- Paperback: 179 pages
- Publisher: W H Freeman & Co (Sd) (June 1978)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 071671017X
- ISBN-13: 978-0716710172
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Aha! Insight Paperback – June, 1978
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Top Customer Reviews
The difficulty of aha! insights is the lack of technique in coming to such an insight. It's a spontaneous reaction, something sudden and unexpected when you discover a simple solution. These problems do not teach you how to have these insights, but allows for practice in order that they may become more frequent. But the point is: it's recreational math... Enjoy it for the sake of enjoyment.
Each problem, for the most part, has cute comics to illustrate it, as well as a plain-english explanation of how to approach finding a solution and the solution itself. Many of the problems are restricted forms of actual unsolved, or at least highly-researched, mathematical/computer science problems; the book does a excellent job of keeping that aspect separate from the problem and solution itself (how the problem is studied in the "real world" is usually mentioned in the text as an, "Oh, by the way, did you know that...")
In addition to the author's wonderful presentation, I think the subject matter is what emphasizes this book's importance. Problem solving, critical thinking, and finding elegant simple solutions seems to me to be underemphasized in quite a few disciplines, and this book can offer good practice in all those important areas. Even if you don't ever deal with problems which require critical thinking, the book is still an interesting read because it makes you say, "Why didn't I think of that?" -- and then by half way through the book, you DO start to think of "that."
The only negative thing I would say is that a few of the problems in the book are presented without solutions, which can frustrate some people (namely, myself :) ) Also, a few problems are underspecified, yielding to answers which depend on the interpretation -- then again, that's part of what problem solving is about, I guess.
Each problem set is introduced with cartoons and accompanying text. The answers are given and further explorations are proposed.
The problems cover a range of mathematical topics and are more or less approachable by almost anyone with a high school education.
Amazingly I am writing a review in 2009 whilst this book was published in 1978, over 30 years ago. Quality really does stand the test of time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
All Martin Gardners's writings are interesting. This one is no exception.Published 27 days ago by Gerald McKibben
The description indicated it was in very good condition (the only "aha!" book that was designated that way). Read morePublished 14 months ago by donna mccarthy
This is a wonderful book that I bought for my nephew as a gift. I wanted a new one and the book was listed as New and when I got it it clearly had an emboss that said "From... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Robert S. Gehret
This is an all-time classic book that I first read as a little boy. I never forgot the lesson learned from "Carpet Confusion". Read morePublished on May 5, 2013 by John C.
An entertaining series of logic questions or puzzles that can be challenging but admit simple solutions when you acquire the insight, and suddenly after struggling you can see the... Read morePublished on July 4, 2009 by John Harper
Received this book promptly and in good condition. My husband owned a copy of this book and bought it as a Christmas gift for someone who likes to solve mind puzzles. Read morePublished on March 19, 2009 by W. Cathryn Helms
The 3 stars is NOT about the content of the book - it's because of the following:
The following two books are 100% IDENTICAL:
"Aha! Read more
Unlike most of the author's other books on mathematics, this one is generous with whitespace, requiring less concentration. Read morePublished on November 27, 2002 by Coleman Yee