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Origami, Eleusis, and the Soma Cube: Martin Gardner's Mathematical Diversions

Popular Science

Series: The New Martin Gardner Mathematical Library Volume: 2

By: Martin Gardner(Author)

274 pages, 7 b/w photos

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Nov 2008 | #207240 | ISBN-13: 9780521735247
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £12.99 $17/€15 approx
Hardback | Nov 2008 | #176747 | ISBN-13: 9780521756105
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £35.99 $47/€41 approx

About this book

Martin Gardner continues to delight, by introducing readers to the Generalized Ham Sandwich Theorem, origami, digital roots, magic squares, the mathematics of cooling coffee, the induction game of Eleusis, Dudeney puzzles, the maze at Hampton Court Palace, and many more mathematical puzzles and principles. Origami, Eleusis, and the Soma Cube is the second volume in Martin Gardner's New Mathematical Library, based on his enormously popular Scientific American columns. Now the author, in consultation with experts, has added updates to all the chapters, including new game variations, mathematical proofs, and other developments and discoveries, to challenge and fascinate a new generation of readers.

"Martin Gardner's fifteen volumes about Mathematical Games are The Canon – timeless classics that are always worth reading and rereading."
- Don Knuth

"Gardner's monthly romp through recreational math and logic ran in Scientific American for 25 years, from the Sputnik splash to the Reagan reign, and nobody has been able to match it since. "Mathematical Games" was an orgy of right-brain tomfoolery that could be approached for superficial fun or deep insight, or both at the same time [...] I can't think of a better present for a clever 12-year old, bored undergraduate, restless retiree, or stay-at-home parent fearing intellectual stagnation."
- David Brooks, The Telegraph

"Legendary – perhaps by now nearly mythical – author of books about puzzles, magic, and the occult generally [...] The series presents not mere reprints, but second editions, in which Martin adds new twists, explanations, proofs, links to recent developments, illustrations, and other features."
- Book News

"I recommend you approach this book on a Sunday afternoon, with paper and pen, a few biscuits for brain-power and a good hour to spare for puzzling. It is worth it."
- Charlotte Mulcare, + plus Magazine

"If the essence of Martin Gardner could be distilled and injected into the authors of mathematics textbooks for K-12 students, it would be the end to the phrase "math is hard." No one has ever demonstrated anything close to his talents for making mathematics understandable and he once again (re)shines in this book. Although I had read many of these articles several times before I opened this book, it is an irrefutable fact that any time spent reading the math of Gardner is never unproductive."
- Charles Ashbacher, Journal of Recreational Mathematics

"Gardner was a model teacher of mathematics, pushing others to take interesting side explorations, solve challenging problems, and enjoy the beauty of mathematics. Thus, this reviewer applauds the republication of his genius in The New Martin Gardner Mathematical Library series, complete with revised explanations, new insights, up-to-date reference links, and brief surveys of recent discoveries [...] it is worth getting the new editions and sharing these new gems!"
- J. Johnson, Choice Magazine

"Gardner offers something for everyone. The ten chapters in this volume are a wonderful part of Martin Gardner's work, each updated with selections from the enormous correspondence he enjoyed with his readers. This collection of Gardner's writing should be a cornerstone of a personal library for mathematicians, teachers and students everywhere."
- Japeth Wood, Mathematical Reviews

"One of Gardner's real strengths as a writer of popular mathematics is his ability to choose topics that will appeal to the general public while also having some real mathematical content. Like the first volume, this one is in the "must have" category."
- Fernando Q. Gouvea, MAA Reviews

"Many articles may be of interest even to the (mathematically sophisticated) readers of my column since (1) they are so well written, (2) they are classic, and (3) there is often a kernel of knowledge that you didn't quite know."
- William Gasarch, SIGACT News

"While Martin Gardner has always called himself "strictly a journalist," he should really be honored as one of this country's greatest cultural treasures."
- The Washington Post


1. The five platonic solids
2. Tetraflexagons
3. Henry Dudeney: england's greatest puzzlist
4. Digital roots
5. Nine problems
6. The soma cube
7. Recreational topology
8. Phi: the golden ratio
9. The monkey and the coconuts
10. Mazes
11. Recreational logic
12. Magic squares
13. James Hugh Riley Shows, Inc
14. Nine more problems
15. Eleusis: the induction game
16. Origami
17. Squaring the square
18. Mechanical puzzles
19. Probability and ambiguity
20. The mysterious Dr. Matrix

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For 25 of his 90 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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