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- Recreational mathematicians

Robert Abbott (game designer)

Robert Abbott (March 2, 1933 – February 20, 2018) was an American game inventor, sometimes referred to by fans as "The Official Grand Old Man of Card Games". Though early in his life he worked as a co

Richard K. Guy

Richard Kenneth Guy (30 September 1916 – 9 March 2020) was a British mathematician. He was a professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Calgary. He is known for his work in number

Wilhelm Ahrens

Wilhelm Ahrens (3 March 1872 – 23 May 1927) was a German mathematician and writer on recreational mathematics.

William Kolakoski

William George Kolakoski (September 17, 1944 – July 26, 1997), known as Bill to family and friends, was an American artist and recreational mathematician who is most famous for devising and giving his

Boris Kordemsky

Boris A. Kordemsky (Russian: Борис Анастасьевич Кордемский; 23 May 1907 – 29 March 1999) was a Russian mathematician and educator. He is best known for his popular science books and mathematical puzzl

John R. Hendricks

John Robert Hendricks (September 4, 1929 – July 7, 2007) was a Canadian amateur mathematician specializing in magic squares and hypercubes. He published many articles in the Journal of Recreational Ma

Solomon W. Golomb

Solomon Wolf Golomb (/ɡəloʊm/; May 30, 1932 – May 1, 2016) was an American mathematician, engineer, and professor of electrical engineering at the University of Southern California, best known for his

John Horton Conway

John Horton Conway FRS (26 December 1937 – 11 April 2020) was an English mathematician active in the theory of finite groups, knot theory, number theory, combinatorial game theory and coding theory. H

Júlio César de Mello e Souza

Júlio César de Mello e Souza (Rio de Janeiro, May 6, 1895 – Recife, June 18, 1974), was a Brazilian writer and mathematics teacher. He was well known in Brazil and abroad by his books on recreational

Ross Honsberger

Ross Honsberger (1929–2016) was a Canadian mathematician and author on recreational mathematics.

Robert Ammann

Robert Ammann (October 1, 1946 – May, 1994) was an amateur mathematician who made several significant and groundbreaking contributions to the theory of quasicrystals and aperiodic tilings. Ammann atte

Patrick Michael Grundy

Patrick Michael Grundy (16 November 1917, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight – 4 November 1959) was an English mathematician and statistician. He was one of the eponymous co-discoverers of the Sprague–Grundy fun

D. R. Kaprekar

Dattatreya Ramchandra Kaprekar (Marathi: दत्तात्रेय रामचंद्र कापरेकर; 17 January 1905 – 1986) was an Indian recreational mathematician who described several classes of natural numbers including the Ka

Alexander Bogomolny

Alexander Bogomolny (January 4, 1948 – July 7, 2018) was a Soviet-born Israeli American mathematician. He was Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Iowa, and formerly research fellow

Harold Scott MacDonald Coxeter

Harold Scott MacDonald "Donald" Coxeter, CC, FRS, FRSC (9 February 1907 – 31 March 2003) was a British and later also Canadian geometer. He is regarded as one of the greatest geometers of the 20th cen

Raymond Smullyan

Raymond Merrill Smullyan (/ˈsmʌliən/; May 25, 1919 – February 6, 2017) was an American mathematician, magician, concert pianist, logician, Taoist, and philosopher. Born in Far Rockaway, New York, his

David A. Klarner

David Anthony Klarner (October 10, 1940 – March 20, 1999) was an American mathematician, author, and educator. He is known for his work in combinatorial enumeration, polyominoes, and box-packing. Klar

Royal Vale Heath

Royal Vale Heath (5 January 1883 – 25 July 1960) was a wealthy New York stockbroker and writer who became widely known as a magician and puzzle enthusiast. His magic tricks were often based on mathema

Thomas von Randow

Thomas von Randow (26 December 1921 Breslau, Schlesien – 29 July 2009 Hamburg) was a German mathematician and journalist who published mathematical and logical puzzles under the pseudonym Zweistein in

