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A Gardner's Workout: Training the Mind and Entertaining the Spirit Hardcover – 18 Jul 2001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 319 pages
  • Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press (18 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568811209
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568811208
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,331,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

" ""[Gardner's writings]are the best explanations of mathematics you can find and it has already been proven that they light a fire of enthusiasm for mathematics."" -Charles Ashbacher, Journal of Recreational Mathematics , November 2002
""The effectiveness of this book derives in large part from the passion with which Gardner shares his mathematical enthusiasm and on the breadth of erudition of his discussions. This is another winner!"" -Edward J. Barbeau, Crux Mathematicorum , October 2001
""This collection differs from his previous collections in that the articles cover a much wider range than before."" -David Singmaster, LMS , January 2003
"". . . even well-known puzzles retain their power, as was made clear again and again last month at the seventh ""Gathering for Gardner."" These conferences of mathematicians, puzzlers, game-players and magicians at the Ritz-Carlton here began as personal tributes to Martin Gardner, Scientific American's legendary Mathematical Games columnist, and now take place without the master's presence (he is 91). During four days of talks and tricks, the oldest puzzles mixed freely with the newest."" -Edward Rothstein, The New York Times , April 2006
""There are many choice plums among this [collection], some containing a pointer to deeper ideas, some unsolved, and some plain fun, but all entertaining . . . I shall enjoy dipping into the book from time to time . . ."" -The Mathematical Gazette , March 2002
""This is a remarkable book. . . . It will surely produce a paradise for anyone who wants to enjoy teh pleasure of the creative work in his brain."" -EMS Newsletter , March 2003"

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Format: Hardcover
It is most certainly not an exaggeration to say that more people have learned more mathematics at the literary knee of Martin Gardner than from anyone else. His columns in Scientific American and subsequent collections in book form have been an inspirational and educational experience for millions. When he "retired" from writing the column, he was succeeded, not replaced.
Since his departure from the duties of writing regularly for Scientific American, he has kept busy writing occasional articles for many different publications. He also stays active in following advances in mathematics and how it is taught in the American society. This book is a collection of many of the mathematical articles as well as some of his comments regarding how mathematics is currently taught.
While reading the book, I was once again placed in awe of his ability to state the mathematical experience in clear terms. One point follows from another with little or no extraneous fluff. There are many writers of technical books who adopt the style of adding in cutesy dialog that supposedly makes it easier to understand. In keeping with his personality, Gardner simply explains it and is done. It is very refreshing to read material in this form.
The topics are generally recreational in nature, although some, particularly those about artificial intelligence (AI) are philosophical. He dismisses the success of the chess playing computers as an insignificant special case. This is true, but he misses what should be the real point of Deep Blue defeating Gary Kasparov. The fact that it took such a computational monstrosity that does only one thing and years of programming to defeat Kasparov shows us how efficient the human brain is and how difficult it is to mimic human intelligence.
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