Sunday, June 16, 2013

From dominoes to computer games.

Solomon Golomb, a very elderly mathematician has made important discoveries in space communication and electrical engineering. Though you may not have heard of him, you have certainly come across one of his creations, which became a global pop culture. Early in his career, Golomb came up with the idea of polyominoes, which are dominoes made out of more than two squares. A triomino is made of three, a tetromino out of four and so on. Martin Gardener, who wrote a monthly maths column in scientific America between 1957 and 1981, published a column on how polyominoes fit together. The column caused such international interest that Golomb's book ' Polyominoes' was translated into Russian, where it became a bestseller. One fan made a game that involved falling tetrominoes. That game, Tetris became one of the world's most enduring and best loved computer games. Now who tells me they have not played Tetris !!

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