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Impossible Folding Puzzles and Other Mathematical Paradoxes (Dover Books on Recreational Math) Paperback – January 23, 2014
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Give Me The Basics: It's All About Maths Paradoxes & Logic Solving
As software testers we have to think out the box which means that problem solving puzzles are great training aids. The book Impossible Folding Puzzles and Other Mathematical Paradoxes by Gianni A. Sarcone and Marie-Jo Waeber tries to explain why people often fail at them and how you can hone your problem solving skills.
What Do You Like?
The main thing I like about this book is that it tries to link the mathematical concepts to the puzzles it shows. An example the first chapter is about puzzles related to topology. Topology is describing the properties of an object that remain unchanged when you transform shapes such as bending or stretching them.
Give Me The Lowdown On One Concept From The Book.
One central idea to the book is you can reduce many mathematical problems and puzzles down to misdirection (similar to the same way magicians use misdirection). The fact people have trouble solving a problem due to the way our brains are programmed to work and how we look at problems in a certain way. This is a very important concept to understand as software testers as it is central to how we test software. As testers we should always be looking out the box and not following the `happy path'. However this book does remind us that even the best of us will still be forced into the established neurological programming and we need to have an awareness of this.
Give Me One Quote From The Book.
"The book says it aims to show:
Nothing is as difficult as it seems.
Nothing is as easy as it looks.
Puzzles always have one, several or no solutions."
If you are a software tester this book will help hone your skill on "thinking outside the box" and pushing ones view into a different perspective which are two very critical skills for software testers to work on.
Sometimes, the author explains, we just aren't focusing on the the right thing: "Problems Can Often be Reduced to a Problem of Attention or Misdirection," and "We Often Confuse Inability with Impossibility." I like the optimistic approach in this book--we CAN solve them! (Well, except for the ones that really are impossible.)
The book is divided into three types of puzzles: Topology, Geometry, and "Numerical, Sequential, and Combinatory Puzzles." Just the title of that last section had me baffled. There is a good Table of Contents that lists all of the puzzles.
► WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK ◄
If you are the type of person who is always working puzzles, Sudoku, or mathematical riddles, this is the book for you!
► THINGS I LIKED THE MOST ◄
♦ I like the idea of getting exposed to different perspectives--different ways of trying to solve a problem. For example, pushing that quarter through the hole in an unexpected way ("That's Cheating!")
♦ I thought the illustrations were very good. For example, the intricate folding diagram shown in Figure 3, is nicely done, as are the variety of geometrical figures shown.
♦ Good encouragement to think "outside the box" and push our minds to try to look at something in a novel way.
► QUALITY OF EDITING ◄
♦ Everything looks very polished. I could spot no format errors.
√ Recommend! This is a well-designed book, with lots of puzzles and paradoxes to keep the puzzler occupied for hours!
♫ A Review by Chris Lawson
► Note: I do not personally know the author of this book, nor has anyone requested I write this review.
I was going to quickly browse through, but ended up reading the whole book. Now I can't wait for the weekend, or some other big chunk of time, so I can make a second pass and actually DO these puzzles. Hours and hours of entertainment for adults and kids.
This book is all about maths paradoxes & logic solving. It has different puzzles to solve and other fun things to do. It would be fun to have this at a small party or get-together. I recommend it to all.