For over eighty years this delightful classic has provided entertainment through mathematical problems commonly known as recreations. Although they often involve fundamental mathematical methods and notions, their chief appeal is as games or puzzles rather than the usefulness of their conclusions.
This new edition upholds the original, but the terminology and treatment of problems have been updated and much new material has been added. There are new selections on polyominoes and the notion of dragon designs, and a new chapter, ‘Introduction to Combinatorics.’ Other topics dealt with in the fourteen chapters include arithmetical and geometrical recreations and problems, polyhedra, chess-board recreations, unicursal problems, cryptography and cryptanalysis, and calculating prodigies.
Since no knowledge of calculus or analytic geometry is necessary to enjoy the recreations, this book will appeal widely to teachers of mathematics and students and to anyone who is mathematically inclined.
About the authors
W.W. Rouse Ball (1850-1925) was author of several other books on mathematics including the Short History of Mathematics (1888) and the History of the Study of Mathematics at Cambridge (1889).
H.S.M. Coxeter (1907-2003) was Professor of Mathematics at the University of Toronto.