Tag Archives: Martin Gardner

Celebration of Mind

October 21, 2010 marked the first annual Celebration of Mind, an event honoring Martin Gardner on the occasion of what would have been his 96th birthday.  There were 66 events held on five continents around the world!

Here in Washington, our event took place at the Mathematical Association of America headquarters near Dupont Circle, and was co-hosted by Ivars Peterson, Dana Richards and myself.  It was a wonderful evening, featuring seven talks that reflected different facets of Martin’s interests and expertise, along with various collections of materials scattered around the room for people to peruse and play with.

We had about 75 people in attendance, including a number of students as well as adults, and the energy and good feelings grew as the evening went along.

The talks covered the topology, magic, puzzling, L. Frank Baum and the Wizard of Oz, skepticism, Sherlock Holmes and geometric sculpture as well as stories about Martin himself.  Check out the MAA youtube channel where all the talks are posted.  The talks are wonderful, well worth viewing!

Also, here is my flickr slide show of the event, and also pictures taken by Laura McHugh at MAA.

A Celebration of Mind – Honoring the Life of Martin Gardner

Acclaimed mathematics and science writer Martin Gardner, who introduced readers to the joys of recreational mathematics, passed away earlier this year.  Gardner was not only a hero to the mathematics and puzzle community, he was also a dear friend to ThinkFun CEO Bill Ritchie and Head of Inventor Relations, Tanya Thompson.  Tomorrow, October 21st, would have been Gardner’s 96th birthday.

ThinkFun Bill Ritchie and Martin Gardner

Tanya, a lifelong admirer and, in later years, personal friend of Martin Gardner,  shared a personal tribute with her post “Martin, I will miss you,” celebrating Martin’s life and impact on hers and countless others.

Over the past decade, the Gathering for Gardner Foundation (G4G) has hosted conferences that celebrate recreational mathematics, magic, puzzles, and philosophy.  These G4G Events bring together amateurs and professional scholars, world-class expositors and innovative performers alike  to promote the cross-discipline fertilization of ideas.  Read about the most recent Gathering firsthand from ThinkFun’s Puzzle Hunter!

Martin Gardner loved to engage minds young and old.  To honor his memory, this year Celebration of Mind
events are being held worldwide during the week of Gardner’s birthday.  Currently there are 66 Celebration of Mind events scheduled worldwide, check out this map to see all the festivities!

Tomorrow evening, ThinkFun and The Mathematical Association of America will host a Celebration of Mind reception to celebrate Gardner’s legary and continue his pursuit of a playful and fun approach to mathematics, science, art, magic, literature, philosophy, and puzzles.  The event will feature several interactive exhibits and brief talks from key speakers in the fields of mathematics, puzzles, skeptics, and magic, including:

  • Ivars Peterson, The Mathematical Tourist
  • Dana Richards, Gardner Biographer
  • Eve Torrence, Math Professor and Puzzlist
  • Chip Denman, National Capital Area Skeptics
  • Dick Christian, magician
  • Kate Jones, Puzzle Designer and Manufacturer
  • Michael Gessel, International Wizard of Oz Club
  • We look forward to this opportunity to celebrate a true hero to the puzzle community!

    What a Great Gathering!

    This past weekend I made my bi-annual trek to the Gathering for Gardner, a four day celebration of recreational intellectualism held in honor of Martin Gardner, who was for many years the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American.  Martin is a hero to generations of mathematicians, magicians, metagrobologists (puzzle lovers), skeptics, Lewis Carroll and L. Frank Baum scholars, and assorted polymaths, this conference is a true “gathering of the clans”.  And yes, it is as amazing as it sounds.

    Martin Gardner (still going strong at age 95) was a hero to my father; I have vivid childhood memories of the yellow jacketed Mathematical Carnival, Mathematical Circus, and Mathematical Magic Show books that he kept on his bookshelf.  One of my grand ambitions when we started Binary Arts/ThinkFun in 1985 was to someday meet Martin… and one of my proudest achievements has been that we developed Visual Brainstorms 2 with him.  I have visited Martin several times and we are friends… wow!

    Making this experience video was a lot of fun, thanks to all who were included.  And, to read more about the G4G9 experience, read the blog post from our own ThinkFun Puzzle Hunter, Tanya Thompson.