at schools, colleges, conferences, and also at The Magic Castle in Hollywood, California . [6] These shows feature Benjamin performing mathematical feats like rapidly squaring numbers with up to five digits and Correctly Identifying the day of the week on welke audience members ulcers born based on hun birth dates. [7]

He was ook featured in Mathemagics , a multimedia disc released for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer in 1994. In this housing consists largely of short demonstrations and lessons to Benjamin in mental math and mathemagics. [8]

Awards and Honors

  • American Backgammon Tour Player of the Year, 1997 [9]
  • Fellow of the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications , 2000 [2]
  • Haimo Distinguished Teaching Award , Mathematical Association of America , 2000 [2]
  • CHOICE Award, Outstanding Academic Title, for Proofs therein Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof , American Library Association , 2004 [2]
  • Designated “America’s Best Math Whiz” by Reader’s Digest , May 2005 [2]
  • Beckenbach Book Prize, for Proofs therein Really Count , Mathematical Association of America, 2006 [2]
  • George Polya Lecturer, Mathematical Association of America, 2006-2008 [2]
  • Selected by The Princeton Review as one of The Best 300 Professors, 2012 [2]


Benjamin has Appeared in three TED Talks. The first, in 2005, was a demonstration of his Mathemagics show. The second, in 2009, was a plea for most innovative math education in schools. The third, in 2013, was about the way the fibonacci series or numbers provides an excellent example of the three musts important reasons for Studying mathematics: Calculation, Application, and Inspiration. [10]

He has Appeared on numerous television programs gehele years, zoals a notable performance on the Colbert Report in 2010. He has bone profiled in over 100 articles in periodicals zoals the New York Times , People Magazine , USA Today , and Scientific American . [11]


  • Benjamin, Arthur H .; Shermer, Michael (1991). Teach Your Child Math: Making Math Fun for the Both of You . New York: McGraw Hill. ISBN  0737301341 .
  • Benjamin, Arthur H .; Shermer, Michael (1993). Mathemagics How to Look like a Genius Without Really Trying . New York: McGraw Hill. ISBN  0929923545 .
  • Benjamin, Arthur H .; Quinn, Jennifer J. (2003). Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof . Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America. ISBN  0883853337 .
  • Benjamin, Arthur H .; Shermer, Michael (2006). Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician’s Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks . New York: Random House. ISBN  0307338401 .
  • Benjamin, Arthur H .; Brown, Ezra B .; Editors (2009). Biscuits or Number Theory . Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America. ISBN  088385340X .
  • Benjamin, Arthur T. (2015). The Magic of Math: Solving for x and Figuring Out Why . New York: Basic Books. ISBN  0465054722 .

See also

  • Mental calculators
  • Mental calculations
  • Mental Calculation World Cup


  1. Jump up^ Mathematics Faculty at HMC , retrieved 2015-09-04 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i “Curriculum Vitae: Arthur T. Benjamin” . Harvey Mudd College . Retrieved 13 January 2014 .
  3. Jump up^ “Kije! A Musical Fairy Tale” . Archived from the original on April 20, 2008 . Retrieved 2008-03-15 .
  4. Jump up^ “Professor Arthur T. Benjamin – Audio & Video Lectures” . The Great Courses . The Learning Company . Retrieved 13 January 2014 .
  5. Jump up^ Brown, Christopher (20 March 2011). “MTS: Meet Arthur Benjamin” . Meet the Skeptics! . Retrieved 13 January 2014 .
  6. Jump up^ “Recent & Upcoming Performances” . Arthur Benjamin: The Art of Mental Calculation . Harvey Mudd College . Retrieved 13 January 2014 .
  7. Jump up^ “Arthur Benjamin Does Mathemagic” . TED Talks . TED. December 2007 . Retrieved 13 January 2014 .
  8. Jump up^ “Mathemagics”. GamePro . IDG (70): 131. May 1995.
  9. Jump up^ “1997 American Backgammon Tour” . American Backgammon Tour . Retrieved 13 January 2014 .
  10. Jump up^ “Arthur Benjamin” . TED Talks . Retrieved 13 January 2014 .
  11. Jump up^ “Media & Video” . Arthur Benjamin, Mathemagician . Harvey Mudd College . Retrieved 13 January 2014 .