The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems : Number Theory, Algebra, Geometry, Probability, Topology, Game Theory, Infinity, and Other Topics of Recreational Mathematics

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2001 - Games - 724 pages
17 Reviews
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 Scientific American for twenty-five years. Gardner's array of absorbing puzzles and mind-twisting paradoxes opens mathematics up to the world at large, inspiring people to see past numbers and formulas and experience the application of mathematical principles to the mysterious world around them. With articles on topics ranging from simple algebra to the twisting surfaces of Mobius strips, from an endless game of Bulgarian solitaire to the unreachable dream of time travel, this volume comprises a substantial and definitive monument to Gardner's influence on mathematics, science, and culture.

In its twelve sections, The Colossal Book of Math explores a wide range of areas, each startlingly illuminated by Gardner's incisive expertise. Beginning with seemingly simple topics, Gardner expertly guides us through complicated and wondrous worlds: by way of basic algebra we contemplate the mesmerizing, often hilarious, linguistic and numerical possibilities of palindromes; using simple geometry, he dissects the principles of symmetry upon which the renowned mathematical artist M. C. Escher constructs his unique, dizzying universe. Gardner, like few thinkers today, melds a rigorous scientific skepticism with a profound artistic and imaginative impulse. His stunning exploration of "The Church of the Fourth Dimension," for example, bridges the disparate worlds of religion and science by brilliantly imagining the spatial possibility of God's presence in the world as a fourth dimension, at once "everywhere and nowhere."

With boundless wisdom and his trademark wit, Gardner allows the reader to further engage challenging topics like probability and game theory which have plagued clever gamblers, and famous mathematicians, for centuries. Whether debunking Pascal's wager with basic probability, making visual music with fractals, or uncoiling a "knotted doughnut" with introductory topology, Gardner continuously displays his fierce intelligence and gentle humor. His articles confront both the comfortingly mundane—"Generalized Ticktacktoe" and "Sprouts and Brussel Sprouts"—and the quakingly abstract—"Hexaflexagons," "Nothing," and "Everything." He navigates these staggeringly obscure topics with a deft intelligence and, with addendums and suggested reading lists, he informs these classic articles with new insight.

Admired by scientists and mathematicians, writers and readers alike, Gardner's vast knowledge and burning curiosity reveal themselves on every page. The culmination of a lifelong devotion to the wonders of mathematics, The Colossal Book of Mathematics is the largest and most comprehensive math book ever assembled by Gardner and remains an indispensable volume for the amateur and expert alike.
  

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Review: The Colossal Book of Mathematics

User Review  - Alienindie - Goodreads

Endless cornucopia of stimulating ideas! Read full review

Review: The Colossal Book of Mathematics

User Review  - Mike - Goodreads

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. Read full review

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Contents

The Monkey and the Coconuts
3
The Calculus of Finite Differences
10
Infinity
13
Words and Numbers
23
Plane Qeometry 4 Curves of Constant Width
35
RepTiles
46
Piet Heins Superellipse
59
Penrose Tiles
73
Surreal Numbers
369
Combinatorics
380
Hexaflexagons
385
The Soma Cube
398
The Game of Life
409
Paper Folding
423
Ramsey Theory
437
Bulgarian Solitaire and Other Seemingly Endless Tasks
455

The Wonders of a Planiverse
94
Solid Qeometry and Higher Dimensions 9 The Helix
117
Packing Spheres
128
Spheres and Hyperspheres
137
The Church of the Fourth Dimension
150
Hypercubes
162
14 NonEuclidean Geometry
175
Symmetry
181
Rotations and Reflections
189
The Amazing Creations of Scott Kim
198
The Art of M C Escher
212
Topology
221
Klein Bottles and Other Surfaces
227
Knots
239
Linked and Knotted
254
Probability
271
Probability and Ambiguity
273
Nontransitive Dice and Other Paradoxes
286
More Nontransitive Paradoxes
297
Infinite Regress
315
AlephNull and AlephOne
327
Supertasks
340
Fractal Music
350
Qames and Decision Theory
469
A Matchbox GameLearning Machine
471
Sprouts and Brussels Sprouts
485
Hararys Generalized Ticktacktoe
493
The New Eleusis
504
Physics
514
Time Travel
517
Does Time Ever Stop?
531
Induction and Probability
541
Simplicity
553
Logic and Philosophy
565
The Unexpected Hanging
567
44 Newcombs Paradox
580
Nothing
592
Everything
610
Miscellaneous
625
MelodyMaking Machines
627
Mathematical Zoo
640
Godel Escher Bach
660
Six Sensational Discoveries
674
Selected Titles by the Author on Mathematics
695
Copyright

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The Colossal Book of Mathematics (Main Page)
Martin Gardner. The Colossal Book of Mathematics. Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems. No amateur or math authority can be without this ultimate ...
www.wwnorton.com/ catalog/ spring01/ 002023.htm

Age of Puzzles - The Colossal Book of Mathematics
For this ultimate collection Martin Gardner selected fifty of his best Mathematical Games columns he's been writing for Scientific American for twenty-five ...
www.ageofpuzzles.com/ Books/ MartinGardnerBooks/ ClBkOfMath.htm

Ellipse librairie — The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic ...
Les personnes qui ont acheté "The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems" ont également acheté ...
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The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and ...
The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems. Submitted by jcopenha on Sat, 2004-03-20 21:26. bookreview. Author: ...
www.typedef.org/ jcopenha/ ?q=node/ 63

ivarspeterson - Bibliography: Fragments of Infinity
In The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems. New York: ww Norton. Gardner, Martin. 2001. The wonders of a planiverse. ...
ivarspeterson.googlepages.com/ art

American Scientist Online - The Peerless Puzzlemaker
The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems. Martin Gardner. xii + 724 pp. ww Norton, 2001. $35. ...
www.americanscientist.org/ template/ AssetDetail/ assetid/ 17812;jsessionid=baa9

mathsnet Resources: Martin Gardner books
martin gardner Martin Gardner (1914 - ) was the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American. He originated the column in 1956, and his columns ...
www.mathsnet.net/ resource/ martingardner.html

Projects - News & Articles - Puzzle Books
Puzzles.COM - the world's best resource for puzzling on the Internet - is about Puzzles, Illusions, Tricks, Toys, and everything around all these great ...
www.puzzles.com/ puzzleclub/ BooksHome.htm

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Website for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Curtin University of Technology
www.maths.curtin.edu.au/ students/ popmaths.cfm

mathtrek: Martin Gardner's Puzzles and Problems
The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems. New York: ww Norton. Peterson, I. 1997. Martin Gardner's lucky number. ...
blog.sciencenews.org/ 2006/ 02/ martin_gardners_puzzles_and_pr_1.html

About the author (2001)

Martin Gardner is the author of more than seventy books on a vast range of topics including "Did Adam & Eve Have Navels?", "Calculus Made Easy", & "The Annotated Alice". He lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

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