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Martin Gardner: A Remembrance
The worldwide mathematical community was saddened by the death of Martin Gardner on May 22, 2010. Martin was 95 years old when he died, and had written 70 or 80 books during his long lifetime as an author. Martin's first Dover books were published in 1956 and 1957: Mathematics, Magic and Mystery, one of the first popular books on the intellectual excitement of mathematics to reach a wide audience, and Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, certainly one of the first popular books to cast a devastatingly skeptical eye on the claims of pseudoscience and the many guises in which the modern world has given rise to it. Both of these pioneering books are still in print with Dover today along with more than a dozen other titles of Martin's books. They run the gamut from his elementary Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing, which has been enjoyed by generations of younger readers since the 1980s, to the more demanding The New Ambidextrous Universe: Symmetry and Asymmetry from Mirror Reflections to Superstrings, which Dover published in its final revised form in 2005.
To those of us who have been associated with Dover for a long time, however, Martin was more than an author, albeit a remarkably popular and successful one. As a member of the small group of long-time advisors and consultants, which included NYU's Morris Kline in mathematics, Harvard's I. Bernard Cohen in the history of science, and MIT's J. P. Den Hartog in engineering, Martin's advice and editorial suggestions in the formative 1950s helped to define the Dover publishing program and give it the point of view which — despite many changes, new directions, and the consequences of evolution — continues to be operative today.
In the Author's Own Words:
"Politicians, real-estate agents, used-car salesmen, and advertising copy-writers are expected to stretch facts in self-serving directions, but scientists who falsify their results are regarded by their peers as committing an inexcusable crime. Yet the sad fact is that the history of science swarms with cases of outright fakery and instances of scientists who unconsciously distorted their work by seeing it through lenses of passionately held beliefs."
"A surprising proportion of mathematicians are accomplished musicians. Is it because music and mathematics share patterns that are beautiful?" — Martin Gardner
Too difficult for me. Gave it to my husband who is much smarter and he said it was too difficult for him. My bad for not investigating before I bought it.Published 1 month ago by Gwen S.
Enjoyed right up to page 24. On page 24 he has a puzzle regarding which salary offer would you take. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Barrett Hansen
There are a variety of levels of math puzzles in this book, wide enough to find problems to challenge both middle school and high school students. It is just what I was hoping for.Published 5 months ago by C. Locheiven
Although every puzzle in the book isn't to my liking, the contents are generally pretty good. It offers a good variety of puzzles that are, indeed, both entertaining and... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Geoffrey Tait
yet another insightful presentation by this remarkable, charming intellect.
and after you have savored these puzzles, pass them on
if you have children (or grandchildren)... Read more
I got this book as a prize for my students in math team. I have ordered it before, and will do so again.Published 21 months ago by Cheryl Davidson
This is a really an entertaining book as the name says. I used to read Martin Gardner's articles in the Scientific American magazines nearly 30 years ago. Read morePublished on January 3, 2013 by Vittal N. Badithe