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Hexaflexagons, Probability Paradoxes & the Tower of Hanoi (New Martin Gardner Mathematical Library)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  250 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Martin Gardner's First Book of Mathematical Puzzles and Games
Hexaflexagons, Probability Paradoxes, and the Tower of Hanoi is the inaugural volume in The New Martin Gardner Mathematical Library series. Based off of Gardener's enormously popular Scientific American columns, his puzzles and challenges can now fascinate a whole new generation! Paradoxes and paper-folding, Moeb
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Paperback, 193 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Cambridge University Press (first published 1959)
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Nandakishore Varma
This is the first book by Martin Gardner I read - and I have been a fan ever since. Just thinking of this book fills me with nostalgia.

A lazy summer afternoon: the youth section of our city library, housed in an ancient mammoth of a colonial building: the musty smell of old books: the summer vacation stretching in front of me... and the pretty girl who sat across me at the table, at whom I stole glances now and then, but never got up the courage to speak to...

Ah, the halcyon days of youth!...
Miriam
Aug 02, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Miriam by: Ilya
Shelves: non-fiction
This author was recommended to me when I was 21, by a high school friend who is now an artificial intelligence expert. I'm probably too dumb by now to understand math, but I'll give it a try.
Tara
Jun 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
I made the dumb mistake of starting to read this book on the train on my way to work.
Rule number one: Do not open this book unless you have access to paper, pencils, a ruler and a flat surface. This book requires three-dimensional aides.
Lyndon Hardy
When I was a sophomore in high school in 1956, I remember going to the library once and seeing a magazine I had not noticed before— the Scientific American. I thumbed through it, and in the back was a column titled ‘Mathematical Games’ by Martin Gardner.

Unlike the other articles in the issue which were hard to understand fully, Gardner was very lucid. He talked about folding strips of paper into fascinating shapes called ‘Flexagons’. I did not find out to much later that it was his very first c
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Fiona
Martin Gardner was a columnist for Scientific American, and notably described himself as a recreational mathematician. When I found this out, I already loved him, it was just a matter of negotiating the degree. I sat down with this book, a pad of paper, some colouring pencils and a cup of tea. Two hours later I was grinning broadly and surrounded by hexaflexagons. Best few quid on Amazon I have spent in ages, and recommended to anyone who thinks maths is pretty but you wouldn't want to do it for ...more
Angela
Jul 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Angela by: Brent
Hexaflexagons is the first of Gardner's series of Scientific American compilations, all now available as PDFs on a single DVD. It hearkens back to the halcyon days of nerdery before the Internet, when instead of watching youtube videos and writing python code, math geeks sat around folding strips of paper in certain ways.

The chapters aren't terribly even; some are much more interesting and thought provoking than others. My favorites are the nine puzzles chapters, which are collections of easy b
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David Miller
An interesting collection of logic puzzles, game strategies, and interesting physical/mathematical curiosities. I say interesting, despite the fact that there are plenty of sections wherein I definitely lost interest, for while I find math interesting in the abstract I am not accustomed to the kind of thinking it requires. I did not force myself to understand it all, nor beat myself up when I failed to tease out the answer to a posed problem, though. I was just along for the ride, and it was ple ...more
Justin
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Math Teachers, Mathphiles
Shelves: math
What an incredible collection of mathematical brain candy. I discovered hexaflexagons from YouTube user ViHart this past school year. I showed the videos to my math classes, and they were hooked. Getting to read the original essay that introduced hexaflexagons to the general public was a joy. There is so much material in this little volume (quite a bit of it genuinely challenging for me, and my degree is in mathematics!) that I'm sure I will return to it again and again.
Mark
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My dad gave me his copy of this book. I think I was in high school. My interest in his work hasn't waned one iota since. He truly is the king of recreational mathematics. And, yes, that really is a thing.
Ryan
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just recently discovered this author and his huge library of books. I plan to read others. they are great distractions although I plan to spread them out. Too many puzzles at a time takes away some of the fun.
Noah Meyer
Jan 13, 2016 is currently reading it
Uptill now I really like the book and its puzzles. I think that it explains the maths behind it quite well and the book has got a quick pace making it a fun read. It also makes every chapter independent from the next which means if you are very interested in only one chapter of it you can read it.
Mike
May 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed-series
Great stuff... guess I'm a geek
Jim Razinha
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love these books, though I don't share a Gardner's enthusiasm for topography. Nearly timeless puzzles.
Rachel
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it. Love Martin Gardner. An excellent adventure in recreational mathematics!
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover 1 8 Oct 29, 2015 03:18PM  
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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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