In Praise of Amateurs

  • Doris Schattschneider


One of the most appealing aspects of Martin Gardner’s column “Mathematical Games” is its presentation of mathematical problems designed to intrigue amateurs and encourage their personal efforts at solution. By his own insistence, Gardner is an amateur mathematician and gives no special deference to formal mathematical education—his column pays tribute to the efforts of the mathematical “great” and the mathematically unknown, names often appearing side by side with no titles to distinguish one from the other. Amateurs are his most avid followers and enjoy the challenge of matching their wits against others in solving problems. Amazingly, their lack of formal mathematical education is often an advantage rather than a hindrance and their ingenious solutions to problems sometimes top the efforts of the professionals.


Convex Polygon Jigsaw Puzzle Angle Relationship Mathematical Game Convex Pentagon 
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Copyright information

© Wadsworth International 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doris Schattschneider
    • 1
  1. 1.Moravian CollegeUSA

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