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Martin Gardner's Mathematical Games Cdr Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0883855454
ISBN-10: 0883855453
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Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

Gardner's column, which ran in this magazine from 1956 to 1986, introduced thousands of readers to the delights of puzzles and problem solving. His column also broke important mathematical stories--on cryptography, fractals, the game of Life, and tilings. Now all these columns are gathered on one, searchable CD, ending frustration for many fans. Gardner, who turns 91 this month, continues to write on a variety of topics.

Editors of Scientific American

About the Author

Martin Gardner is the author of more than 65 books and countless articles, ranging over science, mathematics, philosophy, literature, and conjuring. He has inspired and enlightened generations with the delights of mathematical recreations, the amazing phenomena of numbers, magic, puzzles, and the play of ideas. He is our premier writer on recreational mathematics, a great popularizer of science and a debunker of pseudoscience.
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Product Details

  • CD-ROM: 4500 pages
  • Publisher: Mathematical Association of America; Cdr edition (May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883855453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883855454
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #765,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Neff on April 7, 2007
Format: CD-ROM Verified Purchase
Martin Gardner's 30 years of Mathematical Games columns in Scientific American magazine are some of the most fun and interesting reading I've enjoyed. I searched out back issues in the high school library, had my own subscription, and collected as many of the books as I could find. When I was looking for one of the books I didn't have and found this complete collection, I immediately ordered it. There are very few authors in any field who are as clear in their writing and as enthusiastic in their delivery as he is. The content is easily worth the full 5 stars.

But the reason I dropped the rating to 4 for this particular edition is its sometimes haphazard quality of image scans. In the worst cases, the color or shading in the original figures is now black-and-white and of such high contrast that important distinctions are mostly or completely lost. For example, the reversi piece colors in figure 29 of "New Mathematical Diversions" are indistinguishable as are the four-color map areas (of all things!) in figure 43. Many figures show moire patterns from rescanning the original halftones. Yet other figures have been reproduced with much greater care, even in color. Some pages with landscape layout have been rotated for easier reading but others have not. In a few cases, the black-and-white photographs in my books have been replaced with much better color photos. Some books are missing a back cover scan.

The oddest example though, and somehow in keeping with the topic, is figure 109 in "Fractal Music". In my copy of the book, this is a reproduction of Magritte's "The Two Mysteries" and the caption says so. In this edition, it is a redrawn version and the caption now says it is "a caricature" of the Magritte work.
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Format: CD-ROM
I got this for Christmas. Knowing it was a set of PDF files, I was hesitant to ask for it, because I was a little concerned that it would somehow be DRM-limited so I couldn't print it or something. Especially given this comment from the maa.org site: "Macintosh users MUST install [Adobe Acrobat] Reader on their computer to use this CD."

Good news. No DRM. I was able to load the files using Preview on the mac, but they didn't perform all that well. Not that that matters. The books are basically scans, as near as I can tell. The books perform as well (or not) under Adobe Reader 8.0.0. No problems printing. You can also copy/paste the text out, which is interesting; the books are basically scans, as I said, so someone did some OCR work on them as well.

What I've been doing is printing an article out every day for reading on my walk, or when I go to the ... um ... reading room.

Love it! Fond memories from when I used to read these in SciAm; these were the primary reason I read SciAm in the first place.
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Format: CD-ROM
I put this item in my "to buy" list the moment I heard about it, though I didn't actually purchase it until a couple months ago. Why did I wait so long!? This is an excellent set. All the books are here. The text is easy to read. It comes with an interview with Martin Gardner. If you have any interest in mathematics or mathematical puzzles this collection is a must have.
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By Greg on April 14, 2008
Format: CD-ROM
Martin Gardner has written very entertaining and engaging books about an incredibly wide variety of mathematical worlds and puzzles, and in the process made complex mathematical ideas come to life. This CD features 15 of his books in pdf form. The pdf files consist of page scans, which makes the pdf scroll a little slowly, but that isn't much of a problem.

I highly recommend this to anybody interested in recreational mathematics.
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Format: CD-ROM
It's always a pleasure to read anything by Martin Gardner. By getting his works on disk, I can have them on my laptop - much easier than books. The only reason I give this collection 4 instead of 5 stars is that I would have liked the books to be in a more searchable format than PDFs - a minor complaint.
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Format: CD-ROM
I just accidentally ran across this product when looking for a replacement copy of Gardner's book on fractal music. How delighted I was to find this complete collection of Gardner's works for Scientific American on CD! The Mathematical Association of America that makes this CD apparently doesn't fully appreciate the value of Gardner's work though. Their own review on this product states "I can't think of a better present for a clever 12 year-old, bored undergraduate, restless retiree, or stay-at-home parent". To me, this is somewhat insulting to both Gardner's publications and the individual components of the potential audience that they point out. You would think by that statement that you are getting DVD sets of Bugs Bunny cartoons instead of the priceless gems contained in these publications. I bring this up just in case you run across this description too and get the wrong idea. All of the people mentioned above will enjoy this book, but not for the reasons implied.

Gardner makes math fun, but he doesn't trade depth for amusement. There is some serious math in each of his works, but even his most complex puzzles and chapters can be appreciated and enjoyed by people lacking advanced mathematics backgrounds. Besides the fun of experiencing math from the author's standpoint, there is considerable food for thought that can be the beginning of interesting programming projects, particularly in the realms of graphics and computer music. If you enjoy joining programming with mathematics as I do, Gardner's works are great idea books.

Note that Gardner has written numerous books besides those included in this CD since he left Scientific American. Some of them are on mathematics and puzzles as these works are, but he also has written quite a few essays on pseudoscience, philosophy, and other varied subjects, all using his trademark wit. You might want to check them out.
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