Martin Gardner (October 21, 1914 – May 22, 2010) was an
American popular mathematics and popular science writer, with
interests also encompassing scientific skepticism, micromagic,
philosophy, religion, and literature—especially the writings of
Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, and G. K. Chesterton. He was
considered a leading authority on Lewis Carroll. The Annotated Alice,
which incorporated the text of Carroll's two Alice books, was his most
successful work and sold over a million copies. He had a lifelong
interest in magic and illusion and was regarded as one of the most
important magicians of the twentieth century. He was considered the
dean of American puzzlers. He was a prolific and versatile author,
publishing more than 100 books.
Gardner was best known for creating and sustaining interest in
recreational mathematics—and by extension, mathematics in
general—throughout the latter half of the 20th century, principally
through his "Mathematical Games" columns, which appeared for
twenty-five years in Scientific American, and his subsequent books
Gardner was one of the foremost anti-pseudoscience polemicists of the
20th century. His book Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science,
published in 1957, became a classic and seminal work of the
skeptical movement. In 1976 he joined with fellow skeptics to
found CSICOP, an organization promoting scientific inquiry and the use
of reason in examining extraordinary claims.
1.1 Youth and education
1.2 Early career
1.3 Retirement and death
3 Mathematical Games column
4 Pseudoscience and skepticism
6 Theism and religion
7 Annotated works
8 Novels and short stories
10 Word play
11 Pen names
Philosophy of mathematics
13 Other views
14 Gathering 4 Gardner
17 External links
Gardner as a high school senior, 1932.
Youth and education
Gardner, son of a petroleum geologist, grew up in and around Tulsa,
Oklahoma. His lifelong interest in puzzles started in his boyhood when
his father gave him a copy of Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of 5000 Puzzles,
Tricks and Conundrums. He attended the University of Chicago,
where he earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1936. Early
jobs included reporter on the Tulsa Tribune, writer at the University
of Chicago Office of Press Relations, and case worker in Chicago's
Black Belt for the city's Relief Administration. During World War II,
he served for four years in the U.S. Navy as a yeoman on board the
destroyer escort USS Pope in the Atlantic. His ship was still in the
Atlantic when the war came to an end with the surrender of Japan in
After the war, Gardner returned to the University of Chicago. He
attended graduate school for a year there, but he did not earn an
In 1950 he wrote an article in the
Antioch Review entitled "The Hermit
Scientist". It was one of Gardner's earliest articles about junk
science, and in 1952 a much-expanded version became his first
published book: In the Name of Science: An Entertaining Survey of the
High Priests and Cultists of Science, Past and Present.
In the late 1940s, Gardner moved to
New York City
New York City and became a writer
and editor at
Humpty Dumpty magazine where for eight years he wrote
features and stories for it and several other children's
magazines. His paper-folding puzzles at that magazine led to his
first work at Scientific American. For many decades, Gardner, his
wife Charlotte, and their two sons, Jim and Tom, lived in
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, where he earned his living as a
free-lance author, publishing books with several different publishers,
and also publishing hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles.
Appropriately enough—given his interest in logic and
mathematics—they lived on
Euclid Avenue. The year 1960 saw the
original edition of his best-selling book ever, The Annotated
Retirement and death
In 1979, Gardner retired from
Scientific American and he and his wife
Charlotte moved to Hendersonville, North Carolina. Gardner never
really retired as an author, but continued to write math articles,
sending them to The Mathematical Intelligencer, Math Horizons, The
College Mathematics Journal, and Scientific American. He also revised
some of his older books such as Origami, Eleusis, and the Soma
Cube. Charlotte died in 2000 and two years later Gardner returned
to Norman, Oklahoma, where his son, James Gardner, was a professor of
education at the University of Oklahoma. He died there on May 22,
2010. An autobiography — Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography
Martin Gardner — was published posthumously.
The main-belt asteroid 2587 Gardner discovered by Edward L. G. Bowell
Anderson Mesa Station
Anderson Mesa Station in 1980 is named after Martin Gardner.
There are eight bricks honoring Gardner in the Paul R. Halmos
Commemorative Walk, installed by The Mathematical Association of
America at their Conference Center in Washington, D.C.
His depth and clarity will illuminate our world for a long time.
Martin Gardner had a major impact on mathematics in the second half of
the 20th century. His column was called "Mathematical Games"
but it was much more than that. His writing introduced
many readers to real mathematics for the first time in their
lives. The column lasted for 25 years and was read avidly by the
generation of mathematicians and physicists who grew up in the years
1956 to 1981. It was the original inspiration for many of them
to become mathematicians or scientists themselves.
David Auerbach wrote, "A case can be made, in purely practical terms,
Martin Gardner as one of the most influential writers of the 20th
century. His popularizations of science and mathematical games in
Scientific American, over the 25 years he wrote for them, might have
helped create more young mathematicians and computer scientists than
any other single factor prior to the advent of the personal
computer." Among the wide array of mathematicians, physicists,
computer scientists, philosophers, magicians, artists, writers, and
other influential thinkers who inspired and were in turn inspired by
Gardner are John Horton Conway, Bill Gosper, Ron Rivest, Richard K.
