Mathemagician and Pied Puzzler: A Collection in Tribute to Martin Gardner

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Berlekamp, Elwyn R. Gardner, Martin, Rodgers, Tom, The perennial task of bringing mathematics before the general public attracts expositors wielding a diversity of strategies who pursue goals that range from enticing further study and inducing appreciation to merely diminishing fear. Why Do Buses Come in Threes? Authors Eastaway and Wyndham strive to keep the mathematics so simple that often they stop short of delivering a satisfying explanation for this or that phenomenon, leaving the reader to settle for a mere kernel of insight.

In these moments they fail to communicate precisely the explanatory force and predictive power of mathematics.

Martin Gardner's Gambling Game

Consider the question of the title--if one turns to that chapter one immediately finds the underlying supposition summarily dismissed as a myth; the chapter then mostly discusses hypothetical waiting times if buses did come in threes. Clawson's Mathematical Sorcery basically provides general information about the topics an undergraduate mathematics major usually meets in the first year or two of college: calculus, linear algebra, logical deduction, and proof.

Demonstrating the fun of mathematics constitutes the author's stated purpose, but most likely he will convince readers already predisposed to think so.

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Clawson dangles many fascinating formulae before the reader, but frustration awaits neophytes who want the explanations and find they face years of study to get them. On the other hand, combinatorics, never mentioned here, offers many equally startling phenomena that nevertheless admit clever but fully elementary and self-contained explanations. By "gnomon" Gazale Univ.

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For example, each new chamber of a nautilus shell constitutes a gnomon. A form generated by the accretion of gnomons displays self-similarity, the same property characteristic of those forms known as fractals. Gazale's meditation on gnomons propels him through a suite of topics familiar to readers of popular mathematics: continued fractions, Fibonacci sequences, the golden number, spirals, and finally, fractals.

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In each case he manages to offer either fresh insights or a distinctive viewpoint. Less familiar topics include the silver number and electrical ladder.

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Though this book demands more from the reader than the previous two and parts should interest an undergraduate mathematics major, nevertheless in the main it falls in the category of popular exposition. Martin Gardner's "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific American inspired several generations of budding research mathematicians who first cut their teeth on the problems and puzzles published therein. The Mathemagician and Pied Puzzler consists of papers about recreational mathematics and puzzles in his honor.

Since the ranks of Gardner's admirers do include some of the world's strongest mathematicians, recreational mathematics here hardly means frivolous and this volume certainly contains much to stimulate an undergraduate mathematics major, as for example J.

The Mathemagician and pied puzzler : a collection in tribute to Martin Gardner

Popular mathematical writing often returns repeatedly to the same, few, well-trodden topics, the ones sufficiently important to interest a wide audience but still simple enough to describe in a nontechnical way. Cipra's What's Happening in the Mathematical Sciences surveys late-breaking mathematical news. Though he includes material on such familiar topics as computer chess, chaos, Escher, and cryptosystems, he also discusses less familiar territory such as quantum computers, automated theorem provers, and algorithmic algebraic geometry.

Here undergraduates might easily make their first acquaintance with a topic that could shape the course of their future studies and, beyond that, their professional lives. An essential acquisition. Feldman; University of New Hampshire. During four days of talks and tricks, the oldest puzzles mixed freely with the newest. Even well-known puzzles retain their power, as was made clear again and again last month at the seventh "Gathering for Gardner.

To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities. Main Description. The Mathemagician and Pied Puzzler comprises an imaginative collection of pieces created in tribute to Martin Gardner. Perhaps best known for writing Scientific American's "Mathematical Games" column for years, Gardner used his personal exuberance and fascination with puzzles and magic to entice a wide range of readers into a world of mathematical discovery. This tribute therefore contains pieces as widely varied as Gardner's own interests, ranging from limericks to lengthy treatises, from mathematical journal articles to personal stories.

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This book makes a charming and unusual addition to any personal library. Guy - Biblical Ladders by Donald E. Read more Read less. Amazon Global Store US International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions. Manufacturer warranty may not apply Learn more about Amazon Global Store.

Review Even well-known puzzles retain their power, as was made clear again and again last month at the seventh "Gathering for Gardner.

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  5. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. September 17, - Published on Amazon. The puzzles of Gardiner and others took the edge off the pain of loneliness that is the inevitable result of being an extremely literate but physically uncoordinated kid. As I began to integrate with the "normal" kids, I discovered that my love for these puzzles was not unique; what was different about me was merely the respective age at which we became able to appreciate them read: "to actually solve a few of them".

    Here is my puzzle for you: This book is at this writing available as a PDF download from the publisher.

    And it's free! You should be able to find it without much difficulty if the offer is still good when you read this.