Martin Gardner enormously expanded the field of recreational mathematics with the Mathematical Games columns he wrote for Scientific American for over 25 years and the more than 70 books he published. He also had a long relationship with the Mathematical Association of America, publishing articles in the MAA journals right up to his death in 2010. This book collects articles Gardner wrote for the MAA in the twenty-first century, together with other articles the MAA published from 1999 to 2012 that spring from and comment on his work.
Martin Gardner's interests spanned geometry, number theory, graph theory, and probability, always communicated with engaging exposition often including games and puzzles. Eight works by Gardner himself, published between 1999 and 2010, are collected here and represent the breadth of his work, including his short fiction and lifelong interest in debunking pseudo-science. The remaining 33 chapters were written in response to Gardner's work and include several articles addressing open questions he posed. They come from The American Mathematical Monthly, Mathematics Magazine, The College Mathematics Journal, and Math Horizons and demonstrate how Gardner's influence continues beyond his columns for Scientific American.
II. Number Theory and Graph Theory
III. Flexagons and Catalan Numbers
IV. Making Things Fit
V. Further Puzzles and Games
VI. Cards and Probability
VII. Other Aspects of Martin Gardner
About the Editors
Michael Henle is a professor of mathematics at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. He is the author of several previous books including "Which Numbers are Real?" which was just published by the MAA in 2012. Trained as a functional analysis, he has written as well on combinatorial subjects and geometry. He is serving as editor of The College Mathematics Journal through 2013.
Brian Hopkins is a professor of mathematics at Saint Peter's University in Jersey City, New Jersey. He won, with Robin Wilson, the 2005 George Polya Award, edited the 2008 MAA Notes volume Resources for Teaching Discrete Mathematics, and was given the 2011 MAA New Jersey Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. Much of his research stems from Bulgarian Solitaire, a topic popularized by Martin Gardner. Hopkins will be the editor of the College Mathematics Journal from 2014 to 2018.
Martin Gardner is probably as close as any author covered by MAA Reviews could come to needing no introduction. So rather than spend my own energy trying to write one, let me quote from a few other reviews of his works that have been written on this site over the years:
- “Martin Gardner is a national treasure, someone whose contribution to mathematics has been immense.”
- “Ask almost any mathematician who grew up during the 1960s or 1970s, and they’ll tell you about the enormous influence Martin Gardner’s Mathematical Games column had on them.”