Guy, Piet Hein, Ronald Graham, Donald Knuth, Robert Nozick, Lee
Sallows, Scott Kim, M. C. Escher, Douglas Hofstadter, Roger Penrose,
Ian Stewart, David A. Klarner, Benoit Mandelbrot, Elwyn R. Berlekamp,
Solomon W. Golomb, Raymond Smullyan, James Randi, Persi Diaconis, Penn
& Teller, and Ray Hyman.
His admirers included such diverse people as W. H. Auden, Arthur C.
Clarke, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Richard Dawkins, and Stephen Jay
Salvador Dali once sought him out to discuss
M. C. Escher
M. C. Escher wrote to Gardner in 1961
The Annotated Alice and this led to Gardner introducing
the previously unknown Escher's art to the world. His writing was
both broad and deep.
Noam Chomsky once wrote, "Martin
Gardner's contribution to contemporary intellectual culture is
unique—in its range, its insight, and understanding of hard
questions that matter." Gardner repeatedly alerted the public (and
other mathematicians) to recent discoveries in
mathematics–recreational and otherwise. In addition to
introducing many first-rate puzzles and topics such as Penrose
tiles and Conway's Game of Life, he was equally adept at writing
captivating columns about traditional mathematical topics such as knot
theory, Fibonacci numbers, Pascal's triangle, the Möbius strip,
transfinite numbers, four-dimensional space, Zeno's paradoxes,
Fermat's last theorem, and the four-color problem.
Martin Gardner set a new high standard for writing about
mathematics. In a 2004 interview he said, "I go up
to calculus, and beyond that I don’t understand any of the papers
that are being written. I consider that that was an advantage for the
type of column I was doing because I had to understand what I was
writing about, and that enabled me to write in such a way that an
average reader could understand what I was saying. If you are writing
popularly about math, I think it’s good not to know too much
math." And he was fearsomely bright. John Horton Conway
called him "the most learned man I have ever met." Colm Mulcahy
said, "Gardner was without doubt the best friend mathematics ever
had." Many people would agree with him.
Mathematical Games column
Further information: List of
Martin Gardner Mathematical Games columns
I just play all the time and am fortunate enough to get paid for it.
– Martin Gardner, 1998
For over a quarter century Gardner wrote a monthly column on the
subject of recreational mathematics for Scientific American. It all
began with his free-standing article on hexaflexagons which ran in the
December 1956 issue. Flexagons became a bit of a fad and soon
people all over
New York City
New York City were making them. Gerry Piel, the SA
publisher at the time, asked Gardner, "Is there enough similar
material to this to make a regular feature?" Gardner said he thought
so. The January 1957 issue contained his first column, entitled
"Mathematical Games". Almost 300 more columns were to follow.
The "Mathematical Games" column became the most popular feature of the
magazine and was the first thing that many readers turned to. In
Scientific American acknowledged the prestige and
popularity of Gardner's column by moving it from the back to the very
front of the magazine. It ran from 1956 to 1981 with sporadic
columns afterwards and was the first introduction of many subjects to
a wider audience, notably:
Flexagons (Dec 1956)
The Game of Hex (Jul 1957)
Soma cube (Sep 1958)
Squaring the square
Squaring the square (Nov 1958)
Three Prisoners problem (Oct 1959)
Polyominoes (Nov 1960)
The Paradox of the unexpected hanging (Mar 1963)
Rep-tiles (May 1963)
Superellipse (Sep 1965)
Pentominoes (Oct 1965)
The mathematical art of
M. C. Escher
M. C. Escher (Apr 1966)
Fractals and the Koch snowflake curve (Mar 1967)
Conway's Game of Life
Conway's Game of Life (Oct 1970)
Nontransitive dice (Dec 1970)
Newcomb's paradox (Jul 1973)
Tangrams (Aug 1974)
Penrose tilings (Jan 1977)
Public-key cryptography (Aug 1977)
Godel, Escher, Bach (Jul 1979)
Monster group (Jun 1980)
Ironically, Gardner had problems learning calculus and never took a
mathematics course after high school. While editing Humpty Dumpty's
Magazine he constructed many paper folding puzzles, and this led to
his interest in the flexagons invented by British mathematician Arthur
H Stone. The subsequent article he wrote on hexaflexagons led directly
to the column.
In the 1980s the "Mathematical Games" column began to appear only
irregularly. Other authors began to share the column, and the June
1986 issue saw the final installment under that title. In 1981, on
Gardner's retirement from Scientific American, the column was replaced
by Douglas Hofstadter's "Metamagical Themas", a name that is an
anagram of "Mathematical Games".
Virtually all of the games columns were collected in book form
starting in 1959 with The
Scientific American Book of Mathematical
Puzzles & Diversions. Over the next four decades fourteen more
Donald Knuth called them the canonical books.
