The Mathematics of Various Entertaining Subjects
Research in Games, Graphs, Counting, and Complexity, Volume 2
Edited by Jennifer Beineke & Jason Rosenhouse

With a foreword by Ron Graham


The history of mathematics is filled with major breakthroughs resulting from solutions to recreational problems. Problems of interest to gamblers led to the modern theory of probability, for example, and surreal numbers were inspired by the game of Go. Yet even with such groundbreaking findings and a wealth of popular-level books, research in recreational mathematics has often been neglected. The Mathematics of Various Entertaining Subjects now returns with a brand-new compilation of fascinating problems and solutions in recreational mathematics.

This latest volume gathers together the top experts in recreational math and presents a compelling look at board games, card games, dice, toys, computer games, and much more. The book is divided into five parts: puzzles and brainteasers, geometry and topology, graph theory, games of chance, and computational complexity. Readers will discover what origami, roulette wheels, and even the game of Trouble can teach about math. Essays contain new results, and the contributors include short expositions on their topic’s background, providing a framework for understanding the relationship between serious mathematics and recreational games. Mathematical areas explored include combinatorics, logic, graph theory, linear algebra, geometry, topology, computer science, operations research, probability, game theory, and music theory.

Investigating an eclectic mix of games and puzzles, The Mathematics of Various Entertaining Subjects is sure to entertain, challenge, and inspire academic mathematicians and avid math enthusiasts alike.

Jennifer Beineke is professor of mathematics at Western New England University. Jason Rosenhouse is professor of mathematics at James Madison University. Beineke and Rosenhouse are the coeditors of The Mathematics of Various Entertaining Subjects: Research in Recreational Math (Princeton).