List of Martin Gardner Mathematical Games columns

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Over a period of 24 years (January 1957 – December 1980), Martin Gardner wrote 288 consecutive monthly "Mathematical Games" columns for Scientific American magazine. During the next 5+12 years, through June 1986, Gardner wrote 9 more columns, bringing his total to 297. During this period other authors wrote most of the columns. In 1981, Gardner's column alternated with a new column by Douglas Hofstadter called "Metamagical Themas" (an anagram of "Mathematical Games").[1] The table below lists Gardner's columns.[2]

Twelve of Gardner's columns provided the cover art for that month's magazine, indicated by "[cover]" in the table with a hyperlink to the cover.[3]

Table info: date, Title...
dateTitle
1957 JanA new kind of magic square with remarkable properties[2]
1957 FebAn assortment of maddening puzzles[4]
1957 MarSome old and new versions of ticktacktoe
1957 AprParadoxes dealing with birthdays, playing cards, coins, crows and red-haired typists
1957 MayAbout the remarkable similarity between the Icosian Game and the Tower of Hanoi
1957 JunCurious figures descended from the Möbius band, which has only one side and one edge
1957 JulConcerning the game of Hex, which may be played on the tiles of the bathroom floor
1957 AugThe life and work of Sam Loyd, a mighty inventor of puzzles
1957 SepConcerning various card tricks with a mathematical message
1957 OctHow to remember numbers by mnemonic devices such as cuff links and red zebras
1957 NovNine titillating puzzles
1957 DecMore about complex dominoes
1958 JanA collection of tantalizing fallacies of mathematics
1958 FebConcerning the game of Nim and its mathematical analysis
1958 MarAbout left- and right-handedness, mirror images and kindred matters
1958 AprConcerning the celebrated puzzle of five sailors, a monkey and a pile of coconuts
1958 MayAbout tetraflexagons and tetraflexagation
1958 JunAbout Henry Ernest Dudeney, a brilliant creator of puzzles
1958 JulSome diverting tricks which involve the concept of numerical congruence
1958 AugA third collection of "brain-teasers"
1958 SepA game in which standard pieces composed of cubes are assembled into larger forms
1958 OctFour mathematical diversions involving concepts of topology
1958 NovHow rectangles, including squares, can be divided into squares of unequal size [cover]
1958 DecDiversions which involve the five Platonic solids
1959 JanAbout mazes and how they can be traversed
1959 Feb"Brain-teasers" that involve formal logic
1959 MarConcerning the properties of various magic squares
1959 AprThe mathematical diversions of a fictitious carnival man
1959 MayAnother collection of "brain-teasers"
1959 JunAn inductive card game
1959 JulAbout Origami, the Japanese art of folding objects out of paper
1959 AugAbout phi, an irrational number that has some remarkable geometrical expressions
1959 SepConcerning mechanical puzzles, and how an enthusiast has collected 2,000 of them
1959 OctProblems involving questions of probability and ambiguity
1959 NovHow three modern mathematicians disproved a celebrated conjecture of Leonhard Euler [cover]
1959 DecDiversions that clarify group theory, particularly by the weaving of braids
1960 JanA fanciful dialogue about the wonders of numerology
1960 FebA fifth collection of "brain-teasers"
1960 MarThe games and puzzles of Lewis Carroll
1960 AprAbout mathematical games that are played on boards
1960 MayReflections on the packing of spheres
1960 JunRecreations involving folding and cutting sheets of paper
1960 JulIncidental information about the extraordinary number pi
1960 AugAn imaginary dialogue on "mathemagic": tricks based on mathematical principles
1960 SepThe celebrated four-color map problem of topology
1960 OctA new collection of "brain-teasers"
1960 NovMore about the shapes that can be made with complex dominoes
1960 DecSome recreations involving the binary number system
1961 JanIn which the author chats again with Dr. Matrix, numerologist extraordinary
1961 FebDiversions that involve one of the classic conic sections: the ellipse
1961 MarHow to play dominoes in two and three dimensions
1961 AprConcerning the diversions in a new book on geometry [cover]
1961 MayIn which the editor of this department meets the legendary Bertrand Apollinax
1961 JunA new collection of "brain teasers"
1961 JulSome diverting mathematical board games
1961 AugSome entertainments that involve the calculus of finite differences