Pseudoscience and skepticism
Martin Gardner is the single brightest beacon defending rationality
and good science against the mysticism and anti-intellectualism that
– Stephen Jay Gould
Gardner was an uncompromising critic of fringe science. His book Fads
and Fallacies in the Name of Science (1952, revised 1957) explored and
debunked myriad dubious movements and theories including
Fletcherism, food faddism,
Dowsing Rods, Charles Fort, Rudolf Steiner,
Bates method for improving eyesight, Einstein deniers,
the Flat Earth theory, the lost continents of
Atlantis and Lemuria,
Immanuel Velikovsky’s worlds in collision, the reincarnation of
Bridey Murphy, Wilhelm Reich's orgone theory, the spontaneous
generation of life, extra-sensory perception and psychokinesis,
homeopathy, phrenology, palmistry, graphology, and numerology. This
book and his subsequent efforts (Science: Good, Bad and Bogus, 1981;
Order and Surprise, 1983, Gardner's Whys & Wherefores, 1989, etc.)
earned him a wealth of detractors and antagonists in the fields of
fringe science and
New Age philosophy, with many of whom he kept up
running dialogues (both public and private) for decades.
In 1976 Gardner joined with fellow skeptics philosopher Paul Kurtz,
psychologist Ray Hyman, sociologist Marcello Truzzi, and stage
James Randi to found the Committee for the Scientific
Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). Luminaries such as
astronomer Carl Sagan, author and biochemist Isaac Asimov,
psychologist B. F. Skinner, and journalist
Philip J. Klass
Philip J. Klass later
became fellows of CSICOP. From 1983 to 2002 he wrote a monthly column
called "Notes of a Fringe Watcher" (originally "Notes of a
Skeptical Inquirer, that organization's monthly
magazine. These columns have been collected in five books starting
with The New Age: Notes of a Fringe Watcher in 1988.
Gardner was a relentless critic of self-proclaimed Israeli psychic Uri
Geller and wrote two satirical booklets about him in the 1970s using
the pen name "Uriah Fuller" in which he explained how such purported
psychics do their seemingly impossible feats such as mentally bending
spoons and reading minds.
Martin Gardner continued to criticize junk science throughout his
life–and he was fearless. His targets included not just safe
subjects like astrology and UFO sightings, but topics such as
chiropractic, vegetarianism, Madame Blavatsky, creationism,
Scientology, the Laffer curve, Christian Science, and even the
Great Books Movement. The last thing he wrote in
the spring of 2010 (a month before his death) was an article
excoriating the 'dubious medical opinions and bogus science' of Oprah
Winfrey—particularly her support for the thoroughly discredited
theory that vaccinations cause autism; it went on to bemoan the
'needless deaths of children' that such notions are likely to
Skeptical Inquirer named him one of the Ten Outstanding Skeptics of
the Twentieth Century. In 2010 he was posthumously honored with an
award recognizing his contributions in the skeptical field from the
Independent Investigations Group. In 1982 the Committee for
Skeptical Inquiry (CSICOP) awarded Gardner their highest award, In
Praise of Reason Award for his "heroic efforts in defense of reason
and the dignity of the skeptical attitude".
At a meeting of the executive council of the Committee for Skeptical
Inquiry in Denver,
Colorado in April 2011, Gardner was selected for
inclusion in CSI's Pantheon of Skeptics. The Pantheon of Skeptics was
created by CSI to remember the legacy of deceased fellows of CSI and
their contributions to the cause of scientific skepticism.
Card magic, and magic in general, owe a far greater debt to Martin
Gardner than most conjurors realize.
Martin Gardner's father once showed him a magic trick when he was a
little boy. Young Martin was fascinated to see physical laws
seemingly violated and this led to a lifelong passion for magic and
illusion. He wrote for a magic magazine in high school and worked in a
department store demonstrating magic tricks while he was at the
University of Chicago. The very first thing that Martin Gardner
ever published (at the age of fifteen) was a magic trick in The
Sphinx, the official magazine of the Society of American
Magicians. He focused mainly on micromagic (table or close-up
magic) and, from the 1930s on, published a significant number of
original contributions to this secretive field. Magician Joe M. Turner
said, The Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic, which Gardner wrote in
1985, "is guaranteed to show up in any poll of magicians' favorite
magic books." His first magic book for the general public,
Mathematics, Magic and Mystery (Dover, 1956), is still considered a
classic in the field. He was well known for his innovative tapping
and spelling effects, with and without playing cards, and was most
proud of the effect he called the "Wink Change".
Many of Gardner's lifelong friends were magicians. These included
William Simon who introduced Gardner to Charlotte Greenwald, whom he
married in 1952, fellow
CSICOP founder and pseudoscience fighter James
Randi, Dai Vernon, Jerry Andrus, statistician Persi Diaconis, and
polymath Raymond Smullyan. Diaconis and Smullyan like Gardner
straddled the two worlds of mathematics and magic. Mathematics and
magic were frequently intertwined in Gardner's work. One of his
earliest books, Mathematics, Magic and Mystery (1956), was about
mathematically based magic tricks. Mathematical magic tricks were
often featured in his "Mathematical Games" column–for example, his
August 1962 column was titled "A variety of diverting tricks collected
at a fictitious convention of magicians." From 1998 to 2002 he wrote a
monthly column on magic tricks called "Trick of the Month" in The
Physics Teacher, a journal published by the American Association of
In 1999 Magic magazine named Gardner one of the "100 Most Influential
Magicians of the Twentieth Century". In 2005 he received a
'Lifetime Achievement Fellowship' from the Academy of Magical
Arts. The last thing to be published during his lifetime (he had a
lot of other stuff in the pipeline) was a magic trick in the May 2010
issue of Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics.
