Education[ edit ] Benjamin earned a Bachelor of Science degree with highest honors in applied mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University in He then went on to receive a Master of Science degree in and a Doctorate of Philosophy in engineering in mathematical sciences at Johns Hopkins University in Benjamin held several mathematics positions while attending university, including 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.

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Let me try to take this one step further. You can all take your time on this; I will not beat you to the answer on this one, but I will try to get the answer right. AB: Thank you very much.

Applause Applause ends Now, I would attempt to square a five-digit number — and I can — but unfortunately, most calculators cannot. Does yours go higher? AB: Oh, yours does? Volunteer: I can probably do it. In the meanwhile, let me conclude the first part of my show by doing something a little trickier. Would you each enter that on your calculator? So you should have as an answer either a six-digit or probably a seven-digit number. How many digits do you have, six or seven? Seven, and yours?

And, uncertain. Is there any possible way that I could know what seven-digit numbers you have? Say "No. Starting with your seven-digit number, call out any six of them please. Volunteer: 1, 9, 7, 0, 4, 2. AB: Did you leave out the number 6? You have a seven-digit number, call out any six of them please. Volunteer: 4, 4, 8, 7, 5. I think I only heard five numbers. I — wait — — did you leave out the number 6?

Same as she did, OK. Volunteer: 0, 7, 9, 0, 4, 4. I think you left out the number 3? The odds of me getting all four of these right by random guessing would be one in 10, 10 to the fourth power. OK, any six of them. Laughter Really scramble them up this time, please.

Volunteer: 2, 6, 3, 9, 7, 2. Did you leave out the number 7? Thank you very much. Applause Applause ends For my next number — Laughter while I mentally recharge my batteries, I have one more question for the audience.

By any chance, does anybody here happen to know the day of the week that they were born on? If you think you know your birth day, raise your hand. What year was it, first of all? Audience: November what? Audience: Yes. Somebody else? OK, how about you, what year? October what? Fifth — was that a Wednesday? Yell it out, what year? Audience: February. February what? Sixth — was that a Friday?

Good, how about the person behind her? Call out, what year was it? AB: , and the month? Audience: May. AB: May what? Seventh — would that be a Wednesday? We can do it that way. I brought with me a book of calendars. It goes as far back into the past as , because you never know. This is a book of calendars. Who wanted to know their birth day? And what month? Audience: April. AB: April what? Audience: 17th.

I believe that was a Sunday. Can you confirm, Chris? Chris Anderson: Yes. AB: What year would you like? CA: AB: , OK. AB: And what month? CA: June. AB: June what? CA: Sixth. AB: Was that a Sunday?

CA: It was. AB: And it was cloudy. Laughter Good, thank you very much. There was a gentleman up here who had a digit calculator. Where is he, would you stand up, digit guy? OK, stand up for me just for a second, so I can see where you are. You have a digit calculator, sir, as well? Now, I have to apologize to our magician friend Lennart Green.

Oh, I did this row already. Call out a single digit — that will be the five-digit number that I will try to square, go ahead.


Arthur T. Benjamin




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