You are here

MAA Tribute to Martin Gardner

Longtime, acclaimed mathematics and science writer Martin Gardner, who introduced readers to the joys of recreational mathematics and bedeviled cranks and pseudoscientists, died in 2010. In celebration of his life, his work, and his impact on so many, the Mathematical Association of America has gathered relevant articles, interviews, and photos on one page. Read more about Gardner, his award winning articles, and tributes in his honor in the issues of MAA FOCUS, Math Horizons, and The College Mathematics Journal.

The MAA will be hosting a Gardner event on December 5, 2012. James Tanton will present "Weird Ways to Work with Pi”, a talk that will explore some weird and wonderful ways to play with pi for shapes that might or might not be circles.

The MAA event is part of a global celebration of Martin Gardner that occurs on or around his birthday on October 21. Learn more about The Global Gathering Celebration here.

Read more about past MAA/ThinkFun "Gathering for Gardner" events: 2011, 2010


Remembering Martin Gardner (September 2010)
Master of Recreational Mathematics - and Much More: An Interview with Martin Gardner (November 2004) (pdf)

In Math Horizons:

Martin Gardner, 1914-2000: Magical Man of Numbers and Letters by Don Albers (September 2010) (pdf)
Gathering for Gardner (September 2010) (pdf)
Superstrings and Thelma by Martin Gardner (1996) (pdf)
Talkative Eve by Martin Gardner (September 2010) (pdf)

In The College Mathematics Journal

The January 2012 issue of the CMJ (available for free) is devoted to the mathematics of Martin Gardner (1914-2010), prolific writer on mathematics and science, best known for the immensely influential series of “Mathematical Games” columns that appeared in Scientific American from December of 1956 through 1981.

Appropriate to the memory Martin Gardner, the issue includes a numerical challenge, several puzzles and drawings, and a crossword.


MAA Writing Awards:

Winner of the 1998 Trevor Evans Award.
Winner of the 2000 George Pólya Award
Winner of the 1990 Carl B. Allendoerfer Award

Card Colm

Also In His Own Words: More Mathemagical Games (and Tricks) With Cards From Martin Gardner
In His Own Words: Mathematical Card Tricks From Martin Gardner (1914-2010)
Martin Gardner's Magic Spells (October 2006)

Other Voices

The Mathematical Tourist
MAA News

MAA Books

Gardner was perhaps best known as the author of the "Mathematical Games" column for Scientific American, which ran from 1956 to 1981. Throughout his career he wrote more than 70 books and collections of essays on topics ranging from Lewis Carroll and magic tricks to philosophy, religion, and scientific skepticism. Several of his most popular writings are available in the MAA Store

Martin Gardner's "Mathematical Games" 
Gardner's Scientific American column "Mathematical Games" on a single, searchable source

aha! Gotcha / aha! Insight
144 wonderful puzzles from the reigning king of recreational mathematics.

Mathematical Magic Show 
Nineteen tantalizing conundrums.
Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers
Included here are chapters on Conway's surreal numbers, Mandelbrot's fractals, and Smullyan's logic puzzles.

Hexaflexagons, Probability Paradoxes, and the Tower of Hanoi
The inaugural volume in Martin Gardner's New Mathematical Library. These mathematical recreations delight and perplex while demonstrating principles of logic, probability, geometry, and other fields of mathematics.

Origami, Eleusis, and the Soma Cube 
The second volume in Gardner's New Mathematical Library, updated chapters, including new game variations, mathematical proofs, and other developments and discoveries, to challenge and fascinate a new generation of readers.

Sphere Packing, Lewis Carroll, and Reversi
Packing spheres, Reversi, braids, polyominoes, board games, and the puzzles of Lewis Carroll.

Mathematical Puzzle Tales 
The challenging problems presented here are based on geometry, logarithms, topology, probability, weird number sequences, logic and virtually every other aspect of mathematics as well as wordplay.