Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Martin Gardner’s 100th Birthday

For today’s magic show:
A century ago,
Martin Gardner was born in Oklahoma.
He philosophized for his diploma.
He wrote on Hex and Tic-Tac-Toe.
The Icosian game and polyomino.
Flexagons from paper trim,
Samuel Loyd, the game of Nim.
Digital roots and Soma stairs,
mazes, logic, magic squares.
Squaring squares, the golden Phi.
Solved the spider and the fly.
Martin GardnerPenrose Tilings and Wieringa Roofs
Tiling with PentominosHamiltonian Tours on Polyhedra

Packing circles (with corrections),
ellipses, pi, and conic sections.
Group theory braids and primal gaps,
Latin squares, the four-color maps.
Hypercubes and Turing machines,
curves of constant width, eight queens.
The Klein bottle when cut in halfs,
helices and Graceful Graphs.
The Arecibo message, divisibility tests.
The Ulam spiral, parity checks.
Bracing buildings that won’t tilt,
trisections, Mrs. Perkins’s Quilt.
Pascal’s triangle, ternary scoring,
bouncing balls for water pouring.
Constrained geometry construction,
e and patterns of induction.
The abacus and random walks,
cyclic numbers, sliding blocks.
Pythagorean theorem, gears,
art of M. C. Escher, spheres.
Dominoes and overhang jutting,
infinite series, fair cake cutting.
Aleph-Null and Aleph-One.
For Game of Life, a glider gun.
Paterson’s worms and knotted torus,
paper folding, Nine Men’s Morris.
A problem solved by Andrew Wiles.
Pigeonholes and Penrose tiles.
Peg solitaire, a loop of string,
folded dragon curves, I Ching.
Rep-tiles and Borromean rings.
The pentagons of Marjorie Rice,
shuffling, “The Kiss Precise,”
tetrahedra, cycloids, dice.
Diophantine analyses,
geometric fallacies.
Dice nontransitivity,
special relativity.
The list meanders on for days,
but that’s enough to give him praise.
The Circles of DescartesGolden Spiral
Mazes on Various Surfaces
Dandelin Spheres for an EllipseMondrian Four Coloring
Magic Squares and DesignsOverhanging Cards
Graceful GraphicsKnot Explorer
Bicycle Wheels Using Curves of Constant Width
Random Chord Paradox
Ammann ChairCurry Triangle ParadoxLooney Gears


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  1. Worlds most informational poem ever :)
    (from a technical point of view that is)

  2. What a brilliant, yet whimsical, way to memorialize Gardner’s legacy!
    I’ve subscribed to Scientific American for decades, and I always looked forward to finding out what mathemagical topic he would explore next. I miss him.

  3. I’m sure Martin Gardner would have been a bit embarrassed by any fuss made on his account, but his Scientific American columns surely turned many a clever student towards a mathematical career, and for that, as well as the sheer entertainment values of his columns, the mathematical world owes him much. (While the poetry isn’t John Donne, it certainly suggest the breadth of his mathematical writings. Well done.)

  4. One of the ever biggest mathematician. He made so many puzzles for the common man to enjoy the maths with fun filled simple methods