Behind Deep Blue: Building the Computer that Defeated the World Chess Champion
by Feng-Hsiung Hsu
Sensibly, the subject matter has been tailored to a general readership Feng-hsiung Hsu, who masterminded Kasparov's match play defeat by a computer, tells his story. A nerdy book might be expected, delving into arcane topics (computer chip design, programming, chess), but instead we have something more like 'Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail.' No specialist knowledge is demanded. The author's adventures with phantom queens, etc. are fascinating. His will-to-win matched that of the legendary Kasparov." (Ken Whyld, Editor of the Oxford Companion to Chess)
"I don't play chess; never have. Most research, as Edison said, is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration--not exciting to watch. Thus, I did not have high hopes for Behind Deep Blue. Wrong! It's a page-turner! Even if you don't follow the technical details of chip design or chess, Hsu has captured the very human dimension exquisitely! It's a great story!" (William A. Wulf, President of the National Academy of Engineering, AT&T Professor of Computer Science, University of Virginia)
Colossal Book of Mathematics
by Martin Gardner
50 of Gardner's best Scientific American "mathematical games" columns arranged in 12 broad categories. These pieces cover subjects that will delight recreational math buffs pieces on Penrose tiles, hypercubes, Klein bottles and fractal music. This collection is filled with problems and expressions that require solving with pencil and paper appealing very much to "puzzle nuts". At 86, Martin Gardner's work remains a model of clear prose, understated wit, and intellectual honesty.
Math-a-Day: A Book of Days for your Mathematically Year
by Theoni Pappas
This is an entertaining book of mathematical days that exercises the brain with confounding puzzles, intriguing math problems, and, of course, detailed solutions to all the conundrums. Readers will enjoy 366 days' worth of stimulating math. Yes this book has some old chestnuts, but the majority of the problems are quite original and only difficult enough to be entertaining. It's also full of interesting historical facts, anecdotes, and quotes, all related to math of course.
Mathematical Quickies : 270 Stimulating Problems With Solutions
by Charles W. Trigg
Taken from the 'Quickies' column in Mathematics Magazine, these are excellent problems that will tax you if you approach them from the wrong direction. However, once stated, the solution is obvious, and often can be understood by someone with only an advanced high school mathematics background. These problems, or their logical variants, form a pool of problems from which you can find many to serve as either challenge problems or even slightly offbeat examination problems. Here is an example: Ten letters are placed in ten pre-addressed envelopes at random. What is the probability that exactly nine letters were placed in the proper envelope? The answer is zero, since if nine are placed in the correct envelope the tenth must have been as well.
The Mathematics of Oz: Mental Gymnastics from Beyond the Edge
by Clifford Pickover
Grab a pencil. Relax. Then take off on a mind-boggling journey to the ultimate frontier of math, mind, and meaning. The thought-provoking mysteries, puzzles, and problems range from zebra numbers and circular primes to Legion's number--a number so big that it makes a trillion pale in comparison. The strange mazes, bizarre consequences, and dizzying arrays of logic problems entertain readers at all levels of mathematical sophistication. The tests devised by enigmatic Dr. Oz to assess human intelligence will tease the brain of even the most avid puzzle fan.
They feature a host of mathematical topics: geometry and mazes, sequences, series, sets, arrangements, probability and misdirection, number theory, arithmetic, and even several problems dealing with the physical world. With numerous illustrations, this is an original, fun-filled, and unusual introduction to numbers and their role in creativity, computers, games, practical research, and absurd adventures that teeter on the edge of logic and insanity.
Midnight Math: 12 Terrific Math Games
by Peter Ledwon
Only slightly surreal, three mouse-like critters have a good time playing math games while the household sleeps. Each game is simple enough for basic arithmetic skills: addition, subtraction, and multiplication, and the games are mildly amusing. Great illustrations. There is an answer page, with further suggestions for math games.
Moral Calculations: Game Theory, Logic and Human Frailty
by Lazlo Mero
Hungarian mathematician Laszlo Mero introduces us to the basics of John von Neumann's game theory and shows how it illuminates such aspects of human psychology as altruism, competition, and politics. Mero covers such concepts as zero-sum games; Prisoner's Dilemma; the game of Chicken (played with cars in Rebel Without A Cause), where logic proves that the rational strategy is to be irrational; how to be kind to your lover through game theory; and when the Golden Rule works and when it leads to disaster. Mero shows how game theory is applicable to fields ranging from physics to evolutionary biology, and explores the role of rational thinking in the context of real-life situations ranging from doorway etiquette to the nuclear arms race. He also explains how moral dilemmas arise; how to act rationally and ethically when they do; and how the intersection of rationality and irrationality inevitably becomes what we call "wisdom." This fascinating, urbane book shows us how we can better understand ethical behavior.
