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Hexaflexagons, Probability Paradoxes, and the Tower of Hanoi: Martin Gardner's First Book of Mathematical Puzzles and Games (The New Martin Gardner Mathematical Library) Paperback


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Hexaflexagons, Probability Paradoxes, and the Tower of Hanoi: Martin Gardner's First Book of Mathematical Puzzles and Games (The New Martin Gardner Mathematical Library) + My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles (Dover Recreational Math) + Entertaining Mathematical Puzzles
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Product Details

  • Series: The New Martin Gardner Mathematical Library (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (November 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521735254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521735254
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Martin Gardner's fifteen volumes about Mathematical Games are The Canon - timeless classics that are always worth reading and rereading."
Don Knuth

"Gardner's monthly romp through recreational math and logic ran in Scientific American for 25 years, from the Sputnik splash to the Reagan reign, and nobody has been able to match it since. "Mathematical Games" was an orgy of right-brain tomfoolery that could be approached for superficial fun or deep insight, or both at the same time...I can't think of a better present for a clever 12-year old, bored undergraduate, restless retiree, or stay-at-home parent fearing intellectual stagnation."
David Brooks, The Telegraph

"Gardner himself downplays his mathematical ability, arguing that he is "strictly a journalist." Which is about the only piece of unintentional nonsense he has ever written. Gardner will go down in history as one of the most significant mathematicians of all time and the combination of the gems in this collection is an airtight proof of that fact."
Charles Aschbacher, Journal of Recreational Mathematics

"Gardner was a model teacher of mathematics, pushing others to take interesting side explorations, solve challenging problems, and enjoy the beauty of mathematics. Thus, this reviewer applauds the republication of his genius in "The New Martin Gardner Mathematical Library" series, complete with revised explanations, new insights, up-to-date reference links, and brief surveys of recent discoveries... it is worth getting the new editions and sharing these new gems!"
J. Johnson, Choice Magazine

"It is hard to exaggerate the importance and influence of these books. These books are fascinating, useful, fun, and historically significant. You must have them! Buy one for yourself, and buy many to give away. Have your students read them. Give a set to your local high school (they'll be published over five years, so it won't even be a financial burden). Time has passed, and a generation that knoweth not Gardner has arisen. Now we can fix that."
Fernando Q. Gouvea, MAA Reviews

"Many articles may be of interest even to the (mathematically sophisticated) readers of my column since (1) they are so well written, (2) they are classic, and (3) there is often a kernel of knowledge that you didn't quite know."
William Gasarch, SIGACT News

"While Martin Gardner has always called himself "strictly a journalist," he should really be honored as one of this country's greatest cultural treasures."
The Washington Post

Book Description

This book of the earliest of Gardner's enormously popular Scientific American columns and puzzles continues to challenge and fascinate readers. Now the author, in consultation with experts, has added updates to all the chapters, including new game variations, mathematical proofs, and other developments and discoveries.

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Bryant on October 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ran across the first incarnation of this book, "The Scientific American Book of Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions," in 1971. (Originally published in 1959.) Up until then I'd assumed that mathematics was just the excruciatingly dull pile of dusty numbers and theorems I slogged through every afternoon in algebra class. Suddenly I was exposed to an exciting new world of rubber coffee cups and folded strips of paper exhibiting very bizarre properties indeed.

I'm a highly-skilled computer programmer and consultant now. I owe my career to the logic skills I honed on Martin Gardner's books. I cannot recommend them highly enough. If you enjoy having a brain, read these books.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
Even though I have read so much of Martin Gardner's writing as well as many books in recreational mathematics by other authors, I never get tired of the work of the master. His ability to express mathematical concepts in simple, understandable form has done more to promote mathematics than millions of dollars in educational appropriations.
In this book 16 of his "Scientific American" columns are reprinted with postscript material that describes what has happened since the initial publication. The column titles are:

*) Hexaflexagons
*) Magic with a matrix
*) Nine problems
*) Ticktacktoe
*) Probability paradoxes
*) The Icosian game and the tower of Hanoi
*) Curious topological models
*) The game of hex
*) Sam Loyd: America's greatest puzzlist
*) Mathematical card tricks
*) Memorizing numbers
*) Nine more problems
*) Polyominoes
*) Fallacies
*) Nim and Tax Tix
*) Left or right?

Gardner himself downplays his mathematical ability, arguing that he is "strictly a journalist." Which is about the only piece of unintentional nonsense he has ever written. Gardner will go down in history as one of the most significant mathematicians of all time and the combination of the gems in this collection is an airtight proof of that fact.

Published in Journal of Recreational Mathematics, reprinted with permission.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Andrews on December 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
I first read this and other Martin Gardner's book way too many years back. It's very good reading them again, like meeting an old friend again -- and finding out he's learned some new tricks. I'm left wanting for the fourth book (should have appeared in October 2010?!) and all the rest of the series!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cara Hubbell on August 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Martin Gardner is brilliant! This book has something for everyone - even those not so mathematically inclined :)
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Skywatcher on October 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like this book. Recreational mathematics is a lot more fun than most people realize! Every book by Martin Gardner is good!
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