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Aha! Insight Paperback – June, 1978

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 179 pages
  • Publisher: W H Freeman & Co (Sd) (June 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071671017X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716710172
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book gave me a lot to think about when I was young, and of all the books with math and logic puzzles I enjoyed, this was one of the best. Gardner has a way of turning problems into challenges, making the solving of them fun, and he also provides interesting explanations of problems with simplicity and clarity. For children, this book is an opportunity to explore math as something other than repetitive calculations or irrelevant word problems from bad textbooks. Adults too can use this book to hone their problem solving skills.
The difficulty of aha! insights is the lack of technique in coming to such an insight. It's a spontaneous reaction, something sudden and unexpected when you discover a simple solution. These problems do not teach you how to have these insights, but allows for practice in order that they may become more frequent. But the point is: it's recreational math... Enjoy it for the sake of enjoyment.
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Format: Paperback
This book is about tough problems with easy answers -- easy, that is, once seen in the right way. Illustrated with cartoons and full of humor, it is readily enjoyable by many people who wouldn't normally touch a book on recreational mathematics. We have given at least a dozen copies as gifts.
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Format: Paperback
This book does a wonderful job of encouraging problem solving and critical thinking techniques. What I like most about it, though, is how it is able to present all of its problems at a high level, in an entertaining context, so as not to discourage those who might be scared or frustrated by math and other such topics.
Each problem, for the most part, has cute comics to illustrate it, as well as a plain-english explanation of how to approach finding a solution and the solution itself. Many of the problems are restricted forms of actual unsolved, or at least highly-researched, mathematical/computer science problems; the book does a excellent job of keeping that aspect separate from the problem and solution itself (how the problem is studied in the "real world" is usually mentioned in the text as an, "Oh, by the way, did you know that...")
In addition to the author's wonderful presentation, I think the subject matter is what emphasizes this book's importance. Problem solving, critical thinking, and finding elegant simple solutions seems to me to be underemphasized in quite a few disciplines, and this book can offer good practice in all those important areas. Even if you don't ever deal with problems which require critical thinking, the book is still an interesting read because it makes you say, "Why didn't I think of that?" -- and then by half way through the book, you DO start to think of "that."
The only negative thing I would say is that a few of the problems in the book are presented without solutions, which can frustrate some people (namely, myself :) ) Also, a few problems are underspecified, yielding to answers which depend on the interpretation -- then again, that's part of what problem solving is about, I guess.
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By A Customer on November 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Any of Martin Gardner's book is very good and this and the other Aha (paradox) book are the two pearls in recreational mathematics. Many of the topics he tackles have a deep bearing in serious mathematics. These two Aha books can be the starting point for mathematical thinking.
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By A Customer on May 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is great! If you love brainteasers and logic puzzles, this is the book for you. Each problem is introduced in comic format, with funny characters and simple but clever drawings. I've had this book since childhood, and I think that it really fostered a love for riddles and brainteasers in me. But this book is not just for kids---it makes a great gift to people of all ages.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an all-time classic book that I first read as a little boy. I never forgot the lesson learned from "Carpet Confusion". The book is divided into different sections such as geometry, logic, etc. Programmers will find several of the puzzles very interesting and relevant to algorithmic design. The book also has puzzles touching on number theory such as the Chinese remainder theorem and Euclid's algorithm. There are stick figure drawings that illustrate each puzzle. The format is that first an easy problem is given, and right after the answer. Then a tougher question along the same lines is posed to the reader. You turn over the page to see the explanation. This page usually has a theory discussion after an explanation of the answer and then some follow-up problems with answer in the back of the book. Great for getting the intellectural juices flowing, finding interview question ideas, boning up for the SATs, whatever, its a classic.
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Format: Paperback
A fun book which teaches logic thru brainteasers. The best of its kind
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By A Customer on December 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is not only fun but it make the reader to know something they've never known,some techniques and math skill.
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