Theism and religion
Gardner believed in a personal God, in an afterlife, and in prayer,
but rejected established religion. He considered himself a
philosophical theist and a fideist. He had an abiding fascination
with religious belief but was critical of organized religion. In his
autobiography, he stated: "When many of my fans discovered that I
believed in God and even hoped for an afterlife, they were shocked and
dismayed... I do not mean the God of the Bible, especially the God of
the Old Testament, or any other book that claims to be divinely
inspired. For me God is a "Wholly Other" transcendent intelligence,
impossible for us to understand. He or she is somehow responsible for
our universe and capable of providing, how I have no inkling, an
I am a philosophical theist. I believe in a personal God, and I
believe in an afterlife, and I believe in prayer, but I don’t
believe in any established religion. This is called philosophical
Philosophical theism is entirely emotional. As Kant said,
he destroyed pure reason to make room for faith.
– Martin Gardner, 2008
Gardner described his own belief as philosophical theism inspired by
the works of philosopher Miguel de Unamuno. While eschewing systematic
religious doctrine, he retained a belief in God, asserting that this
belief cannot be confirmed or disconfirmed by reason or science.
At the same time, he was skeptical of claims that any god has
communicated with human beings through spoken or telepathic revelation
or through miracles in the natural world. Gardner has been quoted
as saying that he regarded parapsychology and other research into the
paranormal as tantamount to "tempting God" and seeking "signs and
wonders". He stated that while he would expect tests on the efficacy
of prayers to be negative, he would not rule out a priori the
possibility that as yet unknown paranormal forces may allow prayers to
influence the physical world.
Gardner wrote repeatedly about what public figures such as Robert
Maynard Hutchins, Mortimer Adler, and
William F. Buckley, Jr.
William F. Buckley, Jr. believed
and whether their beliefs were logically consistent. In some cases, he
attacked prominent religious figures such as
Mary Baker Eddy
Mary Baker Eddy on the
grounds that their claims are unsupportable. His semi-autobiographical
novel The Flight of Peter Fromm depicts a traditionally Protestant
Christian man struggling with his faith, examining 20th century
scholarship and intellectual movements and ultimately rejecting
Christianity while remaining a theist.
Gardner said that he suspected that the fundamental nature of human
consciousness may not be knowable or discoverable, unless perhaps a
physics more profound than ("underlying") quantum mechanics is some
day developed. In this regard, he said, he was an adherent of the "New
Gardner was considered a leading authority on Lewis Carroll. His
annotated version of
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the
Looking Glass, explaining the many mathematical riddles, wordplay, and
literary references found in the Alice books, was first published as
The Annotated Alice (Clarkson Potter, 1960). Sequels were published
with new annotations as More Annotated Alice (Random House, 1990), and
finally as The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition (Norton, 1999),
combining notes from the earlier editions and new material. The
original book arose when Gardner found the Alice books "sort of
frightening" when he was young, but found them fascinating as an
adult. He felt that someone ought to annotate them, and suggested
to a publisher that
Bertrand Russell be asked; when the publisher was
unable to get past Russell's secretary, Gardner was asked to take on
the project himself.
In addition to the "Alice" books, Gardner produced annotated editions
of G. K. Chesterton’s The Innocence Of
Father Brown and The Man Who
Was Thursday, as well as of celebrated poems including The Rime of the
Ancient Mariner, Casey at the Bat, The Night Before Christmas, and The
Hunting of the Snark; the last was also written by Lewis Carroll.
Novels and short stories
Gardner wrote two novels. He was a perennial fan of the Oz books
written by L. Frank Baum, and in 1988 he published Visitors from
Oz, based on the characters in Baum's various Oz books. Gardner was a
founding member of the International Wizard of Oz Club, and winner of
L. Frank Baum
L. Frank Baum Memorial Award. His other novel was The Flight
of Peter Fromm (1973), which reflected his lifelong fascination with
religious belief and the problem of faith.
His short stories were collected in The No-Sided Professor and Other
Tales of Fantasy, Humor, Mystery, and
At the age of 95 Gardner wrote Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The
Autobiography of Martin Gardner. He was living in a one-room apartment
Norman, Oklahoma and, as was his custom, wrote it on a typewriter
and edited it using scissors and rubber cement. He took the title
from a grook by his good friend Piet Hein, a grook which
perfectly expresses Gardner's abiding sense of mystery and wonder
We glibly talk
of nature's laws
but do things have
a natural cause?
Black earth turned into
Gardner's interest in wordplay led him to conceive of a magazine on
recreational linguistics. In 1967 he pitched the idea to Greenwood
Periodicals and nominated
Dmitri Borgmann as editor. The
resulting journal, Word Ways, carried many articles from Gardner; as
of 2013[update] it was still publishing his submissions posthumously.
