Friday, April 4, 2014

Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery

The American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics have announced that the theme for Mathematics Awareness Month (MAM), April 2014, is Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery. The theme echoes the title of a 1956 book by renowned math popularizer Martin Gardner, whose extensive writings introduced the public to hexaflexagons, polyominoes, John Conway’s “Game of Life,” Penrose tiles, the Mandelbrot set, and much more. For more than half a century Gardner inspired enthusiasts of all ages to engage deeply with mathematics, and many of his readers chose to pursue it as a career. The year 2014 marks the centennial of Gardner’s birth.

This year the MAM Committee and volunteers have put together 30 theme-related activities. Each day in April one activity will be revealed that corresponds with an image on the theme poster. So stay tuned to to see some behind-the-scenes explanations and videos of Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery!

Martin Gardner in MAA Books

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.

Eight works by Gardner himself, published between 1999 and 2010, supplemented by 33 chapters written in response to Gardner's work 
Gardner's Scientific American column "Mathematical Games" on a single, searchable source

Nineteen tantalizing conundrums
Included here are chapters on Conway's surreal numbers, Mandelbrot's fractals, and Smullyan's logic puzzles

The inaugural volume in Martin Gardner's New Mathematical Library. These mathematical recreations delight and perplex while demonstrating principles of logic, probability, geometry, and other fields of mathematics.

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.

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

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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