Thursday, 21 October, 2010, is the anchor date for the first global Celebration of Mind (www.g4g-com.org) in honour of mathematics expositor supreme Martin Gardner, who died last May, 80 years to the month after he published his first magic trick. The events, which are scheduled in locations as widespread as Washington, DC (in the MAA's Carriage House), Madrid, Tehran, Beijing, and Norman, Oklahoma (hosted by Martin's son Jim), mark what would have been this extraordinary man's 96th birthday.
Far from being one-off tributes to a brilliant and prolific American man of letters, the Celebration of Mind events–which are also projected to take place in future years–provide wonderful opportunities for people to celebrate recreational mathematics, as well as some of Gardner's other interests.
As Martin lead the way in demonstrating over and over, this can be done in a way which much of the general public can grasp. Moreover, such activities can be used to turn on young minds to the singular joys of problem solving and creative thinking in general.
In June 2010 and August 2010 Card Colms, we presented a selection of mathematical card tricks–in Gardner's own words–from some of his books. This week is a great time to investigate some of those classics.
Before the month is over, we'll have some new mathemagical card effects here to explore.
In the meantime, Celebrate the Mind, with your friends, colleagues and students!