Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Games and Mathematics
Subtle Connections

  • Date Published: October 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107024601

Hardback

Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook


Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available for inspection. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an inspection copy. To register your interest please contact asiamktg@cambridge.org providing details of the course you are teaching.

Description
Product filter button
Description
Contents
Resources
Courses
About the Authors
  • The appeal of games and puzzles is timeless and universal. In this unique book, David Wells explores the fascinating connections between games and mathematics, proving that mathematics is not just about tedious calculation but imagination, insight and intuition. The first part of the book introduces games, puzzles and mathematical recreations, including knight tours on a chessboard. The second part explains how thinking about playing games can mirror the thinking of a mathematician, using scientific investigation, tactics and strategy, and sharp observation. Finally the author considers game-like features found in a wide range of human behaviours, illuminating the role of mathematics and helping to explain why it exists at all. This thought-provoking book is perfect for anyone with a thirst for mathematics and its hidden beauty; a good high school grounding in mathematics is all the background that is required, and the puzzles and games will suit pupils from 14 years.

    • Discover fascinating connections between games and mathematics
    • Gives a unique insight into what mathematics is all about
    • Mathematical puzzles and problems suit students from 14 years and beyond
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'One of the wellsprings out of which the discipline of mathematics has developed is human delight in intellectual play, manifest in the ubiquity of abstract games across millennia and cultures. The author of this fascinating book is expert in both domains, and in the art of clearly explaining significant aspects of mathematics in ways both accessible to non-experts and illuminating to experts. Through a delightfully rich variety of historical and multicultural examples, he unveils the intimate relationship between abstract games and mathematics as the study of structures, and, in so doing, illuminates much more about mathematical behaviour and cognition. At a time when too much of mathematics education in school seems designed to squeeze out every last drop of playfulness, we are reminded that mathematics can, and should, be an intellectual playground.' Brian Greer, Portland State University

    'This is a very approachable yet erudite book. Wells' game is to turn Plato's theory of forms on its head: instead of starting with physical examples and imagining their ideal forms, we should take our cue from the abstract laws and intuitions of games. Chess pieces are defined by their powers rather than their physical forms, and so are many situations in mathematics … The book illustrates this thesis with fascinating context: from Ulam's 'lucky' numbers … to the symmetry of the theorem discovered by Emperor Napoleon and the mathematics which arises in Go, Hex and chess … Games and Mathematics makes an important advance in communicating the nature of mathematics. It contains a profound message for philosophers of mathematics, but all mathematically-inclined readers will find [it] as compelling as Wells' excellent 'Curious and Interesting' books.' Paul Brown, author of Proof: Interesting Activities in Conjecture and Mathematical Proof

    'This is no ordinary compilation of recreational problems in mathematics … the text reads well and is something of a page-turner … this is not a mere compilation of problems, but a guided tour, and one would hope that it would reach a wider audience, so the authors' expressed intention, of showing that mathematics is not merely computation, but actually foremost an imaginative play, should become effective … All in all this could be a delightful volume in every aspect and I find myself recommending the work … with warmth and enthusiasm and with no qualms.' Ulf Persson, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg

    'Complete with a consistent argument and a wealth of supportive references, this is a fun work for both game players and mathematicians to explore. Highly recommended.' J. Johnson, Choice

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity

    ×

    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?

    ×

    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107024601
    • length: 258 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 155 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 160 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Part I. Mathematical recreations and abstract games:
    1. Recreations from Euler to Lucas
    2. Four abstract games
    3. Mathematics and games: mysterious connections
    4. Why chess is not mathematics
    5. Proving versus checking
    Part II. Mathematics: game-like, scientific and perceptual:
    6. Game-like mathematics
    7. Euclid and the rules of his geometrical game
    8. New concepts and new objects
    9. Convergent and divergent series
    10. Mathematics becomes game-like
    11. Maths as science
    12. Numbers and sequences
    13. Computers and mathematics
    14. Mathematics and the sciences
    15. Minimum paths from Heron to Feynmann
    16. The foundations: perception, imagination and insight
    17. Structure
    18. Hidden structure, common structure
    19. Mathematics and beauty
    20. Origins: formality in the everyday world
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    David Wells
    David Wells is the author of more than a dozen books on popular mathematics, puzzles and recreations. He has written many articles on mathematics teaching and a secondary mathematics course based on problem-solving. A former British under-21 chess champion, he has also worked as a game inventor and puzzle editor.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account

Cancel

Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email lecturers@cambridge.org

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner www.ebooks.com. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

×
Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.
×