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Martin Gardner (1914-2010)

If you were having a dinner party and could invite any three people, who would you invite?

My guest list would include Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, and Martin Gardner.  

If you know of Martin Gardner’s work, then you know why I would want him at my dinner party.

Vocational Printing. Math. class. Fall River, Massachusetts, Lewis W. Hine. (1916)

 He was a great thinker and could discuss with ease, humor and brilliance Lewis Carroll’s fondness for the number 42, how to identify a scientific crank, and the mathematical art of M.C. Escher.

 The reason for this post is that I read about the passing on May 22 of Martin Gardner, prolific author and creator of mathematical puzzles.  Being the Library’s recommending officer for math, I’ve become very familiar with Gardner’s body of work. Gardner had a knack of making math fun and real. Reading his work made me smile and feel so much smarter.

His popular Mathematical Games column in Scientific American (1956-1981) was interactive ; he wrote as if you and he were having a conversation. He made mathematical ideas, games, paradoxes, and puzzles understandable and entertaining.

 With book such as The universe in a handkerchief  and Are universes thicker than blackberries? how could you not be curious as to what is written inside? If you are interested in exploring more of Gardner’s work in the Library’s collections, see Gardner, Martin 1914-2010

 Because of Martin Gardner, I am not afraid of mathematics. In fact, I think math is cool!

3 Comments

  1. saraipadilla
    May 26, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    thanks for this , i like it so much

  2. David Kurtz
    May 26, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    This is just one of the reasons I subscribe to the LOC newsletter. I get to learn about fascinating Americans which would otherwise would go unrecognized by us in the general public. Thanks for the post!

  3. Diego Descart
    May 30, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    An interesting post, i´ve never known about this genius, so i hope that you will public more post like this.

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