A mathemagician is a mathematician who is also a magician. The term "mathemagic" is believed to have been introduced by Royal Vale Heath with his 1933 book "Mathemagic".[1]

The name "mathemagician" was probably first applied to Martin Gardner, but has since been used to describe many mathematician/magicians, including Arthur T. Benjamin,[2] Persi Diaconis,[3] and Colm Mulcahy.[4] Diaconis has suggested that the reason so many mathematicians are magicians is that "inventing a magic trick and inventing a theorem are very similar activities."[5]

Mathemagician is a neologism, specifically a portmanteau, that combines mathematician and magician. A great number of self-working mentalism tricks rely on mathematical principles, such as Gilbreath's principle. Max Maven often utilizes this type of magic in his performance.

The Mathemagician is the name of a character in the 1961 children's book The Phantom Tollbooth. He is the ruler of Digitopolis, the kingdom of mathematics.

Notable mathemagicians


  1. ^ "Mathemagic" by Royal Vale Heath and Jerome Sydney Meyer, Simon and Schuster, New York (1933)
  2. ^ Albers, Donald J. "Art Benjamin - Mathemagician." Math Horizons, November 1998, 14-18.
  3. ^ Professor of Magic Mathematics by Don Albers and Persi Diaconis, Math Horizons Vo. 2, No 3 (February 1995), pp. 11-15
  4. ^ Mathematics Awareness Month 2014: Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery Committee Members
  5. ^ Diaconis, Persi. Quoted in: Albers, Donald J. "Professor of Magic Mathematics." Math Horizons, February 1995, 11-15.

Further reading