He also wrote a "Puzzle Tale" column for Asimov's Science Fiction
magazine from 1977 to 1986. Gardner was a member of the all-male
literary banqueting club, the Trap Door Spiders, which served as the
basis of Isaac Asimov's fictional group of mystery solvers, the Black
Gardner often used pen names. In 1952, while working for the
children's magazine Humpty Dumpty, he contributed stories written by
Humpty Dumpty Jnr". For several years starting in 1953 he was a
managing editor of Polly Pigtails, a magazine for young girls, and
also wrote under that name. His Annotated
Casey at the Bat
Casey at the Bat (1967)
included a parody of the poem, attributed to "Nitram Rendrag" (his
name spelled backwards). Using the pen name "Uriah Fuller", he wrote
two books attacking the alleged psychic Uri Geller. In later years,
Gardner often wrote parodies of his favorite poems under the name
"Armand T. Ringer", an anagram of his name. In 1983 one George
Groth panned Gardner's book The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener in
the New York Review of Books. Only in the last line of the review was
it revealed that George Groth was
Martin Gardner himself.
In his January 1960 Mathematical Games column, Gardner introduced the
fictitious "Dr. Matrix" and wrote about him often over the next two
Dr. Matrix was not exactly a pen name, although Gardner did
pretend that everything in these columns came from the fertile mind of
the good doctor. Then in 1979
Dr. Matrix himself published an article
in the quite respectable Two-Year College Mathematics Journal. It
was called Martin Gardner: Defending the Honor of the Human Mind and
contained a biography of Gardner and a history of his Mathematical
Philosophy of mathematics
Gardner was known for his sometimes controversial philosophy of
mathematics. He wrote negative reviews of The Mathematical
Philip J. Davis and
Reuben Hersh and What Is
Mathematics, Really? by Hersh, both of which were critical of aspects
of mathematical Platonism, and the first of which was well received by
the mathematical community. While Gardner was often perceived as a
hard-core Platonist, his reviews demonstrated some formalist
tendencies. Gardner maintained that his views are widespread among
mathematicians, but Hersh has countered that in his experience as a
professional mathematician and speaker, this is not the case.
Over the years Gardner held forth on many contemporary issues, arguing
for his points of view in a wide range of fields, from general
semantics to fuzzy logic to watching TV (he once wrote a negative
review of Jerry Mander's book Four Arguments for the Elimination of
Television). His philosophical views are described and defended
in his book The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener (1983, revised
Gathering 4 Gardner
Further information: Gathering 4 Gardner
Martin Gardner continued to write up until his death in 2010, and his
community of fans grew to span several generations. Moreover, his
influence was so broad that many of his fans had little or no contact
with each other. In 1993 this led Atlanta entrepreneur and puzzle
collector Tom Rodgers to the idea of hosting a weekend gathering
celebrating Gardner's contributions to recreational mathematics,
rationality, magic, puzzles, literature, and philosophy. Although
Gardner was famously shy, and would usually decline an honor if it
required him to make a personal appearance, Rogers persuaded him to
attend. It was called "Gathering 4 Gardner". A second such
get-together was held in 1996, again with Gardner in attendance, and
this led Rodgers and his friends to make the gathering a regular
event. Participants range from long-time Gardner friends such as
Conway, Elwyn Berlekamp, Ronald Graham, Donald Coxeter, and Richard
Guy, to newcomers like mathematical artist
Erik Demaine and
mathematical video maker Vi Hart. The program consists of any
topic which Gardner had ever written about. The event's name is
frequently abbreviated to G4Gn with n being replaced by the number of
the event. Thus the first gathering in 1993 was G4G1 and the 1996
event was G4G2. Since then it has been in even-numbered years, usually
in the Atlanta area. Thus the 2016 event was G4G12.
^ a b c d e f Jackson (2004)
^ "MAA Writing Awards Presented" (PDF). Notices of the AMS. 47 (10):
1282. Nov 2000.
^ Gardner, Martin (Jan 1999). "The Asymmetric Propeller" (PDF). The
College Mathematics Journal. 30 (1): 18–22.
^ a b Martin (2010)
^ Singmaster, D. (2010) "Obituary:
Martin Gardner (1914–2010)"
Nature 465(7300), 884.
^ Buffalo Public Library: The annotated Alice : Alice's
adventures in wonderland & through the looking-glass: "Martin
Gardner's groundbreaking work went on to sell over a million copies,
establishing the modest math genius as one of our foremost Carroll
^ a b Top 10
Martin Gardner Books, by Colm Mulcahy, Huffington Post
Books, October 28, 2014
^ Costello (1988): p.114.
^ Maugh, Thomas H., II (26 May 2010). "
Martin Gardner dies at 95;
prolific mathematics columnist for
Scientific American – Los Angeles
Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
^ Martin (2010): "His mathematical writings intrigued a generation of
^ Bellos (2010): "He became a kind of father figure to a generation of
young mathematicians, who corresponded with him. Such was Gardner's
influence between the late 1950s and 1980s that it would be hard to
find a professional mathematician from those years who does not cite
him as an inspiration."
^ "Martin Gardner—Mathematician".
Martin Gardner Home Site.
Gathering 4 Gardner. 2014. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
^ Originally published in 1952 as In the Name of Science: An
Entertaining Survey of the High Priests and Cultists of Science, Past
^ Shermer, Michael (2001). The Borderlands of Science: Where Sense
Meets Nonsense. Oxford University Press. p. 50. Retrieved May 20,
Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science [is] still in
print and arguably the skeptic classic of the past half-century."
