Message Boards Message Boards

Martin Gardner's 100th Birthday

Posted 9 years ago

For today’s magic show:
A century ago,
Martin Gardner was born in Oklahoma.
He philosophized for his diploma.
He wrote on Hex and Tic-Tac-Toe.
The Icosian game and polyomino.
Flexagons from paper trim,
Samuel Loyd, the game of Nim. .....

The rest of my poem and the many links are at our blog Martin Gardner’s 100th Birthday. Almost all of these links go to some sort of code. This poem could have been much longer.

For years, I've defined "recreational math" as "math that can be described in one minute". It would be nice if that could be "math that can be coded in one minute." Nathaniel Hawthorne once said "Easy reading is damn hard writing." Similarly, a program that brilliantly illustrates something is often very difficult to put together.

What are your thoughts on recreational math? Please give us your links, code, or anecdotes.

2 Replies

The first thing that (randomly) comes to mind Ed, is that the writing should be engaging--embedded in a narrative that mirrors the fascination of the field in whatever form works best for the intended audience. And, when I think back to reading Martin Gardner's columns in Scientific American when I was a teenager, I first think of Dr. Matrix ( and, since I was a mathematically inclined adolescent, his daughter Iva.

POSTED BY: David Reiss

Si tienes pdf de los artículos de Martin Gardner,de Scientific American te agradecería. Aquí en Costa Rica no tengo acceso a ello. Gracias.

Reply to this discussion
Community posts can be styled and formatted using the Markdown syntax.
Reply Preview
or Discard

Group Abstract Group Abstract