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The Unexpected Hanging and Other Mathematical Diversions Paperback – November 1, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0226282565 ISBN-10: 0226282562

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (November 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226282562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226282565
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #776,474 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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
There is nothing like a good paradox to sharpen the wits. Properly presented, they can frustrate you to the point of grinding off the sharp points of your teeth. The title selection from this collection of Martin Gardners' Mathematical Recreations columns from Scientific American is one of the better paradoxes that you will find. The solution is surprisingly easy, once the proper approach is taken.
The other entries are also vintage Gardner, who has no equal in the accurate rendition of mathematical curiosa. Other topics include gambling fallacies, a church of the fourth dimension, games and systems that learn by experience. There are also thirty-seven catch questions in a final chapter that are definitely groaners. Upon initial reading, the answer appears easy. However, the careful and precise wording of the problem often leads to an unusual but correct solution.
If you have a curiosity driven desire to learn mathematics, then Martin Gardner is an excellent place to begin or continue your exploration. Even though the articles collected here were written in the early sixties, the topics are timeless and will continue to intrigue new generations of the mathematically inclined.
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By A Customer on February 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book in the early '70s, and it remains one of my favorites. You don't need to know much math to enjoy this collection of curiosities that are mostly math- or logic-related. The text is a combination of puzzles, instructive prose, and stories. The book is easy-to-read and informative, with many references for additional reading.
Mr. Gardner writes about: a drill bit for drilling square holes; different types of spiral curves; social behavior of the inhabitants of two-dimensional worlds; bar tricks; geometric dissections of polygons; peg solitaire games; the transcendental number "e"; cartoons that are read both right side up and upside down; game-playing machines; and more.
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