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Hexaflexagons and Other Mathematical Diversions: The First 'Scientific American' Book of Puzzles and Games Paperback – September 15, 1988


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA-- This revision of a 1959 title offers schools a wonderful collection of reprinted articles from Scientific American with afterwords to bring the topics up to date. Math students and puzzle nuts will appreciate this assortment, which ranges from the hexaflexagons of the title to tic-tac-toe to card tricks and their mathematical explanations.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (September 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226282546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226282541
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,129,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For 25 of his 95 years, Martin Gardner wrote 'Mathematical Games and Recreations', a monthly column for Scientific American magazine. These columns have inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to delve more deeply into the large world of mathematics. He has also made significant contributions to magic, philosophy, debunking pseudoscience, and children's literature. He has produced more than 60 books, including many best sellers, most of which are still in print. His Annotated Alice has sold more than a million copies. He continues to write a regular column for the Skeptical Inquirer magazine.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Williams on January 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
Martin Gardners column "Mathematical Games" was in the magazine "Scientific American" for so long that he was more than an institution. This was the first of his books to take some of the ideas from the many columns and present them in volume format.
I first came across it in a British edition titled "Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions" in my early teens. From memory it took me around three weeks and two rolls of adding machine tape to finish with the hexaflexagons (don't ask, just buy the book) in the first chapter.
Mr Gardner deserves his reputation as a writer who can simplify complex subjects without talking down to the audience and this is well demonstrated in this volume. Some of the later chapters deal with parts of probability and game theory that skirt around some complex maths while someone with little mathematical ability (such as myself) finds it easy to follow along. The prose is light and easily read while the subject matter is entertaining.
I would recommend this book for someone mathematically inclined in their early teens or anyone in their mid teens or later. If you have a child capable of mathematical and/or logical thought who is getting turned off mathematics by the rigors and dullness of school then this volume may well turn the trick - I know it was influential in convincing me that it was my schooling and not my mind that had ruined my maths ability. I give it only four stars as it is now starting to show its age, otherwise it would have five.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John M. Boger on November 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
After a long afternoon of studying ordinary differential equations, computer science, and japanese, it is great to find a book like this that sucks you right in, absorbs your brain for a couple of hours, and then inspires you to cut, paste, & fold paper. What you see absolutely reeks of awesomeness. I love Martin Gardner! (Last month's reading, Knotted Doughnuts, was equally fun!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nic on July 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is worth getting if only to find out how to make a hexaflexagon. The problems in it are truly absorbing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carmen on June 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is an amazing one and it is definetly recommended to the people who like math puzzles, games, or thought challenges. Also it is a great book to distract yourself. It is a book that you would like to keep in your shelf. Martin Gardner is a great writer and has other great books on many other different mathematical puzzles.
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Format: Paperback
The first book by Martin Gardner, writer of the Mathematical Games column for Scientific American. Well written and easy to read; suitable for anyone familiar with high school Algebra. Fun!
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