Lewis Carroll

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (/ˈlʌtwɪdʒ ˈdɒdʒsən/; 27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, poet and mathematician. His most notable works are

Yakov Perelman

Yakov Isidorovich Perelman (Russian: Яков Исидорович Перельман; 4 December [O.S. 22 November] 1882 – 16 March 1942) was a Russian and Soviet science writer and author of many popular science books, in

Thomas Malin Rodgers

Thomas Malin Rodgers (August 1, 1943 — April 12, 2012) was an Atlanta-based businessman and puzzle collector who is remembered as the originator of the Gathering 4 Gardner (G4G) educational foundation

Piet Hein (scientist)

Piet Hein (16 December 1905 – 17 April 1996) was a Danish polymath (mathematician, inventor, designer, writer and poet), often writing under the Old Norse pseudonym Kumbel, meaning "tombstone". His sh

Maria Antònia Canals

Maria Antònia Canals (15 November 1930 – 29 April 2022) was a Spanish mathematician. Her work in recreational mathematics served as the basis for the eponymous Canals Project. Among other honors, she

Édouard Lucas

François Édouard Anatole Lucas (French pronunciation: [fʁɑ̃swa edwaʁ anatɔl lykɑ]; 4 April 1842 – 3 October 1891) was a French mathematician. Lucas is known for his study of the Fibonacci sequence. T

Nob Yoshigahara

Nobuyuki Yoshigahara (芦ヶ原 伸之 Yoshigahara Nobuyuki, commonly known as "Nob"; May 27, 1936 – June 19, 2004) was perhaps Japan's most celebrated inventor, collector, solver, and communicator of puzzles.

Joseph Madachy

Joseph Steven Madachy (March 16, 1927 – March 27, 2014) was a research chemist, technical editor and recreational mathematician. He was the lead editor of Journal of Recreational Mathematics for nearl

Martin Gardner

Martin Gardner (October 21, 1914 – May 22, 2010) was an American popular mathematics and popular science writer with interests also encompassing scientific skepticism, micromagic, philosophy, religion

Sam Loyd

Samuel Loyd (January 30, 1841 – April 10, 1911), was an American chess player, chess composer, puzzle author, and recreational mathematician. Loyd was born in Philadelphia but raised in New York City.

Leo Moser

Leo Moser (11 April 1921, Vienna – 9 February 1970, Edmonton) was an Austrian-Canadian mathematician, best known for his polygon notation. A native of Vienna, Leo Moser immigrated with his parents to

J. A. Lindon

James Albert Lindon (c. 1914 – 16 December 1979) was an English puzzle enthusiast and poet specialising in light verse, constrained writing, and children's poetry. Lindon was based in Addlestone and W

W. W. Rouse Ball

Walter William Rouse Ball (14 August 1850 – 4 April 1925), known as W. W. Rouse Ball, was a British mathematician, lawyer, and fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1878 to 1905. He was also a ke

Maurice Kraitchik

Maurice Borisovich Kraitchik (21 April 1882 – 19 August 1957) was a Belgian mathematician and populariser. His main interests were the theory of numbers and recreational mathematics. He was born to a

Laurie Brokenshire

Commodore Laurence Phillip Brokenshire CBE (1952–2017), known as Laurie Brokenshire, was a Royal Naval officer, magician, and world-class puzzle solver. He is also known to have successfully fostered

Kathleen Ollerenshaw

Dame Kathleen Mary Ollerenshaw, DBE (née Timpson; 1 October 1912 – 10 August 2014) was a British mathematician and politician who was Lord Mayor of Manchester from 1975 to 1976 and an advisor on educa

Henry Dudeney

Henry Ernest Dudeney (10 April 1857 – 23 April 1930) was an English author and mathematician who specialised in logic puzzles and mathematical games. He is known as one of the country's foremost creat

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