200 Years/200 Questions Contest
In 2008-2009, to celebrate the Mount's bicentennial, our department held a university-wide math contest. Each week throughout the school-year we posted seven new problems, ranging from the easy, "What math word can be split into two words that might describe a man after a long day at the beach?" to the more mathematical, "How many integers between 1 and 10,000 contain the number 3?" Problems were designed to be fun and solvable, at least in principle, by non-math majors. People from all parts of the university participated - students, faculty, staff, administrators, and seminarians.
Here is an archive of all the questions.
Questions came from all sorts of places. Many were contributed by members of the math and computer science department. A few were contributed by other professors and students. A lot of the questions came from old puzzle books and other puzzle contests. Some of the questions I just made up off the top of my head. It's hard to pinpoint the original source of some of the questions as they are quite old and have been passed around for years. Therefore, the following list is necessarily incomplete.
My favorite sources are:
- Mathematical Bafflers. Angela Dunn. McGraw-Hill, 1964.
- Second Book of Bafflers. Angela Dunn. Dover, 1983.
- Mathematical Quickies. Charles W. Trigg. Dover, 1985.
- 500 Mathematical Challenges - Barbeau, Klamkin, Moser. MAA, 1995.
- Riddles of the Sphinx. David J. Bodycombe. Penguin, 2007.
- Car Talk Puzzlers http://www.cartalk.com/content/puzzler/.
- Mindtrap (game by Pressman Toy Corp).
- The American Mathematical Monthly, The College Mathematics Journal, and Mathematics Magazine, each published by the MAA, offer a nice collection of questions, though most require knowledge at the level of an undergraduate math major. The Pi-Mu-Epsilon journal also has some good questions.
- I used a number of questions from the Lehigh University High School Mathematics Competition and the Montclair State University Bi-weekly Mathematics Contest.
- I found a couple of good questions from the AHSME (American High School Mathematics Examination), the Northern Colorado Mathematics Contest, and a contest held by the MAA-NJ section.
- Games Magazine. http://www.gamesmagazine-online.com/
- 1000 PlayThinks. Ivan Moscovich. Workman, 2001.
- Exploratory Problems in Mathematics. Frederick W. Stevenson, NCTM, 1992.
- Mathematical Recreations. Maurice Kraitchik. Dover, 1953.
- Problem Solving Through Recreational Mathematics. Averbach and Chein. Dover, 2000.
- The Math Chat Book. Frank Morgan. MAA, 2000.
- Problem-Solving Through Problems. Loren C. Larson. Springer, 1983.
- My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles. Martin Gardner. Dover, 1994.
- Computers and the Imagination. Clifford Pickover. St. Martin's Press, 1991 .
- Linear Algebra: A Modern Introduction, 2nd edition. David Poole. Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2006.
- More Mathematical Puzzles of Sam LLoyd. Martin Gardner (editor). Dover, 1960.
- Mother Tongue: English and how it got that way. Bill Bryson. Avon Books, 1990.
- A collection of word oddities and trivia. Jeff Miller. http://jeff560.tripod.com/words.html.