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Introduction to the Second Week

In this article, Yossi Elran introduces the topics covered in the second week of the course
Collection of wooden puzzles
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This week we’ll take a deeper look at some of the topics in recreational math.

As you already know, recreational math is a vast field. We can’t possible cover all the material in an introductory course, so we have picked out some examples of what we consider as some of the main topics. We begin by taking a look at some classic puzzles, such as the wolf, the goat and the cabbage, and the water jug puzzles, and two algorithmic puzzles that we recently adapted for TedEd.

Then, I will take you on a tour of my mechanical puzzle collection to show you some of the classes of these kind of puzzles. We continue with logic puzzles, which you already encountered in the Lewis Carroll articles.

We end this week with cryptarithms, secret codes and sudoku, and of course – a magic trick. You might find one or more of these topics difficult or intimidating. Here’s my word of advice: don’t give up! It’s completely OK to ask for help from me or other participants in the comments, or to skip an article – and that sense of Aha! when you do get something is really worth the wait and your patience!

OK – now we’re ready for this week! Mark this step as completed and let’s go!

© Davidson Institute of Science Education, Weizmann Institute of Science
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An Introduction to Recreational Math: Fun, Games, and Puzzles

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