The Martin Gardner Celebration of Mind

Martin Gardner, born October 21st, 1914, did more to advance recreational mathematics and puzzle-solving in the United States than any other single person. Over his 95 years, he published over 70 books – principally collections of logic, math and language puzzles, but often on the many other subjects of interest to him – introduced ordinary Americans to such well-loved mathematical themes as tangrams, polyominoes, fractals and M. C. Escher’s impossible constructions, and wrote the popular column “Mathematical Games” for Scientific American from 1956 to 1981. He was also an avid fan and scholar of stage magic and Lewis Carroll, and a prominent skeptic and critic of pseudoscience, writing the column “Notes of a Fringe-Watcher” for Skeptical Inquirer from 1983 to 2002.

Martin Gardner beside a statue of Lewis Carroll's Mad Hatter in Central Park, NY

Since 1993, puzzlers across the country have been holding “Gatherings for Gardner” to honor the man’s contributions to the leisure of the mind. With Gardner’s death in 2010, these events have transformed into the “Celebration of the Mind,” where his puzzles – and the puzzles of those he has inspired – are shared, mused over and occasionally solved. With dozens of simultaneous celebrations all over the world, these new Gatherings for Gardner range from small meetings of enthusiasts to series of lectures and seminars in major universities.

This year there will be over 40 Celebration of the Mind events on all seven continents. (Yes, including Antarctica.) And Eureka will be participating in Boston’s, which will be held at the Brookline Senior Center from 6:30 to 9:00, on Friday, October 21st, in honor of Gardner’s birthday. This will be a casual event with puzzle enthusiasts from across Boston. Join us as we share the wide variety of Martin Gardner puzzles and books we keep in the store – or stop by the store anytime to check out this singular intellect’s many ingenious creations.

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