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
Love Martin Gardner. I used to read his articles some 30+ years ago in Scientific American while in high school. I decided to revisit him and its just as fun as I remember. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Peter Jones
Martin Gardner is one of the best mathematical and logic puzzle authors there is. Husband loves this!Published 1 month ago by Tanya L. Platt
A great, classic collection of puzzles. But do note that these are not new puzzles. Some of them are probably a hundred years old; I know for a fact many of them are fifty years... Read morePublished 1 month ago by James Smith
A wonderful book for someone who loves puzzles. There are many different types and all are great. Some are so simple that it is embarrassing to learn the answer at the end of the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Robert
While I liked most of the puzzles in this book, there is no where to work them out. Must have paper and pen in hand. I also wish the print was a little larger. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Christie davis