26
votes
7answers
2k views

Mathematical literature to lose yourself in

H.M. Edwards in the preface to his book on the Riemann Zeta Function, summarises his philosophy on learning Mathematics: ...I have tried to say to students of mathematics that they should read the ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Exhaustive list of recreational mathematical concepts

There are many simple yet elegant, addictive and entertaining mathematical concepts. For example, drinker paradox, pigeon hole principle, Monty Hall problem, Hilbert's paradox of the Grand Hotel, etc. ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

Which mathematical game or puzzle did you invent?

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine showed me a extension of a game we are all familiar with that he was working on. The game we know is called Tic-Tac-Toe, and he was working on his own version ...
9
votes
4answers
234 views

Math games for car journeys

On long car journeys with kids we are all familiar with "I spy" or "Twenty questions". What math related games can one play on a car journey instead that are fun and offer similar variety?
0
votes
2answers
107 views

Interesting problems using group/representation theory

I've been going through this representation theory lecture notes, and I've found the ''hungry knights'' problem very interesting. Do you know any interesting problems similar to that one? To define ...
33
votes
9answers
2k views

Literary statements that are false as mathematics

I recently wanted to use the title of the famous short story "Everything that Rises must Converge" in a poem of mine. However, the mathematician in me insisted on changing it to "Everything that ...
22
votes
10answers
1k views

Puzzles or short exercises illustrating mathematical problem solving to freshman students

At high school, the solution method to almost all mathematical exercises is to apply some technique or algorithm you have learned before. At the university, the situation is fundamentally different. ...
3
votes
5answers
580 views

Riddles with a mathematical twist

I am looking for riddles that are understandable for everyone(so especially non-mathematicians) but require mathematical knowledge or deep abstract ideas to be solved. The best answer will be the ...
2
votes
6answers
264 views

Neat expressions that equal 1

I would like to see beautiful and elegant expressions involving elementary and non-elementary functions, transcendental numbers, etc. that equal 1. Be creative!
3
votes
8answers
318 views

simple theorems that non-mathematicians can understand and appreciate.

For example, I stated this fact/theorem at a dinner to some friends and they were pretty impressed. Given any sequence of n integers, positive or negative, not necessarily all different, some ...
7
votes
7answers
194 views

Mathematical Games suitable for undergraduates

I am looking for mathematical games for an undergraduate `maths club' for interested students. I am thinking of things like topological tic-tac-toe and singularity chess. I have some funding for this ...
445
votes
138answers
28k views

What was the first bit of mathematics that made you realize that math is beautiful? (For children's book)

I'm a children's book writer and illustrator, and I want to to create a book for young readers that exposes the beauty of Mathematics. I recently read Paul Lockhart's essay "The Mathematician's ...
15
votes
7answers
875 views

Properties of the number 50

I will shortly be engaging with my 50th (!) birthday. 50 = 1+49 = 25+25 can perhaps be described as a "sub-Ramanujan" number. I'm trying to put together a quiz including some mathematical content. ...
41
votes
26answers
4k views

Big List of Fun Math Books

To be on this list the book must satisfy the following conditions: It doesn't require an enormous amount of background material to understand. It must be a fun book, either in recreational math (or ...
11
votes
8answers
1k views

What would be a good outdoor maths puzzle for children?

I have to find an interesting activity for some 11-year-olds moving to high school this year. It is supposed to take about 30-45 minutes, and I thought of having a mathematical theme. I can make a ...
5
votes
2answers
325 views

Famous Finite Sets [closed]

What are the most famous (or most beautiful, IYO) finite sets in mathematics? I'm especially looking for 'large' sets that contain more than $2^{10} \approx 1000$ but fewer than $2^{20} \approx ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Which books would you recommend about Recreational Mathematics?

By this I mean books with math puzzles and problems similar to the ones you would find in mathematical olympiads.