Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Colossal Book of Mathematics” as Want to Read:
The Colossal Book of Mathematics
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Colossal Book of Mathematics

4.38  ·  Rating Details ·  330 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
s/t: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes & Problems
Whether discussing hexaflexagons or number theory, Klein bottles or the essence of "nothing," Martin Gardner has single-handedly created the field of "recreational mathematics." The Colossal Book of Mathematics collects together Gardner's most popular pieces from his legendary "Mathematical Games" column, which ran in Scientifi
Hardcover, 736 pages
Published January 20th 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published September 10th 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Colossal Book of Mathematics, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Colossal Book of Mathematics

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 22, 2012 Louisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, mathematics
One does not need any math skills to enjoy this rich collection of essays on the history of mathematics, its imprint on philosophy and literature, the art of Escher, fractals, tesseracts, paradoxes, hexaflexagons and many other wonderful things. The perfect desert island book.
Jul 30, 2010 Glenn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: math-and-science
Martin Gardner, who passed away in May of this year at the age of 95, probably did the most work of anybody in the area of "recreational mathematics", and making math fun for the masses. Gardner was a prolific scholar and author, writing an abundant amount of material in his lifetime. This is a collection of various topics culled from the most popular pieces of his "Mathematical Games" column which ran in Scientific American magazine for 25 years. It has something for everyone, so even if you ar ...more
Dec 09, 2008 Jim rated it it was amazing
Martin Gardner, master of all things puzzling, mathe-magical, and philosophical(read the "whys of a philosophical scrivener") delights me with his finest book. Discover the paradox of intransitive games; where you always lose even though you get to choose your team first.
Aug 16, 2014 Brett rated it really liked it
Shelves: mathematics
This is a treasure of recreational mathematics. Fascinating illustrations and Gardner's easy to read prose make this a great read.
Jun 19, 2012 Craig rated it it was amazing
An incomparably entertaining collection of Gardner's most interesting mathematical columns. For a casual mathematics lover, I cannot even imagine a more enjoyable book.
Stephen Cranney
I would have rated it higher, but some of the material was a bit dated. Excellent exposition of recreational mathematics.
John Orman
May 05, 2012 John Orman rated it really liked it
A wonderful tour of all of mathematics, told in the popular style of Martin Gardner.
Fionnbharr Ó Duinnín
Jan 02, 2017 Fionnbharr Ó Duinnín rated it it was amazing
Was given this book a Christmas present, having read these articles over many years as they were published. In the process of re-reading, so will review this properly in a few months.
Sarah S
Dec 09, 2016 Sarah S rated it really liked it
Very challenging puzzles!
Maurizio Codogno
Sep 25, 2012 Maurizio Codogno rated it it was amazing
Martin Gardner non ha bisogno di presentazione. Però questo libro forse sì. In pratica, assieme al suo compagno <ì>The Colossal Books of Problems, questo volume raccoglie il meglio della sua produzione apparsa nella rubrica "Mathematical Games" dello Scientific American. Chi ha doviziosamente collezionato tutti i suoi libri non trova praticamente nulla di nuovo, se non qualche rara aggiunta di nuovi risultati trovati tra la pubblicazione originaria delle raccolte e il 2001. Ha però il vant ...more
Oct 17, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing
I've taken it off my Reading shelf because it's the kind of book I'll go back to for the rest of my life. Each chapter opens up new avenues of study and reading the same chapter a few months later awakens even newer interests.

Great stuff.
Eva Filoramo
May 20, 2016 Eva Filoramo rated it it was amazing
La bibbia della matematica ricreativa. Rubato al mio capo, non credo glielo restituirò mai. In italiano hanno tradotto qualcosa, ma qui c'è tutto quello che avrei sempre potuto desiderare! splendido.
Sep 27, 2013 Brian rated it liked it
Gardner's math puzzles are very entertaining. I gave up on making my way through the book, it seems more suited to picking up every now and then to find an interesting tidbit.
jon hanson
jon hanson rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2015
Indigo rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2013
Moloy De
Feb 23, 2016 Moloy De rated it it was amazing
Mind boggling book to have fun with math
Ted Ipsen
Ted Ipsen rated it really liked it
Mar 22, 2014
Sergio Frosini
Sergio Frosini rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2011
Muhammad Adnan
Muhammad Adnan rated it really liked it
May 09, 2015
Jason Copenhaver
Jason Copenhaver rated it it was ok
Jun 23, 2012
Jack Newlands
Jack Newlands rated it it was amazing
Jun 10, 2016
Alex rated it it was amazing
Aug 22, 2012
Kody Perrry
Kody Perrry rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2014
Brian Sison
Brian Sison rated it really liked it
Feb 16, 2008
O rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2015
Fly Molo
Fly Molo rated it really liked it
Nov 13, 2012
Saurabh rated it really liked it
Dec 17, 2015
Ponyduder rated it really liked it
Jan 11, 2015
Vince rated it really liked it
May 07, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
  • The Mathematical Universe: An Alphabetical Journey Through the Great Proofs, Problems, and Personalities
  • The Mathematical Experience
  • Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers
  • Calculus Made Easy
  • The Language of Mathematics: Making the Invisible Visible
  • Euler's Gem: The Polyhedron Formula and the Birth of Topology
  • Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities
  • The Principles of Mathematics
  • The Moscow Puzzles: 359 Mathematical Recreations
  • The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics
  • 1089 and All That: A Journey into Mathematics
  • An Imaginary Tale: The Story of the Square Root of Minus One
  • The Princeton Companion to Mathematics
  • Yearning for the Impossible: The Surprising Truths of Mathematics
  • The Book of Numbers
  • Mathematical Mysteries: The Beauty and Magic of Numbers
  • Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty
  • Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra
Martin Gardner was an American mathematics and science writer specializing in recreational mathematics, but with interests encompassing micromagic, stage magic, literature (especially the writings of Lewis Carroll), philosophy, scientific skepticism, and religion. He wrote the Mathematical Games column in Scientific American from 1956 to 1981, and published over 70 books.
More about Martin Gardner...

Share This Book