Saturday, November 16, 2013

Being an innocent youngster and a math professor at the same time

Martin Gardner's autobiography has posthumously been published [1,2]. Known for his Scientific American math column, Martin Gardner was fascinated by recreational mathematics, magic tricks and scientific research and he knew how to fascinate others. Persi Diaconis tells us that he wrote the following blurb for one of Gardner's books [2]:  

Warning: Martin Gardner has turned dozens of innocent youngsters into math professors and thousands of math professors into innocent youngsters.
Persi Diaconis, 2013.

Diaconis admits that he was one of those youngsters. Who else? I assume, the number of Gardner enthusiasts is growing exponentially.

Keywords: inspiration, recreation, magic, puzzle solving, mathematics.

References and more to explore
[1] David Singmaster: Master puzzler. Nature, September 19, 2013, 501 (7467), pp. 314-315. doi: 10.1038/501314a.
[2] Martin Gardner with Persi Diaconis and James Rand: Undiluted Hocus-Pocus. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2013; page xvii.

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