Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mathematical games include many topics which are a part of recreational mathematics, but can also cover topics such as the mathematics of games, and playing games with mathematics. As far as two-player games are considered, what distinguishes a mathematical game from ordinary games is the emphasis on mathematical analysis of the game, rather than actually playing it.
Mathematical Games was the title of a long-running column on the subject by Martin Gardner in Scientific American. He inspired several new generations of mathematicians and scientists through his interest in mathematical recreations. Mathematical Games was succeeded by Metamagical Themas, a similarly distinguished but shorter-running column by Douglas Hofstadter.
Mathematics of games
This can be a more serious subject than the name belies. It can include the statistical analysis of Card games to understand and improve play techniques.
- Game theory has wide social and military applications for tactical and strategic planning.
- Conway's combinatorial game theory and surreal numbers
Playing games with mathematics
The foremost popularizers of recreational mathematics in recent years have been
Other figures in recreational mathematics history have included:
Specific mathematical games and puzzles
- 15 Puzzle
- Dots and boxes
- Eight queens puzzle
- Four fours
- Knight's Tour
- L game
- Monty Hall problem
- Penrose dominoes
- Philosopher's football
- Prisoner's dilemma
- Rubik's Cube
- Soma cube
- Squaring the square
- Su Doku
- Three cottage problem
- Tower of Hanoi
- Verbal arithmetic
- Wire-and-string puzzles (knot theory, topology)
Some sort of mathematics can be found in nearly all types of games.
Other games and pastimes of non-trivial mathematical interest:
External links and references
- Journal of Recreational Mathematics
- http://www.mathpuzzle.com/ by Ed Pegg, Jr.
- The Unreasonable Utility of Recreational Mathematics by David Singmaster
- Profile of John Conway
- Bibliography: http://bruichladdich.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/mathrecsFolder/books.html
- Mathematical Games from Madras College, St Andrews
- Malba Tahan: The Man Who Counted
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