1961 SepSurfaces with edges linked in the same way as the three rings of a well-known design
1961 OctDiversions that involve the mathematical constant "e"
1961 NovWherein geometrical figures are dissected to make other figures
1961 DecOn the theory of probability and the practice of gambling
1962 JanAn adventure in hyperspace at the Church of the Fourth Dimension
1962 FebA clutch of diverting problems
1962 MarHow to build a game-learning machine and teach it to play and win
1962 AprAbout three types of spirals and how to construct them
1962 MaySymmetry and asymmetry and the strange world of upside-down art
1962 JunThe game of solitaire and some variations and transformations
1962 JulFiction about life in two dimensions
1962 AugA variety of diverting tricks collected at a fictitious convention of magicians
1962 SepTests that show whether a large number can be divided by a number from 2 to 12
1962 OctA collection of puzzles involving numbers, logic, and probability
1962 NovSome puzzles based on checkerboards
1962 DecSome simple tricks and manipulations from the ancient lore of string play
1963 JanThe author pays his annual visit to Dr. Matrix, the numerologist
1963 FebCurves of constant width, one of which makes it possible to drill square holes
1963 MarA new paradox, and variations on it, about a man condemned to be hanged
1963 AprA bit of foolishness for April Fools' Day
1963 MayOn rep-tiles, polygons that can make larger and smaller copies of themselves
1963 JunA discussion of helical structures, from corkscrews to DNA molecules
1963 JulTopological diversions, including a bottle with no inside or outside
1963 AugPermutations and paradoxes in combinatorial mathematics
1963 SepHow to solve puzzles by graphing the rebounds of a bouncing ball
1963 OctAbout two new and two old mathematical board games
1963 NovA mixed bag of problems
1963 DecHow to use the odd-even check for tricks and problem-solving
1964 JanPresenting the one and only Dr. Matrix, numerologist, in his annual performance
1964 FebThe hypnotic fascination of sliding-block puzzles
1964 MarThe remarkable lore of the prime numbers [cover]
1964 AprVarious problems based on planar graphs, or sets of "vertices" connected by "edges"
1964 MayThe tyranny of 10 overthrown with the ternary number system
1964 JunA collection of short problems and more talk of prime numbers
1964 JulCurious properties of a cycloid curve
1964 AugConcerning several magic tricks based on mathematical principles
1964 SepPuns, palindromes and other word games that partake of the mathematical spirit
1964 OctSimple proofs of the Pythagorean theorem, and sundry other matters
1964 NovSome paradoxes and puzzles involving infinite series and the concept of limit
1964 DecOn polyiamonds: shapes that are made out of equilateral triangles
1965 JanSome comments by Dr. Matrix on symmetries and reversals
1965 FebTetrahedrons in nature and architecture, and puzzles involving this simplest polyhedron
1965 MarA new group of short problems
1965 AprThe infinite regress in philosophy, literature and mathematical proof
1965 MayThe lattice of integers considered as an orchard or a billiard table
1965 JunSome diversions and problems from Mr. O'Gara, the postman
1965 JulOn the relation between mathematics and the ordered patterns of Op art [cover]
1965 AugThoughts on the task of communication with intelligent organisms on other worlds
1965 SepThe superellipse: a curve that lies between the ellipse and the rectangle
1965 OctPentominoes and polyominoes: five games and a sampling of problems
1965 NovA selection of elementary word and number problems
1965 DecMagic stars, graphs and polyhedrons
1966 JanDr. Matrix returns, now in the guise of a neo-Freudian psychonumeranalyst
1966 FebRecreational numismatics, or a purse of coin puzzles
1966 MarThe hierarchy of infinities and the problems it spawns
1966 AprThe eerie mathematical art of Maurits C. Escher
1966 MayHow to cook a puzzle, or mathematical one-uppery
1966 JunThe persistence (and futility) of efforts to trisect the angle
1966 JulFreud's friend Wilhelm Fliess and his theory of male and female life cycles
1966 AugPuzzles that can be solved by reasoning based on elementary physical principles
1966 SepThe problem of Mrs. Perkins' quilt
1966 OctCan the shuffling of cards (and other apparently random events) be reversed?
1966 NovIs it possible to visualize a four-dimensional figure?
1966 DecThe multiple charms of Pascal's triangle
1967 JanDr. Matrix delivers a talk on acrostics
