Friday, October 19, 2012

Celebrating Martin Gardner

Longtime acclaimed mathematics and science writer Martin Gardner was born on October 21. Every October, on and around his birthday, Celebrations of Mind are held all over the globe. These events are aimed at curious people of all ages, and intended to provide an opportunity to celebrate the things he made so many people think about for many decades: recreational math, puzzles, optical illusions, rationality, skepticism, and much more. 

The MAA will be hosting a Gardner event on December 5, 2012. James Tanton will present "Weird Ways to Work with Pi”, a talk that will explore some weird and wonderful ways to play with pi for shapes that might or might not be circles.


Gardner was perhaps best known as the author of the "Mathematical Games" column for Scientific American, which ran from 1956 to 1981. Throughout his career he wrote more than 70 books and collections of essays on topics ranging from Lewis Carroll and magic tricks to philosophy, religion, and scientific skepticism. Several of his most popular writings are available in the MAA Store


Martin Gardner's "Mathematical Games"
Gardner's Scientific American column "Mathematical Games" on a single, searchable source

aha! Gotcha / aha! Insight
144 wonderful puzzles from the reigning king of recreational mathematics.

Mathematical Magic Show
Nineteen tantalizing conundrums.
Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers
Included here are chapters on Conway's surreal numbers, Mandelbrot's fractals, and Smullyan's logic puzzles.

Hexaflexagons, Probability Paradoxes, and the Tower of Hanoi
The inaugural volume in Martin Gardner's New Mathematical LibraryThese mathematical recreations delight and perplex while demonstrating principles of logic, probability, geometry, and other fields of mathematics.

Origami, Eleusis, and the Soma Cube
The second volume in Gardner's New Mathematical Library, updated chapters, including new game variations, mathematical proofs, and other developments and discoveries, to challenge and fascinate a new generation of readers.

Sphere Packing, Lewis Carroll, and Reversi
Packing spheres, Reversi, braids, polyominoes, board games, and the puzzles of Lewis Carroll.

Mathematical Puzzle Tales
The challenging problems presented here are based on geometry, logarithms, topology, probability, weird number sequences, logic and virtually every other aspect of mathematics as well as wordplay.

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