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The Mathematics of Various Entertaining Subjects – Research in Recreational Math - Princeton Scholarship Online
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The Mathematics of Various Entertaining Subjects: Research in Recreational Math

Jennifer Beineke and Jason Rosenhouse


The history of mathematics is filled with major breakthroughs resulting from solutions to recreational problems. Problems of interest to gamblers led to the modern theory of probability, for example, and surreal numbers were inspired by the game of Go. Yet even with such groundbreaking findings and a wealth of popular-level books exploring puzzles and brainteasers, research in recreational mathematics has often been neglected. This book brings together authors from a variety of specialties to present fascinating problems and solutions in recreational mathematics. The chapters show how sophisti ... More

Keywords: recreational mathematics, probability, surreal numbers, error-correcting codes, affine plane, epidemics, recreational problems

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780691164038
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691164038.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jennifer Beineke, editor
Western New England University

Jason Rosenhouse, editor
James Madison University

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Part I Vignettes

1 Should you Be Happy?

Peter Winkler

3 Minimalist Approaches to Figurative Maze Design

Robert Bosch, Tim Chartier, and Michael Rowan

4 Some ABCs of Graphs and Games

Jennifer Beineke and Lowell Beineke

Part II Problems Inspired by Classic Puzzles

5 Solving the Tower of Hanoi with Random Moves

Max A. Alekseyev and Toby Berger

6 Groups Associated to Tetraflexagons

Julie Beier and Carolyn Yackel

9 From the Outside In

Derek Smith

Part III Playing Cards

10 Gallia Est Omnis Divisa In Partes Quattuor

Neil Calkin and Colm Mulcahy

11 Heartless Poker

Dominic Lanphier and Laura Taalman

Part IV Games

13 Tic-tac-toe on Affine Planes

Maureen T. Carroll and Steven T. Dougherty

14 Error Detection and Correction using SET®

Gary Gordon and Elizabeth McMahon

Part V Fibonacci Numbers

16 The Cookie Monster Problem

Leigh Marie Braswell and Tanya Khovanova