A Lifetime of Puzzles (Hardback) book cover

A Lifetime of Puzzles

Edited by Erik D. Demaine, Martin L. Demaine, Tom Rodgers

© 2008 – A K Peters/CRC Press

361 pages

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pub: 2008-10-28
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Martin Gardner has entertained the world with his puzzles for decades and inspired countless mathematicians and scientists. As he rounds out another decade, his colleagues are paying him tribute with this special collection that contains contributions from some of the most respected puzzlemasters, magicians and mathematicians, including: - John H. Conway - William R. Gosper - Ed Pegg, Jr. - Roger Penrose - Raymond Smullyan - Peter Winkler And of course there is something from the orignal puzzlemaster himself, Martin Gardner.


This nice collection of articles is a lovely tribute to Martin Gardner, the great magician, entertainer, and father of modern recreational mathematics. It will bring many happy moments to the readers keen on exploring connections between puzzles, magic, and mathematics.

Zentralblatt MATH, February 2009

The articles include puzzles, personal recollections of the authors' friendships with Gardner, and historical pieces. The personalized articles are wonderfully done and give the reader insight into Gardner’s inquisitive nature. . . . There are twenty-five articles in all so let me give a short description of just a few. 'Tangram: The World’s First Puzzle Craze' by Jerry Slocum ranks high, giving a history of the tangram and pictures of artifacts and modern day renditions. 'De Viribus Quantitatis by Luca Pacioli: The First Recreational Mathematics Book,' by David Singmaster, is filled with details, pictures, and reproductions of book pages that show puzzles have happily been with us for a very long time. I was struck by M. Oskar van Deventer’s article 'Mechanical Mazes.' He describes not the popular two-dimensional mazes, but three-dimensional mazes and puzzles. . . . Each of the articles can be read independently so if you don’t like one, simply move to another. . . . the book is a fine tribute to Mr. Gardner.

MAA Reviews, May 2009

… a tribute to Martin Gardner by respected puzzle masters, magicians, and mathematicians, offers resources for educators and recreational mathematicians alike. A collection of essays encompassing a variety of topics, the book includes a brief history of Gardner's work, magic tricks, mechanical puzzles, word puzzles, mazes and games. … Educators will find nonroutine problems suitable for use at the secondary school level and above, while recreational mathematicians will enjoy a variety of puzzles and mathematical objects. … Readers will enjoy the journey down a road less traveled to the place where mathematics, magic, and puzzles meet.

—Josh Hertel, Mathematics Teacher, September 2009

… For fans of Martin Gardner and for all concerned with communicating to the public the fascination of mathematical research, it is an ideal bedside book.

—Phill Schultz, Australian Mathematical Society, March 2010

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MATHEMATICS / Recreations & Games