Martin Gardner's Awards

Martin received many awards and accolades in his lifetime, but he never sought them out, or dwelt on his achievements. His reluctance to travel may have reduced the number of awards he might otherwise have received, and he in known not to have accepted many of those listed below in person.

He accepted two honorary degrees, and eight awards for writing from prestigious professional mathematics and physics organizations. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, was declared to be one of the 100 most influential magicians of the twentieth century, got a lifetime achievement award from the Magic Castle, and had an astroid named after him.

In Jun 1971, Martin received the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award from the International Wizard of Oz Club.

In Mar 1975, he received the "1974 Literary Fellowship" award in person from the Academy of Magical Arts, the Magic Castle, Hollywood, CA.

In 1976, at the "Summer Meeting of the MAA in Toronto, the Board of Governors honored Martin Gardner for his many contributions to the public appreciations of mathematics by electing him an honorary Life Member" of the Mathematical Association of America (from Focus, Nov-Dec 1981, vol. 1, no. 4). This meant a great deal to him, as he mentioned from time to time, because he subsequently received all MAA journals free. In its resolution, the MAA praised Martin for "the substantial contributions he has made to the public appreciation of mathematics by his superb exposition," adding, "The enjoyment and humor which he conveys have been an inspiration to many and are a model for all."

In 1978, Martin accepted an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bucknell University.

In 1982, the main-belt asteroid 2587 Gardner (1980 OH) (discovered 17 Jul 1980 by Edward Bowell at the Anderson Mesa Station of the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona) was named after Martin, at the suggestion of Jean Meeus. Of related interest is 6630 Skepticus (1982 VA1), a main-belt asteroid discovered 15 Nov 1982 by Edward Bowell at the Anderson Mesa Station of the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona.

In 1983, he received the US Steel Foundation Prize for Science Writing from the American Institute of Physics for the article: "Quantum Weirdness" (Discover, vol 3, 68–76, Oct 1982).

In 1987, Martin was awarded the Leroy P. Steele Prize for exposition from the American Mathematical Society "for his many books and articles on mathematics and particularly for his column 'Mathematical Games' in Scientific American."

In 1990, Martin received the Allendoerfer Award (along with Fan Chung & Ronald Graham) from the Mathematical Association of America for the paper "Steiner Trees on a Checkerboard" (Mathematics Magazine, Vol 62 (1989), 83–96)

In 1992, Martin received the David Hilbert International Award from the World Federation of National Mathematics Competitions (Australia) for his "outstanding series of books and articles which have made mathematical recreations exciting and challenging, and yet at the same time accessible, to both the scientific community and the public community in general" (from the citation). (This award was set up "to recognise contributions of mathematicians which have played a significant role in the development of mathematical challenges at the international level and which have been a stimulus for the enrichment of mathematics learning.")

In Jan 1994, Martin received the JPBM Communications Award from the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics "for authoring numerous books and articles about mathematics, including his long-running Scientific American column, 'Mathematical Games,' and his books, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science and Mathematical Carnival."

In 1994, he accepted an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Furman University.

In 1995, Quantum magazine won the the Folio Editorial Excellence Award for Outstanding Fulfillment of its Editorial Mission, the citation singling out Martin's article "Six Challenging Dissection Tasks" (1994) for engaging the reader, by "giv[ing] readers the chance to formulate proofs using what they already know about the properties of geometry, combined with new twists from the man who for many years wrote the 'Mathematical Diversions' column in Scientific American."

In 1997, the American Physical Society gave Martin the Forum Award for Promoting Public Understanding of the Relationships of Physics and Society for "for his popular columns and books on recreational mathematics which introduced generations of readers to the pleasures and uses of logical thinking; and for his columns and books which exposed pseudoscientific bunk and explained the scientific process to the general public." (James Randi, a previous winner of this award, accepted the award on Martin's behalf.)

In 1997, he became a Fellow (Class: Humanities and Arts, Section: Literature) of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 1998, he was awarded the Trevor Evans Award by the Mathematical Association of America for the paper "The Square Root of two = 1.41421 35623 73095 ..." (Math Horizons, Apr 1997, 5–8)

Martin Gardner was listed in the "100 Most Influential Magicians of the Twentieth Century" by MAGIC magazine (Jun 1999, page 60).

In 2000 Martin got the George PĆ³lya Award from the Mathematical Association of America for the paper "The Asymmetric Propeller" (The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 30, 1999, 2–12)

On 1 Apr 2005, Martin was given the "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Academy of Magical Arts, the Magic Castle, Hollywood, CA. (The award was accepted on his behalf by his grandson, William.)

In Aug 2011, Martin was posthumously awarded the Houdini Hall of Honor award from the Independent Investigations Group.