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German version of the book
German version of the book

'Legend of the King and the Mathematician' in German

If the math expounded in the work had been made known to the public a few decades or a few centuries after the introduction of the ancient riddle, many important and practical disciplines of mathematics would have been created a millennium sooner

'Legend of the King and the Mathematician' in German

Candle & Fog, a publishing house based in Tehran and London has published the German translation of the Persian play 'The Legend of the King and the Mathematician.'
Renowned mathematician and graph theory specialist Mehdi Behzad, 79, whose total coloring theory introduced in 1965 is regarded as one of the most beautiful conjectures in graph theory, has created the scientific basis for the play, while playwright, screen writer and mythologist Naghmeh Samini, 42, has added drama to the work.
It was first published in Persian by Dibayeh Publications in 2011. Behzad's translation of the play into English was published on Amazon website by Candle & Fog in 2013, Mehr News Agency reported.
The German translation by Ursula Visser is titled 'Der Konig und der Mathematiker Eine unendliche Folge von Ratseln'.
Candle & Fog has scheduled to unveil the book at Frankfurt Book Fair 2016 (October 19-23). Behzad, Samini, Visser, Iranian actress Mahtab Keramati, 45, as well as a number of authors, translators and some German cultural figures will attend the unveiling ceremony.
The play deals with a number of enigmas that besides challenging the minds of the audiences, involves them in interesting mathematical riddles.

 Synthesis of Science & Art
The English translation of the play underwent a critical edition by Australian scientist and mathematician Cheryl Praeger, 67, professor of mathematics at the University of Western Australia, best known for her works in group theory, algebraic graph theory and combinatorial designs. In her preface to the work she says:
"As far as I know, the riddle of Wolf, Sheep and Cabbage (also known as Fox, Goose and Beans) goes back to 1,200 years ago. The play is a synthesis of science and art … It is funny and amusing. Driven by his passion to convey the magic of mathematics to the youth, Master Behzad has created and perfected the legend."
The play reflects part of a history that could have existed. If the math expounded in the work had been made known to the public a few decades or a few centuries after the introduction of the ancient riddle, many important and practical disciplines of mathematics would have been created a millennium sooner.
"I recommend The Legend of the King and the Mathematician as a charming and educative literary work. I thank and congratulate its authors for their achievement," Praeger further says.
The book has received other comments by peer scientists. German mathematician Albrecht Beutelspacher, 56, said: "In addition to traditional methods such as writing articles and books or delivering lectures, one can make mathematics popular, particularly among the youth, by designing riddles, games and experiments. Mehdi Behzadi's work is a prominent example of new ways for promoting math."
Beutelspacher is professor of Discrete Mathematics and Geometry at the University of Giessen in Germany, also founder and director of Mathematikum, Germany's first math museum.
In recognition of his contributions in the last 50 years, the Iranian Mathematical Society has established the Dr. Mehdi Behzad Award, an annual multinational award for individuals with outstanding leadership role in advancement of mathematics in their respective countries.

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