Martin Gardner interview in Focus Magazine

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Postby Frank Yuen » 11/07/04 12:16 PM

My wife just handed me the current issue of Focus magazine, the newsletter of the Mathematical Association of America. It's volume 24 number 8 for those that may want to track it down. Featured is a four page interview with Martin Gardner in celebration of his 90th birthday by Don Albers.

There was an amusing anecdote relating how Persi Diaconis got into Harvard that I've retyped below. I'm assuming that quoting this short section is okay but if not, moderators please edit.

MG: ... I knew Persi when he was a student at NYU. You probably heard how he got into Harvard.

DA: As I recall, he gave you some credit for writing a letter of recommendation to Fred Mosteler, the Harvard statistician.

MG: Mosteller is a magic buff. When Persi said he wanted to get into Harvard, I wrote to Fred and said that Persi can do the best bottom deal and second deal of anybody I know, and that got him into Harvard. I talked to Fred on the phone about it and he said, "Is he willing to major in statistics? And Persi said sure he'd major in statistics if that would get him into Harvard. So he went up to Harvard, and they had a session together, maybe doing card tricks. Mosteller got him into Harvard.

Another item of interest that was mentioned was that all fifteen volumes of his "Mathematical Games" columns have been digitized and will be soon released on a single cd entitled Martin Gardner's Mathematical Games.

Frank Yuen
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Postby Richard Forster » 11/09/04 06:01 AM

There is a short "mathemagic" piece on the MAA website, dedicated to Martin Gardner, at Triple Dealing .
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