^ "About CSI - CSI". Committee for
Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved
^ MacTutor History of Mathematics archive: Martin Gardner
^ a b "Martin Gardner: Founder of the Modern Skeptical
Movement » Wednesday, May 26th, 2010". Skeptic. Retrieved
^ Gardner, Martin, "The Hermit Scientist", Antioch Review, Winter
1950–1951, pp. 447–457.
^ Yam, Philip (December 1995). "Profile: Martin Gardner, the
Mathematical Gamester". Scientific American. Retrieved May 22,
^ Gardner, Martin; Berlekamp, Elwyn R.; Rodgers, Tom (1999). The
mathemagician and pied puzzler: a collection in tribute to Martin
Gardner. A K Peters, Ltd. ISBN 978-1-56881-075-1.
^ a b c d Gardner, Martin (2013)
^ Burstein (2011)
^ a b c d Richards (2014)
^ JPL Small-Body Database Browser 2587 Gardner (1980 OH)
^ Brick Installation Honors
Martin Gardner MAA New release
^ Princeton University Press: Reviews of Undiluted Hocus-Pocus
^ Princeton University Press: Reviews of Undiluted Hocus-Pocus:
Martin Gardner occupies a special place in twentieth-century
mathematics. More than any other single individual, he inspired a
generation of young people to study math."–Barry Cipra
^ Bellos (2010): He was not a mathematician – he never even took a
maths class after high school—yet Martin Gardner, who has died aged
95, was arguably the most influential and inspirational figure in
mathematics in the second half of the last century.
^ Hofstadter (2010): The word games, with its lightweight flavor, did
not even hint at the depth of the issues that the column dealt with.
^ Richards (2014): Gardner’s columns seeded scores of new
findings—far too many to list.
^ Berlekamp (1982): Elwyn R. Berlekamp, John H. Conway, and Richard K.
Guy dedicated their book Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays,
saying "To Martin Gardner, who has brought more mathematics to more
millions than anyone else."
^ Hofstadter (2010): Many of today's most influential mathematicians
and physicists, magicians and philosophers, writers and computer
scientists, owe their direction to Martin Gardner. They may not even
be aware of how big a role he played in their development.
^ Mulcahy (Jan 2014): It’s been said that he had a million readers
there at his peak.
^ Malkevitch (2014): Martin Gardner's columns and books have been
referenced by huge numbers of research papers that involve
^ Antonick (2014):
Martin Gardner was well known for inspiring
generations of students to become professional mathematicians.
^ Antonick (2014): "Martin Gardner’s column in Scientific American
was one of the two things that, above all others, convinced me I
wanted to be a mathematician."–Ian Stewart
^ Demaine (2008) p. ix: Many of today's mathematicians entered this
field through Gardner's influence.
^ Martin Gardner—Mathematician (official website): "Gardner will go
down in history as one of the most significant mathematicians of all
time."–Michael Aschbacher, editor of The Journal of Recreational
^ a b c Auerbach (2013)
^ Knuth (2011): Already when he began his monthly series in 1956 and
1957, he was corresponding with the likes of Claude Shannon, John
Nash, John Milnor, and David Gale. Later he would receive mail from
budding mathematicians John Conway, Persi Diaconis, Jeffrey Shallit,
Ron Rivest, et al.
^ Mulcahy (Oct 2014)
^ a b c Hofstadter (2010)
^ a b Teller (2014)
^ a b c d Mulcahy (2013)
^ a b Brown (2010)
^ a b
The Economist (2010)
^ Mulcahy (Jan 2014): The surrealist artist was intrigued by
Martin’s writings on the 4-dimensional cube, or tesseract—-which
had been a prominent feature of his own 1954 painting Crucifixion
^ Mulcahy (Jan 2014)
^ Mulcahy (Oct 2014): It went a lot further than puzzles—there was
substance, depth and a fair share of mystery and wonder in the topics
he wrote about.
^ Mulcahy (Oct 2014):
Penrose tiles are a good example of just how
'nontrivial' the consequences of his puzzle column could be. The
materials scientist Dan Shechtman actually won a Nobel Prize in
chemistry in 2011 'for the discovery of
quasicrystals'—three-dimensional Penrose tiles—in some
^ Hofstadter (2010): His approach and his ways of combining ideas are
truly unique and truly creative, and, if I dare say so, what Martin
Gardner has done is of far greater originality than work that has won
many people Nobel Prizes.
^ Malkevitch (2014): The range of wonderful problems, examples, and
theorems that Gardner treated over the years is enormous. They include
ideas from geometry, algebra, number theory, graph theory, topology,
and knot theory, to name but a few.
^ Bellos, Alex (2010): I discovered how good [the columns] really
were, covering everything from public-key cryptography to superstring
theory. He was the first to cover so many breakthroughs.
^ Kullman (1997): "Martin Gardner, in his "Mathematical Games" column
Scientific American presented "for the first time" a description of
the Penrose tiles, including many of Conway's results concerning
^ Jackson (2004): His crystalline prose, always enlightening, never
pedantic, set a new standard for high quality mathematical
^ Lister (1995): Martin Gardner's supreme achievement was his ability
to communicate difficult and often profound subjects with a few deft,
but human strokes of his pen.