1967 FebMathematical strategies for two-person contests
1967 MarAn array of problems that can be solved with elementary mathematical techniques
1967 AprThe amazing feats of professional mental calculators, and some tricks of the trade
1967 MayCube-root extraction and the calendar trick, or how to cheat in mathematics
1967 JunThe polyhex and the polyabolo, polygonal jigsaw puzzle pieces
1967 JulOf sprouts and Brussels sprouts, games with a topological flavor
1967 AugIn which a computer prints out mammoth polygonal factorials
1967 SepDouble acrostics, stylized Victorian ancestors of today's crossword puzzle
1967 OctProblems that are built on the knight's move in chess
1967 NovA mixed bag of logical and illogical problems to solve
1967 DecGame theory is applied (for a change) to games
1968 JanThe beauties of the square, as expounded by Dr. Matrix to rehabilitate the hippie
1968 FebCombinatorial problems involving tree graphs and forests of trees
1968 MarA short treatise on the useless elegance of perfect numbers and amicable pairs
1968 AprPuzzles and tricks with a dollar bill
1968 MayCircles and spheres, and how they kiss and pack
1968 JunCombinatorial possibilities in a pack of shuffled cards
1968 JulOn the meaning of randomness and some ways of achieving it
1968 AugAn array of puzzles and tricks, with a few traps for the unwary
1968 SepCounting systems and the relationship between numbers and the real world
1968 OctMacMahon's color triangles and the joys of fitting them together
1968 NovOn the ancient lore of dice and the odds against making a point
1968 DecThe world of the Möbius strip: endless, edgeless and one-sided
1969 JanDr. Matrix gives his explanation of why Mr. Nixon was elected President
1969 FebBoolean algebra, Venn diagrams and the propositional calculus
1969 MarThe multiple fascinations of the Fibonacci sequence
1969 AprAn octet of problems that emphasize gamesmanship, logic and probability
1969 MayThe rambling random walk and its gambling equivalent
1969 JunRandom walks, by semidrunk bugs and others, on the square and on the cube
1969 JulTricks, games and puzzles that employ matches as counters and line segments
1969 AugSimplicity as a scientific concept: Does nature keep her accounts on a thumbnail?
1969 SepGeometric constructions with a compass and a straightedge, and also with a compass alone
1969 OctA numeranalysis by Dr. Matrix of the lunar flight of Apollo 11
1969 NovA new pencil-and-paper game based on inductive reasoning [cover]
1969 DecA handful of combinatorial problems based on dominoes
1970 JanThe abacus: primitive but effective digital computer
1970 FebNine new puzzles to solve
1970 MarCyclic numbers and their properties
1970 AprSome mathematical curiosities embedded in the solar system
1970 MayOf optical illusions, from figures that are undecidable to hot dogs that float
1970 JunElegant triangle theorems not to be found in Euclid
1970 JulDiophantine analysis and the problem of Fermat's legendary last theorem
1970 AugBackward run numbers, letters, words and sentences until boggles the mind
1970 SepOn the cyclical curves generated by wheels that roll along wheels
1970 OctThe fantastic combinations of John Conway's new solitaire game "life"
1970 NovA new collection of short problems and the answers to some of "life's"
1970 DecThe paradox of the nontransitive dice and the elusive principle of indifference
1971 JanLessons from Dr. Matrix in chess and numerology
1971 FebOn cellular automata, self-reproduction, the Garden of Eden and the game "life" [cover]
1971 MarThe orders of infinity, the topological nature of dimension and "supertasks"
1971 AprGeometric fallacies: hidden errors pave the road to absurd conclusions
1971 MayThe combinatorial richness of folding a piece of paper
1971 JunThe Turing game and the question it presents: Can a computer think?
1971 JulQuickie problems: not hard, but look out for the curves
1971 AugTicktacktoe and its complications
1971 SepThe plaiting of Plato's polyhedrons and the asymmetrical yin-yang-lee
1971 OctNew puzzles from the game of Halma, the noble ancestor of Chinese checkers
1971 NovAdvertising premiums to beguile the mind: classics by Sam Loyd, master puzzle-poser
1971 DecFurther encounters with touching cubes, and the paradoxes of Zeno as "supertasks"
1972 JanHow to triumph at nim by playing safe, and John Horton Conway's game "Hackenbush"
1972 FebDr. Matrix poses some heteroliteral puzzles while peddling perpetual motion in Houston
1972 MarThe graceful graphs of Solomon Golomb, or how to number a graph parsimoniously