Moscow Puzzles: 359 Mathematical Recreations
by Boris Kordemsky
We have carried this book for years. It has been a classic in the former Soviet Union since it was first published in 1956, and it remains just as entertaining today. A master at making math fun for his high school students, Boris Kordemsky loaded this clever collection with a wide variety of math and logic related games and puzzles dealing with magic squares, tricky weights and measures, properties of numbers, mathematical tricks, and more.
1000 Play Thinks: Puzzles, Paradoxes, Illusions & Game
by Ivan Moscovich, Tim Robinson, & Ian Stewart
Play Thinks is the first and only book where science, math, and art puzzles all come together. Broken down by chapter, Play Thinks challenges with 12 basic categories: Geometry; Points & Lines; Graphs & Networks; Curves & Circles; Shapes & Polygons; Patterns; Dissections; Numbers; Logic & Probability; Topology; Science; and Perception.
"The most wide-ranging, visually appealing, entertaining, gigantic collection of brainteasers since Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of puzzles almost a century ago." So says Will Shortz, Crossword editor of the New York Times and NPR's Puzzlemaster. He's Right! This book is the most compulsive, head-scratching, and (at 5.08 pounds) gargantuan puzzle book ever.
An obsessive collection of 1,000 challenges, puzzles, riddles, illusions-both original as well as must-do classics. Jam-packed on the page and illustrated throughout in full-color, with a visual for each entry, the book, opened anywhere, is like a call to action. And once started it's hard to stop, because at the end of every successfully completed game the puzzle-solver feels smart, successful, and at one with the beauty of mathematics.
Created by Ivan Moscovich, A special Bonus Round is included for die-hard puzzlers who, after all that, still haven't had enough. An easy-to-read key at the top of each game ranks its difficulty on a scale of 1 to 10. The lie-flat spiral binding makes the hefty book completely reader-friendly. So do the answers in the back. I would add one more comment: Every math teacher should have one. Then their math classes would achieve the level of interest they only dream about.
Slicing Pizzas, Racing Turtles, and Further Adventures of Applied Mathematics
by Robert B. Banks
How fast should you run in a rainstorm to best protect your shoes? As in his previous book, Towing Icebergs, Falling Dominoes (1998), Banks turns trivial questions into mind-expanding demonstrations of the magical powers of mathematics. Nor does he restrict himself to trivial questions: his shrewd analyses coax secrets out of such weighty topics as global population growth and the melting of the polar ice caps. Although a few teasers require calculus or spherical trigonometry, Banks can generally get us there with nothing more daunting than algebra and geometry--generously garnished with his unpredictable wit. Not a math textbook which teaches readers how to solve set types of problems, this collection of puzzles does something far more important: it teaches us how to delight in unexpected challenges to our numerical imagination. To fully appreciate these problem-solving skills, you need to be comfortable with advanced calculus or basic differential equations (probably at the halfway point of these courses). On the other hand, students who are taking these courses should read Banks' books just to see what they are really learning. Math really comes to alive through these pages.
Time Travel & Other Mathematical Bewilderments
by Martin Gardner
From coincidences that seem to violate the laws of time and space, to the perplexities of the rubber rope, to the centuries-old delights of tangram play, the puzzles, problems, and paradoxes presented in this book reveal just how enlightening and entertaining mathematical recreations can be.This is the 12th collection of brain teasers by Mr. Gardner, as published in the Scientific American.
Unexpected Hanging: And Other Mathematical Diversions
by Martin Gardner
Seasoned with Gardner's interest in the history and philosophy of science, this delightful book is a treasure-trove of puzzles, anecdotes, games, and logical theory. These intriguing problems, collected from Gardner's Scientific American columns, involve knots, interlocking rings, rotations and reflections, logical paradox, two-dimensional universes, chess strategies, and gambling odds. Gardner conjures problems that are both profound and silly; exquisite truths and outrageous absurdities.