6
votes
1answer
100 views

Good Reference for Justifying (less well-known fields of) Math?

How do we as mathematicians justify the study of math to students? Or, indeed, how do we justify it to the general public? How do you justify your particular field? I'm particularly interested in ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Recreational Mathematics title search

I once read part of a book on recreational mathematics that told a variety of stories. A central part of each story was a piece of non-trivial, and very interesting mathematics: the sofa moving ...
0
votes
0answers
69 views

Describing the sequence A224239.

I've been trying to describe mathematically the $n$th term $a_n$ of the sequence A224239. We get $a_n$ by counting the distinct ways to fill an $n\times n$ grid with squares of smaller integer size, ...
8
votes
2answers
116 views

Mathematicly Untangeling Untangle.

I have a new addiction, I play Untangle to often, and i am wondering what is the mathematics behind it. some free games: (but be warned highly addictive) Javascript: ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

Articles on matchstick puzzles

There are many ingenious puzzles involving matchsticks that are arranged as squares, rectangles or triangles, and can be moved under some restrictions (for a lot of examples see ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

what is the minimum number of hints must be provide in a Sudoku with only one solution in order to reach the answer?

what is the minimum number of hints must be provide in a Sudoku with only one solution in order to reach the answer? Also if you are interested, please provide a reference.
5
votes
0answers
318 views

Solution manual to Larson's “Problem Solving through Problems”

I am working through Larson's "Problem Solving through Problems" (http://math.la.asu.edu/~ifulman/mat194/problem-solving.pdf) but many of the problems have neither solutions nor sources included. Does ...
1
vote
2answers
161 views

Is there any surprising elementary probability problem that result in surprising solution like the Monty Hall problem?

For recreational purpose, i haven't seen a interesting elemetary probability question quite a while. Is there any surprising elementary probability problem that result in surprising solution like the ...
5
votes
5answers
251 views

Leisure reading for an undergraduate student

I am a freshman at a local university. I never really had much passion for math, but I always did well in math exams . I attribute this lack of passion to rote learning/emphasis on methods/formulas ...
0
votes
0answers
82 views

Where to find more of these puzzles?

Examples: A packing company supplies storage boxes in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. All three types of box have the same ratio of width:length and height:length. It is noted ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

How many Hamiltonian loop are there in a big rectangle?

Suppose I have some big rectangle made of $n \times m$ squares, and I want to place tiles on it in a manner that makes a picture of a hamiltonian loop. I can transform this problem into a problem ...
5
votes
0answers
263 views

Paul Erdős Joke.

I was watching the great documentary "$N$ is a Number" and in it Erdős tells a joke where he writes: PGOM LD AD LD CD Which means poor great old man, living dead, archeological discovery, legally ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Where can I find Putnam competition questions and solutions online?

Math people: Until recently, at least, there existed at least one Web page containing complete Putnam competition problems and solutions from the past twenty years or so. In retrospect, I see that I ...
10
votes
4answers
424 views

Recommended survey of mathematics [closed]

What do you see as the most explanatory and beautiful survey of mathematics book...For short is there a book like Feynman lectures but for math?I've looked at Elementary Mathematics from an Advanced ...
9
votes
1answer
137 views

Is there any curriculum based on recreational mathematics?

I'm a high school physics teacher. Next year, I'll be teaching mathematics for middle school students so I was wondering if there's a curriculum based on recreational mathematics which not only ...
3
votes
2answers
290 views

Interesting Problems for NonMath Majors

Sometime in the upcoming future, I will be doing a presentation as a college alumni to a bunch of undergrads from an organization I was in college. I did a dual major in mathematics and computer ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Heighway dragon and twindragon relation

The Heighway dragon F is defined as the limit set for the iterated function system $\begin{cases}f_1(z)=\frac{1+i}2 z\\f_2(z)=1-\frac{1-i}2z\end{cases}\quad$ starting from the two points 0 and 1. The ...
12
votes
1answer
214 views

Algebraic structures associated to flexagons?

Flexagons strike me as objects that would admit investigation in a first course in modern algebra. I'm surprised to be unable to find a reference discussing flexagons using modern algebra language. ...
7
votes
1answer
232 views

A good book for short problems

What is a good book for problems which can be done without much mathematical background? I don't mean IMO-level, since those questions generally require a fairly big amount of mathematical knowledge, ...
1
vote
3answers
509 views

Problems like the handshake problem

I am in college and my RA has been putting up little thought problems on his door for us to see as we pass by, but the ones he puts up aren't too interesting. I wrote up the handshake problem (invite ...
4
votes
1answer
290 views

A book of probability puzzles

I would like to train some recreational probability (Puzzles). Does any of you know a good collection? Preferably with hints or answers. I've been studying quite a bit of probability theory, but I ...
4
votes
2answers
206 views

Books with fun exercises

As university is a bit slow, we organize a group activity of doing math exercises (after learning the basics of the subject separately). Thus I am looking for a book with many exercises that are ...
10
votes
2answers
363 views

Literature on Mathematical Problem Posing

I know there is a fair bit of literature on mathematical problem solving (e.g., Polya, Schoenfeld). I am wondering if anyone can direct me toward good sources on mathematical problem posing. More ...
8
votes
2answers
454 views

“8 Dice arranged as a Cube” Face-Sum Equals 14 Problem

I found this here: Sum Problem Given eight dice. Build a $2\times 2\times2$ cube, so that the sum of the points on each side is the same. $\hskip2.7in$ Here is one of 20 736 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How to construct magic squares of even order

Could someone kindly point me to references on constructing magic squares of even order? Does a compact formula/algorithm exist?
5
votes
2answers
246 views

How to suggest new entries to David Wells' “Book of Curious and Interesting Numbers?”

This book. I'm sure many here, if not most, have read it. If not, I recommend it. It's great fun. Is the author even alive? I'd like to suggest a few entries that are not in the latest (1997) ...
13
votes
2answers
533 views

Mathematics Behind the 4×4 and 5×5 Rubik's Cube

A lot is known about the math behind the 3×3 Rubik's cube (symmetries, generators, group structure etc...). Is the same true for the 4×4 and 5×5 cubes? I haven't had much success finding this ...
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.