Martin Gardner

A popular American writer who specialized in mathematics and science writing, Martin Gardner pioneered the field of recreational mathematics with his column Mathematical Games in Scientific American for a quarter century, starting in the 1950s, introducing mainstream audiences to subjects including the Soma cube, fractals, flexagons, the Game of Life, and the work of M.C. Escher. As mathematician Richard K. Guy put it, Gardner has brought more mathematics to more millions than anyone else.

Gardner was a man of various interests. His best-selling book, The Annotated Alice, incorporates Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass by explaining Carroll’s word play, mathematical concepts, Victorian traditions, and contemporary references. His lifelong interest in magic included tricks based on mathematics, on sleight of hand, and on ingenious props. He has played an important role in exposing charlatans who used their skills not to entertain but to assert supernatural claims.


Further Reading

Martin Gardner on Wikipedia

The Nature of Things:
Martin Gardner from Wagner Brenner, on Vimeo (46 minutes)

Scientific American:
Profile of Martin Gardner, the Mathematical Gamester (1914-2010)