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Mathematical Mind-Benders [Paperback]

by Peter Winkler
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 17, 2007 1568813368 978-1568813363
Peter Winkler is at it again. Following the enthusiastic reaction to Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur's Collection, Peter has compiled a new collection of elegant mathematical puzzles to challenge and entertain the reader. The original puzzle connoisseur shares these puzzles, old and new, so that you can add them to your own anthology. This book is for lovers of mathematics, lovers of puzzles, lovers of a challenge. Most of all, it is for those who think that the world of mathematics is orderly, logical, and intuitive-and are ready to learn otherwise! A pdf with errata is updated by the author and can be accessed here

Frequently Bought Together

Mathematical Mind-Benders + Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur's Collection + The Moscow Puzzles: 359 Mathematical Recreations (Dover Recreational Math)
Price for all three: $48.72

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Editorial Reviews


The puzzles, in general, are witty, entertaining, and, as promised, had surprising conclusions. The very bright undergraduates whom I asked to review the book really liked it; they had not seen these puzzles before and found the book a great collection of mathematical challenges, as I did.
—Joyce Fisher, Mathematics Teacher, August 2008

… the thwarted puzzler need never feel annoyed. Even when the reader has had success, Winkler's solutions will often elucidate unexpected perspectives and ideas. … Summing Up: Recommended. All levels.
CHOICE, May 2008

This book is a collection of wonderful puzzles … It is not necessary to know advanced mathematics to appreciate this very good work and to solve the puzzles.
Mathematical Reviews, April 2008

Winkler has a keen eye for a good mindbender: the solution should be pleasing, neither too easy nor too difficult to find, and invoke some generally useful mathematical idea. This collection offers both stimulation and enlightenment…
—The London Mathematical Society, February 2008

… I've been enjoying [the book] very much. So far my favorite puzzles are 'Rolling Pencil' and 'Winning at Wimbledon,' which I missed myself (slapping forehead), and which have fooled everyone else I've tried them on as well.
—Will Shortz, Puzzlemaster, NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, September 2007

wonderful book presents, from diverse sources and with wit and humor, many interesting and challenging problems, both mathematical and otherwise. Like its predecessor, it is a must for the shelves of a problem connoisseur.
—Andy Liu, June 2007

About the Author

Peter Winkler is Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, and Albert Bradley Third Century Professor in the Sciences at Dartmouth College. He has written over 125 research papers in mathematics and holds a dozen patents in computing, cryptography, holography, optical networking, and marine navigation. He is the author of Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur s Collection (A K Peters Ltd., 2004). In some circles he is best known as the inventor of cryptologic methods for the game of bridge, currently illegal for tournament play in most of the western world.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press (August 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568813368
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568813363
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,020,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Book... there are better November 1, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mathematical Mindbenders does have a lot of math puzzles... and a lot of hard ones, which I do appreciate. However, there are enough puzzles that are riddles or trivia... and too many that are full of tricks. I thought I would give Peter Winkler a try, but I definitely prefer Martin Gardner's work. If you're looking for a good math puzzle book, try anything of Gardner's before you buy this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I found the puzzles in this book to be at least as, if not more, challenging than those in the other books I have read. There are no bunnies here, nearly all of them require significant thought, and some need it before you can even understand the problem. Solutions to all but those labeled as unsolved are given and there are times when I really had to think hard and long before I understood the solution.
There are some that are classic puzzles, such as the maximum possible overhang you can achieve by stacking bricks so that there is an overhang as you go up from one layer to the next. If you are looking for new mathematical mountains to scale, then this is a book for you. It is challenging, occasionally forbidding, and keeps your neurons devoted to mathematical activity firing as rapidly as is physiologically possible.

Published in Journal of Recreational Mathematics, reprinted with permission
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent January 13, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I own both this book and Winkler's "Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur's Collection". Both are my favorite brain teaser books. People with a mathematical, programming, or engineering bent will probably be the most likely to enjoy Winkler's books. Most of the puzzles end up stumping me. But that is what I want in a puzzle book. Since my exploring down many trails of my own, before seeing Winkler's solution is a great learning experience. Google "Seven puzzles you think you must not have heard correctly" if you want a taste of Winkler's puzzles.
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