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MAM 2014: Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery

Full size poster available at

The American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics have announced that the theme for Mathematics Awareness Month (MAM), April 2014, is Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery.

As suggested by the design of the poster at right, designed by Eve and Bruce Torrence and unveiled at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore, Mathematics Awareness Month 2014 will be dedicated to the presentation of 30 magical, mysterious, mathematical phenomena. These are gems that can easily be appreciated by anyone, from young child to professional mathematician. Each day in April, a new phenomenon will be revealed at There will be an introductory video along with supplementary materials for those who wish to attain a deeper understanding or use the phenomenon in a classroom demonstration.

The phrasing of the 2014 MAM theme derives from the title of a 1956 book in which Martin Gardner—a pre-Scientific American Martin Gardner—explained the mathematics behind what the book’s description on calls “a multitude of mystifying tricks.”

MAM’s salute to the late Gardner comes in the lead-up to the beloved puzzler’s centennial, which fans will celebrate on October 21, 2014.

As you gear up for Mathematics Awareness Month, let the resources collected below inspire you, and check back often to see what MAA is doing in celebration of MAM 2014.

Bruce Torrence, Eve Torrence, and Colm Mulcahy, who together make up the MAM 2014 committee.

MAA and Google Present Connected Classrooms to Celebrate Math Awareness Month

MAA is teaming up with Google to present Connected Classrooms events throughout April that focus on this year’s theme: Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery. Powered by Google Hangouts on Air, these Connected Classrooms events will connect MAA speakers with middle and high school classrooms around the country. Details and schedule of Connected Classrooms events here

MAM Events at 2014 JMM

Martin Gardner in MAA Periodicals

About Martin Gardner

By Martin Gardner


  • The January 2012 issue of The College Mathematics Journal was entirely devoted to the mathematics of Martin Gardner.

Martin Gardner in MAA Books

Gardner was perhaps best known as the author of the "Mathematical Games" column for Scientific American, which ran from 1956 to 1981. Throughout his career he wrote more than 70 books and collections of essays on topics ranging from Lewis Carroll and magic tricks to philosophy, religion, and scientific skepticism. Several of his most popular writings are available in the MAA Store

Martin Gardner in the Twenty-First Century 
Eight works by Gardner himself, published between 1999 and 2010, supplemented by 33 chapters written in response to Gardner's work 
Martin Gardner's "Mathematical Games" 
Gardner's Scientific American column "Mathematical Games" on a single, searchable source

Mathematical Magic Show 
Nineteen tantalizing conundrums
Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers
Included here are chapters on Conway's surreal numbers, Mandelbrot's fractals, and Smullyan's logic puzzles

Hexaflexagons, Probability Paradoxes, and the Tower of Hanoi
The inaugural volume in Martin Gardner's New Mathematical Library. These mathematical recreations delight and perplex while demonstrating principles of logic, probability, geometry, and other fields of mathematics.

Origami, Eleusis, and the Soma Cube 
The second volume in Gardner's New Mathematical Library, updated chapters, including new game variations, mathematical proofs, and other developments and discoveries, to challenge and fascinate a new generation of readers.

Sphere Packing, Lewis Carroll, and Reversi
Packing spheres, Reversi, braids, polyominoes, board games, and the puzzles of Lewis Carroll

Mathematical Puzzle Tales 
The challenging problems presented here are based on geometry, logarithms, topology, probability, weird number sequences, logic and, virtually every other aspect of mathematics as well as wordplay.


News Date: 
Thursday, January 16, 2014