Mathematical Wizardry for a Gardner: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mathematical Wizardry for a Gardner

1st Edition

Edited by Ed Pegg Jr, Alan Schoen, Tom Rodgers

A K Peters/CRC Press

220 pages

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In this volume, world-leading puzzle designers, puzzle collectors, mathematicians, and magicians continue the tradition of honoring Martin Gardner, who inspired them to enter mathematics, to enter magic, to bring magic into their mathematics, or to bring mathematics into their magic. This edited collection contains a variety of articles connected to puzzles, magic, and/or mathematics, including the history behind given puzzles, solitaire puzzles, two-person games, and mathematically interesting objects. Topics include tangrams, peg solitaire, sodoku, coin-weighing problems, anamorphoses, and more!


This is the second volume of papers mostly based on oral presentations at the Seventh Gathering for (Martin) Gardner held in March, 2006 in Atlanta, GA. Following two essays by G. Chartrand and J. Farrell in memory of the late Frank Harary, there are 24 articles … [with numerous] papers on geometry … [and] other papers discuss[ing] recreations … For two people, there is a game that can be used to establish that the closed unit interval is uncountable as well as two games on directed graphs.

—E. J. Barbeau, Mathematical Reviews, June 2010

Anyone who enjoys learning about the mathematics behind problems will enjoy this book. … Mathematical Wizardry for a Gardner poses interesting, engaging problems while also including an emphasis on post-high school mathematics. If you enjoy both, then this book is for you.

—Cynthia Taylor, Mathematics Teacher, May 2010

Most people enjoy puzzles, and it is only natural to feel good when you have solved a particularly difficult one. It is even more rewarding to invent a new puzzle that captivates the minds of the general public. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that there are groups of people who get together for the sole purpose of sharing new puzzles and new solutions to old puzzles. Gathering for Gardner (G4G) is just such a convention, and the contents of this book are from the seventh G4G (G4G7) conference. G4G conferences occur every two years to pay tribute to Martin Gardner, who rose to fame with his mathematical games columns in Scientific American. Since the book consists of 24 very different chapters, this review provides only a brief taste of what it has to offer. … this fun book is a welcome change from the newspaper puzzles that I typically do on my way home from work.

—Bernard Kuc, Computing Reviews, January 2010

This volume collects 24 articles drawn from presentations given at a March 2006 meeting honoring Martin Gardner, who has played a large role in popularizing recreational mathematics … The topics discussed are as broad as those that Gardner wrote about and include the mathematics of such puzzles and games as tangrams, peg solitaire, sudoku, coin-weighing problems, and anamorphoses.

—Book News Inc., September 2009

This book is the second of two volumes gathering most of the oral presentations delivered at the seventh of those conferences, held in 2006. … some of the articles contain, strictly speaking, little mathematics; their subject could be more rightly labelled as puzzles, games, and other curious objects which are, however, likely to intrigue a mathematician, professional or amateur. … This book is intended as recreational reading, and it is addressed to a very wide audience, including non-mathematicians and amateurs.

—Fabio Mainardi, MAA Reviews, August 2009

Table of Contents


In Memoriam

Frank Harary

Gary Chartrand


Jeremiah Farrell

Spin a Tale

The Ig Nobel Prizes

Stanley Eigen

Martin Gardner and Paperfolding

David Lister

. . . Nothing but Confusion? Anamorphoses with Double Meaning

Istvan Orosz

Ponder a Puzzle

Peg Solitaire with Diagonal Jumps

George I. Bell

The Grand Time Sudoku and the Law of Leftovers

Bob Harris

Patulous Pegboard Polygons

Derek Kisman, Richard Guy, and Alex Fink

Beamer Variant

Rodolfo Kurchan

Packing Equal Circles in a Square

Peter Gabor Szabo

Bring a Friend

Uncountable Sets and an Infinite Real Number Game

Matthew H. Baker

The Cyclic Butler University Game

Aviezri S. Fraenkel

Misere Play of G-A-R-D-N-E-R, the G4G7 Heptagon Game

Thane Plambeck

Play with Numbers

The Association Method for Solving Certain Coin-Weighing Problems

Dick Hess

The Art of Ready Reckoning

Mogens Esrom Larsen

Spherical Algebra

Istvan Lenart

Mathematical Idol

Colm Mulcahy

The Elevator Problem

David Rhee and Jerry Lo

Take a Shape

Jordan as a Jordan Curve

Robert Bosch

Wang Tiles, Dynamical Systems, and Beatty Difference Sequences

Stanley Eigen

The Trilobite and Cross

Chaim Goodman-Strauss

Orderly Tangles Revisited

George W. Hart

Quasi-Periodic Essays in Architectural and Musical Form

Akio Hizume


Robert Barrington Leigh, Ed Leonard, Ted Lewis, Andy Liu, and George Tokarsky

Dances with Tangrams (and without Wolves)

Karl Schaffer

Two Special Polyhedra among the Regular Toroids

Lajos Szilassi

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MATHEMATICS / Recreations & Games