Historically, many of the most important mathematical concepts arose from problems that were recreational in origin. This book takes advantage of that fact, using recreational mathematics to teach students how to think critically. Encouraging active participation rather than just observation, the book focuses less on mathematical results than on how these results can be applied to thinking about problems and solving them.

Each chapter contains a diverse array of problems in such areas as logic, number and graph theory, two-player games of strategy, solitaire games and puzzles, and much more. Sample problems (solved in the text) whet readers’ appetites and motivate discussions; practice problems solidify their grasp of mathematical ideas; and exercises challenge them, fostering problem-solving ability. Appendixes contain basic algebraic techniques and mathematical inductions, and other helpful addenda include hints and solutions, plus answers to selected problems. An extensive appendix on probability is new to this Dover edition. Free solutions manual available for download at the Dover website.