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World of Mathematics--Recreational Mathematics


World of Mathematics--Recreational Mathematics

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This is a sub-page of the large and comprehensive Eric Weisstein's World of Mathematics site which is separately reviewed elsewhere on MERLOT. At the time of review this recreational mathematics area listed ten subtopics including: cryptograms, dissection, illusions, magic squares, and puzzles. A total of approximately 140 separate recreational mathematics items were included.
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Material Type: Reference Material
Technical Format: HTML/Text
Date Added to MERLOT: April 22, 2002
Date Modified in MERLOT: September 11, 2016
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Submitter: James Rutledge
Keywords: math game, math puzzle, magic figure, Cryptogram, dissection


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Primary Audience: High School, College General Ed
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Technical Requirements: Basic web browser.
Language: English
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: no
Accessibility Information Available: no
Creative Commons: unsure


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Discussion for World of Mathematics--Recreational Mathematics

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Avatar for Kathy Phelan
13 years ago

Kathy Phelan (Student)

hmmmm....this was my fault. I didn't like this site very much because I thought
it would be fun, hence "recreational". I had just visited other sites that
were playful, calendar games, puzzles, etc., so I thought this would be the
same. Rather, it's math. Math that's over my head. I stayed for awhile, and
tried to "get it", but every time I clicked on a link I seemed to go deeper into
"this is not where I should be" territory. I must admit I'm not even sure I
can pronounce (let alone understand) some of the words in the site. Again, as
Castanza says on Seinfeld, "it's not you, it's totally me."

Technical Remarks:

See above. It was frustrating because I seemed to get deeper and deeper into
stuff I didn't understand. It was almost like a haunted house ride for me.
(nothing personal, of course).

Avatar for Anthony olmos
13 years ago

Anthony olmos (Student)

This site was very easy to navigate through because it was very self explanitory
of how to go through the information. Recreational Mathematics is good for
different age groups because it has different things for different age brackets.
It is like abstract math and different things for different things. It was
good for a student such as myself because it had us look at math at different
point of view and angle.I learned alot about different types of math and
different concepts to
challange yourself. It was hard to pick and choose what to look at because there
were so many hperlinks but once you made up your mind it was very easy to sift
through what you were looking for or what interested you. It took me about hour
to go through enough information to write remarks but overall it was very

Technical Remarks:

Need time and a plan to go through all the hperlinks but it is worth it once you
figure out what you are looking for.
Used in course

Avatar for Sarah Marquardt
14 years ago

Sarah Marquardt (Student)

I found this site to be pretty interesting to me.I saw the recreation part and
had to see what it was about. I think this site was the best one I looked at, it
gave me so much info that I didn't even know existed in math, but now I do.Like
the cryton... thing. I didn't even now what that was. this would be a fun and
interesting site to use as an activity in class, to try and solve some of the
problems, or at least discuss them to see what students have to say.Again this
was easy for me to use, and I don't use the computer very often. I think I spent
about an hour, hour and a half just looking and experimenting with things.
Used in course

Avatar for Mia Castellanos
14 years ago

Mia Castellanos (Student)

I browsed this website for about 45 minutes. I stopped and played with
illusions, games, and sports. At these subcategories, they showed me how to
relate math with each of these categories. I am a recreation major and work in
the field and can see myself doing some projects with the kids that actually
make them think mathematically when it comes to certain sports or games. I
enjoyed playing with this site.

Technical Remarks:

The Merlot website is very easy to access and browse. I recommend using this
subcategory - "Recreational Mathematics," for individuals who teach math to all
age levels.

Avatar for Rosemary Concepcion
14 years ago

Rosemary Concepcion (Student)

After 30 minutes into looking into this page, I clicked to find organized,
alphabetical categories for recreational mathematics. The material presents fun
games and formulas that pertain to it. These games will help learn formulas a
lot faster and a lot more fun. I believe first time computer users will find
this site easy to use and understand. A simple click of a button takes you to
any game or any puzzle that is fun and understandable.
Used in course

Avatar for Charlotte Roberts
14 years ago

Charlotte Roberts (Student)

I spent quite a bit of time going through the different links. My favorite was
the "I met a man on the way to St. Ives" With seven wives, seven sacks, seven
cats, each cat seven kittens, etc. I tried it out myself but found my
arithmatic not adding up. It would be a fun activity for an advanced children's
math course however. I also enjoyed the information on the Rubik's Cube and
the page regarding Baseball's mathematics. Represented were various daily
puzzles and images that we don't normally put much thought into. I thought this
page was very usefull.

Technical Remarks:

The layout was very simple to use. It was hard to get lost, and very easy to
find a way back to the starting point. The use of the menues simplifyed the
page well.

Avatar for Barbra Bied Sperling
14 years ago

Barbra Bied Sperling (Staff)

I sepnt about 40 min. going through the materials. I specially liked "Illusions"
the most. It explained in clear detail how the illusions are achieved. For
example, in Black Dot illusion, black dots appear as the eye scans across the
image. The dots completely disappear when you turn your head at a 45 degree
angle. This site would be good for students interested in graphic/arts design,
since many of them can be used in building a website.

Avatar for kristin fowler
14 years ago

kristin fowler (Student)

I learned a lot from this website. I spent an hour learning group theory. I
learned about groups and group G for example is a finite and infinite binary set
of elements. The operation of a binary is the four fundamental properites of
closure,associativity,identity and the inverse property. If all four properties
are satisfied then the system is a group. For example you can check this by
using a negative number and a positive number -1 and 1. Under the operation of
multiplication you can check the four properties. You will find that all four
work with -1 and 1.
The website shows diagrams and equations that are more complex, but you can
still follow along. This helped me to have a better understanding of group
This website is great if your willing to take the time to read the