^ Mirsky (2010): "His writing has been valued by generations of
professional mathematicians."–Ian Stewart
^ Teller (2014): "Gardner writes with authority and ease. You trust
him to take you wherever he feels like going."
^ Hofstadter (2010): Martin had a magical touch in writing about math.
^ Princeton University Press: Reviews of Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: James
Randi called him "a huge intellect."
^ Martin (2010): "
Martin Gardner is one of the great intellects
produced in this country in the 20th century."–Douglas Hofstadter
^ Malkevitch (2014): One of the greatest expositors of mathematics,
for me perhaps the greatest, was Martin Gardner. Perhaps no one has
done more to make the world aware of mathematics than Martin Gardner
The Economist (2010): His gift, or rather one of them, was to
explain mathematical concepts in ways that made sense to
non-mathematicians. Many of them not only understood what he wrote but
also became infected with his love of maths, of its beauty and of its
capacity to give satisfaction.
^ Jackson (2004): He opened the eyes of the general public to the
beauty and fascination of mathematics and inspired many to go on to
make the subject their life’s work.
^ Knuth (2011): Indeed, more people have probably learned more good
mathematical ideas from
Martin Gardner than from any other person in
the history of the world.
^ Hofstadter (2010): There were thousands of such people spread all
around the world—mathematicians, physicists, philosophers, computer
scientists, and on and on—who thought of Martin Gardner's column not
as merely a feature of that great magazine Scientific American, but as
its very heart and soul.
^ Demaine (2008): p. 24
^ Institute for Research in Computer Science: University
Paris-Diderot: Hex & Rex & T-Rex & C-Hex Piet Hein
discovered HEX in 1942, but it was only when
Martin Gardner wrote
about HEX in
Scientific American in 1957 that it became widely known.
^ Adamatzky, A. (Ed.) (2010). Game of Life Cellular Automata ebook,
ISBN 1849962170. pp. 15-16, Conway came to New York to meet with
Gardner [and] could not believe the amount of interest Gardner’s
columns on the game of Life had generated.
^ Martin Gardner: Mathematical Games Collections by David Langford
^ The New
Martin Gardner Mathematical Library Cambridge University
^ The Canon: The fifteen "Mathematical Games" books at
^ Regis, Ed (June 4, 2000). "There's One Born Every Minute (author)".
New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2016. Nobody who read it will
soon forget its stellar roll call of mid-20th-century cranks and
^ "CSI Articles by Martin Gardner". Csicop.org. Retrieved
^ Prometheus Books The New Age: Notes of a Fringe-Watcher by Martin
^ "Linkapedia Visualarts Discover more about Uriah Fuller".
^ Oprah Winfrey: Bright (but Gullible) Billionaire
Skeptical Inquirer Magazine Names the Ten Outstanding Skeptics of
^ "About the IIG Awards". Iigwest.com. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
CSICOP Council in Atlanta: Police Psychics, Local Groups". The
Skeptical Inquirer. 7 (3): 13. 1983.
^ "The Pantheon of Skeptics". CSI. Committee for
Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 30 April
^ Martin Gardner's Magic Influence at martin-gardner.org
^ Costello (1988) p. 115: His father had taught him his first trick,
the "Knife and Paper" trick, a bit of legerdemain involving a butter
knife with bits of paper on it.
^ a b Bellos (2010)
^ a b c
Gathering 4 Gardner
Gathering 4 Gardner (2014)
^ Demaine (2008) p. 12
^ Reviews of Martin Gardner's Impromptu The
^ Demaine (2008): pp. 4-5
^ a b Lister (1995)
^ from Dover Publications: Mathematics, Magic and Mystery "As a rule,
we simply accept these tricks and 'magic' without recognizing that
they are really demonstrations of strict laws based on probability,
sets, number theory, topology, and other branches of mathematics."
^ The Dover Math and Science Newsletter May 16, 2011
^ "Hall of Fame". The Academy of Magical Arts.
^ a b Carpenter, Alexander (2008), "
Martin Gardner on Philosophical
Theism, Adventists and Price" Interview, 17 October 2008, Spectrum.
^ Gardner (2013) p. 191
^ a b Groth (1983)
^ French, Chris (2010-05-25). "Martin Gardner: 1914-2010". The
Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
^ The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener by Martin Gardner, Quill,
1983, pp. 238–239
^ Frazier, Kendrick. "A Mind at Play: An Interview with Martin
Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
^ Jan Susina. Conversation with Martin Gardner: Annotator of
Wonderland. The Five Owls. Jan./Feb. 2000. 62–64.
^ Alice Still Lives Here by Michael Sims, Nashville Scene, July 06,
^ MacTutor History of Mathematics archive: Martin Gardner: My mother
read The Wizard of Oz to me when I was a little boy, and I looked over
her shoulder as she read it. I learned how to read that way.
^ Brown (2010): Faith was also the subject of his 1973
semi-autobiographical novel, "The Flight of Peter Fromm," in which the
title character and his atheist professor of divinity grapple for
decades with questions about God.
^ Grooks by Piet Hein
^ Eckler, A. Ross (2010). "Look back"""""!". Word Ways: The Journal of
Recreational Linguistics. 43 (3): 167–168.
