Celebration of the Mind Day is observed on October 21, on the birthday of the famous mathematician, Martin Gardner. Developed by the Gathering 4 Gardner Foundation, Celebration of Mind (CoM) is meant to unite people for a day to explore puzzles, games, math, and magic. Even if math is not your thing, this day has got something fun in store for you.
History of Celebration of the Mind Day
Martin Gardner was a well-known American writer, polymath, and ‘mathemagician’ — a mathematician who is also a magician. Throughout his life, he pioneered recreational mathematics, authored over 100 books across a wide range of topics, and introduced audiences to subjects they had never even heard of before, such as the Soma cube, flexagons, and the “Game of Life”. His work garnered millions of readers and fans across the globe.
Gardner made a huge impact on the field of mathematics and his writing directly or indirectly inspired many people who went on to have careers in mathematics and science. His admirers included prominent individuals, including W.H. Auden, Carl Sagan, and Isaac Asimov, to name a few. After his passing in 2010, his friends and fans started to host CoM events on or around his birthday on October 21. Spread out all over the world, these celebration events have ranged from gatherings of thousands to smaller, tight-knit groups, all with the purpose to enjoy what Gardner introduced them to. These events include activities that inspire and awe the participants, such as logic puzzles, magic illusions, and visual paradoxes.
Overall, the aim of CoM is to encourage and invite people to enjoy puzzles, games, math, and magic through various activities. With this in mind, the Gathering 4 Gardner Foundation declared October 21 as Celebration of the Mind Day.
Celebration of the Mind Day timeline
The world welcomes Garnder on October 21.
His first magic trick is published in “The Sphinx”.
Gardner publishes his first article for his ‘Mathematical Games’ column in “Scientific American”.
With Gardner’s passing, Celebration of the Mind Day is launched to keep his memory and work alive.
Celebration of the Mind Day FAQs
What did Martin Gardner do?
While Gardner made numerous contributions to society, he is best known for introducing and generating interest in recreational mathematics.
Is Martin Gardner still alive?
No, Gardner passed away in 2010 in Norman, Oklahoma. He was 95 years old when he died.
Where was Martin Gardner born?
He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States. His father was a prominent petroleum geologist and his mother was a Montessori-trained teacher.
Celebration of the Mind Day Activities
Attend a CoM event
Given the popularity of this day worldwide, there is something for everyone. Find a CoM event near you and attend it (alone or with friends).
Host a CoM event
Throw your own CoM get-together. It can be as big or small as you would like it to be, with a curated list of puzzles, games, and activities to enjoy.
Solve a Martin Gardner puzzle
If gatherings aren’t for you, you can simply sit back, relax, and put your mind to work. There are innumerable Martin Garnder puzzles online for you to choose from.
5 Facts That Make Numbers More Interesting
One in 1,000
From zero to 1,000, only the number ‘one thousand’ has the letter ‘a’ in it.
Unlucky number four
The number four is associated with death in Japanese and Chinese cultures; some hospitals don’t even have a fourth floor.
Be back in 1/100th second
A “jiffy” is an actual unit of time — 1/100th of a second.
Wordplay of 13
‘Eleven plus two’ and ‘twelve plus one’ are anagrams that both add up to 13.
In a room with 23 people, there’s a 50% chance that two of them will have the same birthday.
Why We Love Celebration of the Mind Day
It is a celebration of the mind
Our mind is a beautiful and complex entity that enables us to experience life as we know it. It is powerful and brilliant and deserves a day of celebration at the very least, if not more.
It reminds us that learning can be fun
Math and science can often just feel like intense school subjects. It is through the works of people like Gardner that we realize how fun and interesting learning and logical reasoning can be.
It keeps memories alive
Gardner is one of the many people who spent most, if not all, of their lives, making significant contributions to their respective fields, leaving a mark for generations to follow. Days like this help us remember and celebrate their lives and work.
Celebration of the Mind Day dates