HISTORY OF PUZZLES AND HOW THEY RELATE TO OUR EVERYDAY LIVES
WHAT ARE PUZZLES? A game, toy, problem or enigma designed to test ingenuity or knowledge. WHY AM I INTERESTED? I am interested in the history of puzzles because I find puzzles challenging and fun. They are a good way to get your mind going.
WHY ARE PUZZLES IMPORTANT? Researchers say puzzles prove to be a significant predictor of spatial skills--skills important in mathematics, science and technology and a key aspect of cognition. Performing mental exercises, such as puzzles, can help form new connections in your brain and boost long-term mental performance. Puzzles can help with both memory retrieval and the ability to process new information by strengthening the connections between brain cells.
EARLY PUZZLES AND PROBLEMS The Rhind papyrus shows that early Egyptian mathematics was largely based on puzzle type problems. For example the papyrus, written in around 1850 BC, contains a type of puzzle. Seven houses contain seven cats. Each cat kills seven mice. Each mouse had eaten seven ears of grain. Each ear of grain would have produced seven hekats of wheat. What is the total of all of these?
EARLY PUZZLES AND PROBLEMS Perhaps the most famous Greek puzzle was from Archimedes in his book The Sandreckoner where he gives the Cattle Problem. If thou art diligent and wise, O Stranger, compute the number of cattle of the Sun... Fibonacci is famed for his invention of the sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13,... where each number is the sum of the previous two. A large amount of mathematics has been based on this sequence. Here is the famous Rabbit Problem. A certain man put a pair of rabbits in a place surrounded on all sides by a wall. How many pairs of rabbits can be produced from that pair in a year if it is supposed that every month each pair begins a new pair which from the second month on becomes productive?
LOGIC PUZZLES Logic puzzles are derived from the mathematical field of deduction. For example: You have 12 black socks and 12 white socks mixed up in a drawer. You're up very early and it's too dark to tell them apart. What's the smallest number of socks you need to take out (blindly) to be sure of having a matching pair? Solution: 3 socks. If the first sock is black, the second one could be black, in which case you have a matching pair. If the second sock is white, the third sock will be either black and match the first sock, or white and match the second sock.
WHY SHOULD YOU DO PUZZLES? Because puzzles stimulate the mind and strengthen connections in your brain which leads to better mental health. Puzzles are also an easy way to get children, students, or even adults to enjoy math.
A BRAIN TEASER! Haretown and Tortoiseville are 80 miles apart. A hare travels at 9 miles per hour from Haretown to Tortoiseville, while a tortoise travels at 1 miles per hour from Tortoiseville to Haretown. If both set out at the same time, how many miles will the hare have to travel before meeting the tortoise en route?
BIBLIOGRAPHY http://www.ehow.com/facts_5201227_puzzles-good- brain_.html#ixzz2VGpG84Yd http://www-history.mcs.st- and.ac.uk/HistTopics/Mathematical_games.html http://www.syvum.com/teasers/ http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml samuel, liberty. "Why Are Puzzles Good For Your Brain?." eHow. ehow. Web. 6 Jun 2013. JJ, O'Conner, and Robertson E F. "Mathematical Games and Recreations." History Topics. History of mathematical Games and Recreations, n.d. Web. 6 Jun 2013.