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The Unexpected Hanging and Other Mathematical Diversions

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  88 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Seasoned with Gardner's interest in the history and philosophy of science, this delightful book is a treasure-trove of puzzles, anecdotes, games, and logical theory. These intriguing problems, collected from Gardner's Scientific American columns, involve knots, interlocking rings, rotations and reflections, logical paradox, two-dimensional universes, chess strategies, and ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published November 1st 1991 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1963)
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Dan Slimmon
Oct 24, 2016 Dan Slimmon rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, math
A nice little collection of snackable math articles. There are some fun problems and one or two chapters on profound mathematical ideas. But there are also some misses.

I think this would be a good read for a tween who's interested in math and puzzles.
Charles
Jan 01, 2016 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An opportunity to learn from the master

When describing the works and career of Martin Gardner it is easy to run out of superlatives. At that point you either have to invent new ones or engage in recycling. The latter is what all people interested in mathematics should do, read and re-read the writings of Gardner. No one was more skilled in making mathematics understandable and he was the most influential person in lighting the fire of mathematical interest in people.
This book is a collection
...more
Tom Schulte
May 08, 2015 Tom Schulte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: math, maa-reviews
This is the fourth entry in the first complete collection of Martin Gardner's Mathematical Library covering the entire twenty-five-year run of his Scientific American columns. Oddly, the cover and spine have no indication of this ordinal or the count of volumes. It is not immediately obvious this is part of a set. The back cover does cite Don Knuth as saying that this material is “…always worth reading and rereading.” ... Gardner’s engaging explorations telegraph an awe of the beauty of ...more
Jim Razinha
Apr 20, 2014 Jim Razinha rated it really liked it
While also not as engaging for me as some of his other books, it was still fun. The bibliography is stunning - I do not know how he managed to not only read so much, but have access to so many rare sources in a pre-Internet age.
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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.
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