1972 AprA topological problem with a fresh twist, and eight other new recreational puzzles
1972 MayChallenging chess tasks for puzzle buffs and answers to the recreational problems
1972 JunA miscellany of transcendental problems: simple to state but not at all easy to solve
1972 JulAmazing mathematical card tricks that do not require prestidigitation
1972 AugThe curious properties of the Gray code and how it can be used to solve puzzles
1972 SepPleasurable problems with polycubes, and the winning strategy for Slither
1972 OctWhy the long arm of coincidence is usually not as long as it seems
1972 NovOn the practical uses and bizarre abuses of Sir Francis Bacon's biliteral cipher
1972 DecKnotty problems with a two-hole torus
1973 JanSim, Chomp and Race Track: new games for the intellect (and not for Lady Luck)
1973 FebUp-and-down elevator games and Piet Hein's mechanical puzzles
1973 MarThe calculating rods of John Napier, the eccentric father of the logarithm
1973 AprHow to turn a chessboard into a computer and to calculate with negabinary numbers
1973 MayA new miscellany of problems, and encores for Race Track, Sim, Chomp and elevators
1973 JunPlotting the crossing number of graphs
1973 JulFree will revisited, with a mind-bending prediction paradox by William Newcomb
1973 AugAn astounding self-test of clairvoyance by Dr. Matrix
1973 SepProblems on the surface of a sphere offer an entertaining introduction to point sets
1973 Oct"Look-see" diagrams that offer visual proof of complex algebraic formulas
1973 NovFantastic patterns traced by programmed "worms"
1973 DecOn expressing integers as the sum of cubes and other unsolved number-theory problems
1974 JanThe combinatorial basis of the "I Ching," the Chinese book of divination and wisdom [cover]
1974 FebCram, crosscram and quadraphage: new games having elusive winning strategies
1974 MarReflections on Newcomb's problem: a prediction and free-will dilemma
1974 AprNine challenging problems, some rational and some not
1974 MayOn the contradictions of time travel
1974 JunDr. Matrix brings his numerological Science to bear on the occult powers of the pyramid
1974 JulOn the patterns and the unusual properties of figurate numbers
1974 AugOn the fanciful history and the creative challenges of the puzzle game of tangrams
1974 SepMore on tangrams: Combinatorial problems and the game possibilities of snug tangrams
1974 OctOn the paradoxical situations that arise from nontransitive relations
1974 NovSome new and dramatic demonstrations of number theorems with playing cards
1974 DecThe arts as combinatorial mathematics, or how to compose like Mozart with dice
1975 JanThe curious magic of anamorphic art [cover]
1975 FebHow the absence of anything leads to thoughts of nothing
1975 MarFrom rubber ropes to rolling cubes, a miscellany of refreshing problems
1975 AprSix sensational discoveries that somehow or another have escaped public attention
1975 MayOn the remarkable Császár polyhedron and its applications in problem solving
1975 JunGames of strategy for two players: star nim, meander, dodgem and rex
1975 JulOn tessellating the plane with convex polygon tiles
1975 AugMore about tiling the plane: the possibilities of polyominoes, polyiamonds, and polyhexes
1975 SepDr. Matrix finds numerological wonders in the King James Bible
1975 OctConcerning an effort to demonstrate extrasensory perception by machine
1975 NovOn map projections (with special reference to some inspired ones) [cover]
1975 DecA random assortment of puzzles, together with reader responses to earlier problems
1976 JanA breakthrough in magic squares, and the first perfect magic cube
1976 FebSome elegant brick-packing problems, and a new order-7 perfect magic cube
1976 MarOn the fabric of inductive logic, and some probability paradoxes
1976 AprSnarks, Boojums and other conjectures related to the four-color-map theorem
1976 MayA few words about everything there was, is and ever will be
1976 JunCatalan numbers: an integer sequence that materializes in unexpected places
1976 JulFun and serious business with the small electronic calculator
1976 AugThe symmetrical arrangement of the stars on the American flag and related matters
1976 SepJohn Horton Conway's book covers an infinity of games
1976 OctCombinatorial problems, some old, some new and all newly attacked by computer
1976 NovIn which DM (Dr. Matrix) is revealed as the guru of PM (Pentagonal Meditation)
1976 DecIn which "monster" curves force redefinition of the word "curve"
