Recreational mathematics

Recreational mathematics is mathematics carried out for recreation (entertainment) rather than as a strictly research and application-based professional activity or as a part of a student's formal education. Although it is not necessarily limited to being an endeavor for amateurs, many topics in this field require no knowledge of advanced mathematics. Recreational mathematics involves mathematical puzzles and games, often appealing to children and untrained adults, inspiring their further study of the subject.[1]

The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) includes recreational mathematics as one of its seventeen Special Interest Groups, commenting:

Recreational mathematics is not easily defined because it is more than mathematics done as a diversion or playing games that involve mathematics. Recreational mathematics is inspired by deep ideas that are hidden in puzzles, games, and other forms of play. The aim of the SIGMAA on Recreational Mathematics (SIGMAA-Rec) is to bring together enthusiasts and researchers in the myriad of topics that fall under recreational math. We will share results and ideas from our work, show that real, deep mathematics is there awaiting those who look, and welcome those who wish to become involved in this branch of mathematics.[2]

Mathematical competitions (such as those sponsored by mathematical associations) are also categorized under recreational mathematics.

  1. ^ Kulkarni, D. Enjoying Math: Learning Problem Solving With KenKen Puzzles Archived 2013-08-01 at the Wayback Machine, a textbook for teaching with KenKen Puzzles.
  2. ^ Special Interest Groups of the MAA Mathematical Association of America

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