OU Honors Martin Gardner


The legacy of Martin Gardner will be celebrated Thursday, Feb. 28 at the University of Oklahoma’s Sam Noble Museum of Natural History.

The event is entitled Martin Gardner’s Legacy: One Oklahoman’s Imprint on Math, Magic, and Philosophy. Gardner, a writer and polymath, created the Mathematical Games column that appeared in the Scientific American for 25 years. He was an avid creator of puzzles, tricks and magic and wrote on topics like recreational math, philosophy of science and literary criticism. His influence spanned several realms – from mathematics to linguistics, biology, philosophy and even magic. In fact, famed performers Penn and Teller sing his praises, as did the late evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould.

Gardner spent the last decade of his life in Norman before his death in 2010. His son, Jim Gardner, recently retired from the University of Oklahoma.

This event is free to the public and includes keynote speaker Erik Demaine, a professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Other reflections come from Colm Mulcahy, professor of mathematics at Spelman College; Robert Crease, professor of philosophy at Stony Brook University; and Nancy Blachman, chair of the Gardner Foundation.

Sponsored by the OU Provost Office, the OU Honors College and the OU Departments of Mathematics and Philosophy, this event kicks off with a 6:30 p.m. reception in the Sam Noble Great Hall. Lectures begin at 7 p.m. For more information, click here.