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The Colossal Book of Mathematics - Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes & Problems (Anglais) Relié – 20 janvier 2004

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Book by Gardner Martin

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In the October 9, 1926, issue of The Saturday Evening Post appeared a short story by Ben Ames Williams entitled "Coconuts." Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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66 internautes sur 69 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
True Treasure: Stunning Collection of Popular Math Articles 16 août 2001
Par Dan Sherman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is an excellent collection of 50 of Martin Gardner's Scientific American "Mathematical Games" columns that he wrote over a number of years. Gardner wrote his column for 25 years and always managed to find an idea involving mathematics -- sometimes obscure, sometimes not -- and make it very understandable and very interesting through very clear (and often witty) writing combined with excellent illustrations (reproduced here)by Scientific American. Although these articles have been previously reproduced in the 15 collections, this collection is valuable in that Gardner (now in his mid-eighties and still writing away) has added addenda to his earlier articles that nicely update them.
Although some people might think that "recreational mathematics" is a contradiction of terms, Gardner's insight and excellent writing style really do make mathematics enjoyable. At one level, the book can be thought of as a collection of puzzles, in that Gardner often uses a puzzle or otherwise poses a question to ask how a problem can be solved. The book goes way beyond a collection of puzzles, in that Gardner really provides an overview of mathematics concepts involved and goes beyond the simple solution of the puzzle to give the reader a sense of particular concepts in mathematics (e.g., topology). His approach really makes mathematics quite interesting.
I am sure that Gardner's original column got many people (including myself) interested in mathematics, and I hope that this collection will help a new group of readers to develop and maintain curiosity regarding mathematics and its applications. It is, for example, something that teachers might want to refer their students to. If you haven't read other books by Gardner, this is a very good place to start -- I would also recommend his essay collection "The Night is Large" that shows his amazing range of interests (of which mathematics is one part).
23 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The imporatance of Mathematics 29 octobre 2003
Par David N. Reiss - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Martin Gardner is the grand old man of popular mathematics. He especially likes the math behind puzzles, riddles and logical conundrums. Logic and mathematics is the source of his thinking on the Skepticism he professes in his writings on pseudoscience, religion, the paranormal, UFO's, and other outlands of science and rational thinking.
This book is a collection of his best columns from Scientific American magazine. It was of the good reasons to read the magazine. Like many other things in the last few years, that publication jumped the shark at some point. Gardner was one of the reasons to still read it for a while there.
Gardner, however, is not just interested in the mathematics. The men, and history of the questions is also important to him. That is because it forms a context to the questions and the discovery of the answers. Context is very important to the author. Without it, you really don't know where you are.
If you like the writing of such good folks like Douglas Hofstadter, Jeremy Bernstein, Eli Maor, John Allen Paulos, Richard Feynman, Stephen Jay Gould, Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke or Ed Regis, than you will probably like the writing of Gardner.
Mathematics is something that people don't read a lot. At least not recreationally. Normally because they don't understand that it forms the basis of real logical thought. A real understanding of the modern world requires one of the understand science. And science that isn't, at least in part, based on mathematics isn't real science. It is something more of our leaders should take a real interest in. How can we expect our leaders to make good decisions on cloning or when-life-begins if they have no real understanding of science and mathematics?
Which is why Martin Gardner should be considered a national treasure.
16 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Interesting Read 23 novembre 2004
Par Thomas Reiter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I have never read any books on "recreational mathematics" so didn't know quite what to expect from this book--in general I found it entertaining and interesting, with a broad range of topics, including physics, statistics, logical paradoxes, higher dimensions, etc. You don't really have to be a math person to enjoy this book; almost anyone interested in stimulating topics should find at least parts of it interesting.

The book consists of numerous short articles with bibliographies for each. If one article bores you, move on to the next... I found the articles on statistics, logical paradoxes, a 2D Universe (Planiverse) and others very interesting and enjoyable. It is important to understand that this book is not a puzzle book per se; although almost every articles includes some task for hard-core readers to perform ("Prove that...", or "How many..."), it is really intended as reading material.

A few negatives: the articles almost all seem to have been written in the 1950s or 1960s (!); each article has an addendum which attempts to bring it up to date. Although this didn't matter that much to me, since I have never read anything on recreational mathematics, I doubt that much of the material would be new for anyone that reads the topic regularly. Similarly, it would have been more interesting to discover what topics are currently "hot" in this field. Also, the author spends too much time for my taste on trivial mathematical games such as folding paper into different shapes rather than on really thought-provoking mathematical topics (purely a personal preference, I suppose).
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A fun and interesting read 6 juin 2003
Par Doobie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This book covers a wide variety of subjects. It is not a puzzle book in the strict sense of solving little teasers, but it is a book that starts one thinking in broader terms. Some paradoxes and concepts addressed in this book, that great thinkers spent time debating and questioning, are fun for us more common thinkers to consider as well.
14 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
a great sampling of mathematical puzzles 6 février 2002
Par Travisji Corcoran - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I haven't read nearly enough Martin Gardner.
This book tickled the math centers of my brain, which only get partially used in my work as a software engineer.
If graph theory, game theory, topology, and numbers don't entirely scare you away, you'll find something vaguely interesting at any page you flip to in this book, and after a few more pages will have prob learned something, AND found yourself using a part of your brain that might otherwise go unused during any given day.
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