1977 JanExtraordinary nonperiodic tiling that enriches the theory of tiles [cover]
1977 FebThe flip-strip sonnet, the lipogram and other mad modes of wordplay
1977 MarCornering a queen leads unexpectedly into corners of the theory of numbers
1977 AprThe pool-table triangle, a limerick paradox and divers other challenges
1977 MayThe "jump proof" and its similarity to the toppling of a row of dominoes
1977 JunThe concept of negative numbers and the difficulty of grasping it
1977 JulCutting things into equal parts leads into significant areas of mathematics
1977 AugA new kind of cipher that would take millions of years to break[5]
1977 SepOn conic sections, ruled surfaces and other manifestations of the hyperbola
1977 OctOn playing New Eleusis, the game that simulates the search for truth
1977 NovIn which joining sets of points by lines leads into diverse (and diverting) paths
1977 DecDr. Matrix goes to California to apply punk to rock study
1978 JanThe sculpture of Miguel Berrocal can be taken apart like an interlocking mechanical puzzle
1978 FebOn checker jumping, the Amazon game, weird dice, card tricks and other playful pastimes
1978 MarCount Dracula, Alice, Portia and many others consider various twists of logic
1978 AprWhite and brown music, fractal curves and one-over-f fluctuations [cover]
1978 MayThe Bells: versatile numbers that can count partitions of a set, primes and even rhymes
1978 JunA mathematical zoo of astounding critters, imaginary and otherwise
1978 JulOn Charles Sanders Peirce: philosopher and gamesman
1978 AugA Möbius band has a finite thickness, and so it is actually a twisted prism
1978 SepPuzzling over a problem-solving matrix, cubes of many colors and three-dimensional dominoes
1978 OctPuzzles and number-theory problems arising from the curious fractions of ancient Egypt
1978 NovIn which a mathematical aesthetic is applied to modern minimal art
1978 DecIs it a superintelligent robot or does Dr. Matrix ride again?
1979 JanThe diverse pleasures of circles that are tangent to one another
1979 FebAbout rectangling rectangles, parodying Poe and many another pleasing problem
1979 MarOn altering the past, delaying the future and other ways of tampering with time
1979 AprIn which players of Tic-tac-toe are taught to hunt bigger game
1979 MayHow to be a psychic, even if you are a horse or some other animal
1979 JunChess problems on a higher plane, including mirror images, rotations and the superqueen
1979 JulDouglas R. Hofstadter's "Gödel, Escher, Bach"
1979 AugThe imaginableness of the imaginary numbers
1979 SepIn some patterns of numbers or words there may be less than meets the eye
1979 OctSome packing problems that cannot be solved by sitting on the suitcase
1979 NovThe random number omega bids fair to hold the mysteries of the universe
1979 DecA pride of problems, including one that is virtually impossible
1980 JanCheckers, a game that can be more interesting than one might think
1980 FebThe coloring of unusual maps leads into uncharted territory
1980 MarGraphs that can help cannibals, missionaries, wolves, goats and cabbages get there from here
1980 AprFun with eggs: uncooked, cooked and mathematic
1980 MayWhat unifies dinner guests, strolling schoolgirls and handcuffed prisoners?
1980 JunThe capture of the monster: a mathematical group with a ridiculous number of elements
1980 JulThe pleasures of doing Science and technology in the planiverse
1980 AugOn the fine art of putting players, pills and points into their proper pigeonholes
1980 SepDr. Matrix, like Mr. Holmes, comes to an untimely and mysterious end
1980 OctFrom counting votes to making votes count: the mathematics of elections
1980 NovTaxicab geometry offers a free ride to a non-Euclidean locale
1980 DecPatterns in primes are a clue to the strong law of small numbers
1981 FebGauss's congruence theory was mod as early as 1801
1981 AprHow Lavinia finds a room on University Avenue, and other geometric problems
1981 JunThe inspired geometrical symmetries of Scott Kim
1981 AugThe abstract parabola fits the concrete world
1981 OctEuclid's parallel postulate and its modern offspring
1981 DecThe Laffer curve and other laughs in current economics
1983 AugTasks you cannot help finishing no matter how hard you try to block finishing them
1983 SepThe topology of knots, plus the results of Douglas Hofstadter's Luring Lottery
1986 JunCasting a net on a checkerboard and other puzzles of the forest
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