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My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles (Dover Recreational Math) Paperback – November 1, 1994
Collection of Five "Who Was" Biographies
In this box set, discover the life and times of five icons of black history and celebrate the difference they made in the world. Hardcover
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From the Back Cover
Over a period of 25 years as author of the Mathematical Games column for Scientific American, Martin Gardner devoted a column every six months or so to short math problems or puzzles. He was especially careful to present new and unfamiliar puzzles that had not been included in such classic collections as those by Sam Loyd and Henry Dudeney. Later, these puzzles were published in book collections, incorporating reader feedback on alternate solutions or interesting generalizations.
The present volume contains a rich selection of 70 of the best of these brain teasers, in some cases including references to new developments related to the puzzle. Now enthusiasts can challenge their solving skills and rattle their egos with such stimulating mind-benders as The Returning Explorer, The Mutilated Chessboard, Scrambled Box Tops, The Fork in the Road, Bronx vs. Brooklyn, Touching Cigarettes, and 64 other problems involving logic and basic math. Solutions are included.
About the Author
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
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
So get this one if you are good at mathematical thinking and want to challenge yourself. If you are weak in math and would rather read puzzles that require only logic, cleverness, and lateral thinking only, this may not be the one for you.
Intermediary puzzlists will find the pleasures of often working at the upper edge of their skills. The solutions at the end of the book are complete enough so that even those who didn't get it right the first time will get aha insights.
The book is well worth its price even for puzzle enthusiasts. Even I knew many of the puzzles beforehand - classics indeed - but the notes in the solutions often add a twist, a clever solution or a human interest point of view.
The age recommendation of amazon.com - 4-8 years - is probably either an insider joke or a typo. I'd recommend this book to people between 14-80 years of age, and even over.
The solutions given are very complete and actually take up the majority of the pages in the book.
On a somewhat related note, if you happen to be interviewing in the technical fields you may run across interviewers that ask brain teasers. You'll find many of those problems (or ones that are very similar) in this book. For technical interviewing this makes a good study guide.
Martin Gardner was always especially careful to present in his American Scientific column only new and unfamiliar puzzles that have not been included in classic collections before. Now you can challenge your solving skills and rattle your ego with a compilation of his best mind-benders.
Here is an example of what you can find inside this book (31. The absent-minded teller}:
"An absent-minded bank teller switched the dollars and cents when he cashed a check for Mr. Brown, giving him dollars instead of cents, and cents instead of dollars. After buying a five-cent newspaper, Mr. Brown discovered that he had left exactly twice as much as his original check. What was the amount of the check?"
One of the best things about Martin Gardner books is that a carefully explained solution follows each problem, this way you learn and add new abilities to your problem solving skills, that will sure be helpful in solving real life problems, while entertaining yourself with a good and challenging reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have not had enough time with the book yet to properly review it. I bought it for my 8 year old son who loves math and games. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Brian Xee
How do you stump a snarky teenager on Christmas Day? Give him a mathematical and logic puzzles book. He spent almost the whole flight home going through these.Published 14 days ago by ActiveMom
My husband is a Martin Garner fan from 40+ years back, so he loved this little book. He has everything that Martin Gardner has ever written, but this book has a synopsis of it all.Published 1 month ago by Scout mom
I am really enjoying this short book of Martin Gardner's best logic and mathematical puzzles written for his Scientific American column. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sertorius