Available March 29, 2016

Reading in the grand ballroom of the Ducal Palace in Genoa, Italy; October 2016.

Readings, Discussions, Signings, and Interviews



Book launch for Fluke on March 29, 2016 at 7pm

Book Culture
536 West 112th Street
Between Broadway and Amsterdam
New York City, NY 10025


Mar 30, 2016 4:15pm

Colloquium Lecture
Princeton University Plasma Physics Lab
100 Stellarator Road
Princeton, NJ

A popular audience talk about flukes and coincidences in science. This event is free and open to the public. However, be sure to bring ID, as you will have to go through security.


March 31, 2016 at 6pm

Reading, Discussing, and Signing Fluke
NYU Bookstore
726 Broadway
New York, NY 10003


April 15, 2016 at 7pm

Reading Fluke
Harvard Coop Trade Bookstore
1400 Massaachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Manchester, VT

May 13, 2016 at 7pm

Reading Fluke
Northshire Bookstore
4869 Main ST
Manchester Center, VT 05255


May 15, 2016 at 4:00pm
Reading and discussing Fluke at
Misty Valley Books
Main Street
On The Green
Chester, Vermont


3:00pm July 29, 2016:

Reading Fluke
Bookstock Literary Festival
Parish Hall (of the St. James Episcopal Church at the west end of the Green)


Book Club for Fluke on October 13, 2016 at 6pm

National Museum of Mathematics
11 East 26th Street
New York City, NY 10010


September 24, 2016, 5:00 - 5:45pm

Library of Congress
National Book Festival
Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Book Signing

September 24, 2016, 6:30 - 7:30pm


October 31, 2016, 9:00pm

Festival della Scienza
Palazzo Ducale in the " Sala del Maggior Consiglio"
keynote address
History of mathematical symbols
The Incredible Saga of Numbers
Joseph Mazur

The history of numbers and mathematical symbols accompanies man always. It is an epic saga: with mathematical operators mankind soar through the skies and ventures into outer space; in the same way, it addresses the newspaper on the planet. Joseph Mazur, one of the most important scholars and popularizers of mathematics, as a skilled Virgil leads us on a journey of discovery of the matter: the founding of the numbers on a writing cuneiform tablets the invention of zero archaic India, until the revolution European, through lost cultures such as the Inca and maya. In the story there are also mathematicians, philosophers, merchants and wizards: a huge crowd helps a mythic cycle that has for protagonists the sum, subtraction, multiplication, division, identity, square roots, the greek and the more powers. The strength of symbols, released in universal history, changes the understanding of the world and the perception of space and time. The Mazur analysis is enlightening, full of insights, amazement and rigor, and able to reveal unconscious associations and mazes we live with the reality of every day.


For interview requests please contact:
Carrie Majer
Publicist | Basic Books
250 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10107

Kate Bland
Senior Publicity Manager
Oneworld Publications
10 Bloomsbury Street
London, WCiB 3SR
+44 (0)20 7307 8903

Selected Works

What are the chances? This is the question we ask ourselves when we encounter the freakiest and most seemingly impossible coincidences, like the woman who won the lottery four times or the fact that Lincoln’s dreams foreshadowed his own assassination.
Hardly any math symbols were used before the sixteenth century. What did mathematicians rely on for their work before then? And how did mathematical notations evolve to what we know of today? Enlightening Symbols explains the fascinating history behind the development of our current mathematical notation system, shows how symbols were used initially, how one symbol replaced another over time, and how written math was conveyed before and after symbols became widely adopted.
Princeton University Press (2010). A book about the nature of gambling, emphasizing the dangers and pitfalls of feeling lucky. It will investigate the hooks of gambling and what makes gamblers feel lucky. Using both mathematics and psychology it will illustrate the misconceptions of luck, explore what it means to have a good chance, and to create an awareness of expected outcomes.
Published by Dutton in April 2007. Now available in bookstores. "THIS is one of the most fascinating science books I have ever read . . . Mazur has succeeded in telling a fresh and untold story with clarity and style." -- The New Scientist
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles of the Year 2005-- “This book is a treasure of human experience and intellectual excitement.”
Editor of the revived classic by Tobias Dantzig, Number: The Language of Science.