^ Don Albers' interview of Gardner, Part 4: The Trap Door Spiders
^ Top 10
Martin Gardner Alter Egos at martin-gardner.org
^ a b "Gardner's Whys" in The Night is Large, chapter 40, pp.
^ Matrix, Irving Joshua (1979). Martin Gardner: Defending the Honor of
the Human Mind, The Two-Year College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 10, No.
4 (Sep., 1979), pp. 227-232.
^ It would be a further decade before Martin published an article in
such a mathematics journal under his own name.
Martin Gardner Dies by Loren Coleman, CryptoZoo News, May
^ Hersh, Reuben (31 October 1997). "Re:
Martin Gardner book review".
Foundations of Mathematics mailing list. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
^ Science, good, bad, and bogus –
Martin Gardner – Google Books.
Books.google.com.au. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
^ Robert P. Crease, Gathering for Gardner, The Wall Street Journal, p.
W11, 2 April 2010
^ About G4G Archived 2016-05-07 at the Wayback Machine.
Antonick, Gary (2014). Ignited by Martin Gardner, Ian Stewart
Continues to Illuminate The New York Times, October 27, 2014
Auerbach, David (2013). A Delville of a Tolkar: Martin Gardner’s
“Undiluted Hocus-Pocus” Los Angeles Review of Books, November 4,
Bellos, Alex (2010).
Martin Gardner obituary The Guardian, May 27,
Berlekamp, Elwyn R (2014). The Mathematical Legacy of Martin Gardner
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), September 2,
Berlekamp, Elwyn R., John H. Conway, and
Richard K. Guy
Richard K. Guy (1982).
Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays Academic Press,
Brown, Emma (2010). Martin Gardner, prolific math and science writer,
dies at 95 The Washington Post, May 24, 2010
Burstein, Mark, ed. (2011). A Bouquet for the Gardner: Martin Gardner
Remembered. New York: The
Lewis Carroll Society of North America.
Costello, Matthew J. (1988). The Greatest
Puzzles of All Time New
York: Prentice Hall Press, ISBN 0133649369
Demaine (2008). Edited by Erik D. Demaine, Martin L. Demaine, Tom
Rodgers. A lifetime of puzzles : a collection of puzzles in honor
of Martin Gardner's 90th birthday A K Peters: Wellesley, MA,
Gardner, Martin (2013). Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of
Martin Gardner Princeton University Press, ISBN 0691159912.
The Economist (2010).
Martin Gardner obituary Jun 3rd 2010
Gardner, Martin (2016) The Recreational Mathematics of Piet Hein Piet
Gathering 4 Gardner
Gathering 4 Gardner (2014). Martin Gardner—Magician
Groth, George (1983). Review of Gardner’s Game with God The New York
Review of Books, December 8, 1983
Hofstadter, Douglas (2010). Martin Gardner: A Major Shaping Force in
My Life Scientific American, May 24, 2010
Jackson, Allyn (2004). Interview with
Martin Gardner Notices of the
AMS, Vol. 52, No. 6, June/July 2005, pp. 602–611
Knuth, Donald E. (2011). Memories of
Martin Gardner Notices of the
AMS, Vol. 58, No. 3, March 2011, p. 420
Kullman, David (1997). The Penrose Tiling at Miami University
Presented at the
Mathematical Association of America
Mathematical Association of America Ohio Section
Meeting Shawnee State University, October 24, 1997
Lister, David (1995).
Martin Gardner and Paperfolding British Origami
Society, February 15, 1995.
O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Martin Gardner", MacTutor
History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews .
Malkevitch, Joseph (2014). Magical Mathematics - A Tribute to Martin
Gardner American Mathematical Society, March 2014
Martin, Douglas (2010). Martin Gardner, Puzzler and Polymath, Dies at
95 The New York Times, May 23, 2010
Martin Gardner—Mathematician (official website)
Mulcahy, Colm (Jan 2014).
Martin Gardner — The Best Friend
Mathematics Ever Had The Huffington Post, January 23, 2014
Mirsky, Steve (May 2010). Scholars and Others Pay Tribute to
Mathematical Games Columnist
Martin Gardner Scientific American, May
Mulcahy, Colm (Oct 2014). Martin Gardner, puzzle master extraordinaire
BBC News Magazine, October 21, 2014
Mulcahy, Colm (2013). Celebrations of Mind Honor Math’s Best Friend,
Martin Gardner Scientific American, October 29, 2013
Princeton University Press
Princeton University Press Reviews of Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The
Autobiography of Martin Gardner
Richards, Dana (2014). Math Games of
Martin Gardner Still Spur
Innovation by Dana Richards & Colm Mulcahy, Scientific American,
October 1, 2014
Teller (2014). ‘Undiluted Hocus-Pocus,’ by
Martin Gardner The New
York Times: Sunday Book Review, January 3, 2014
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Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science (1957)
The Annotated Alice (1960)
The Ambidextrous Universe
The Ambidextrous Universe (1964)
The Flight of Peter Fromm (1973)
Calculus Made Easy (1998)
Visitors from Oz (1998)
Scientific American Columns
Martin Gardner Mathematical Games columns
Irving Joshua Matrix
Gathering for Gardner