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The History of Pentominoes

Date: 10/22/95 at 0:20:10
From: Anonymous
Subject: What is the history of pentaminoes? 

I have tried to find information on the web and gopher and I have used an 
archie search.  I have also looked in magazine article searches.  I would 
just like to know who "invented" or developed pentominoes and any 
background information.  Thank you.

Date: 10/22/95 at 12:15:58
From: Doctor Andrew
Subject: Re: What is the history of pentominoes?  

I know Martin Gardner has written stuff about pentominoes. I don't know
about any web resources concerning them, but look for books by Martin 
Gardner at your local library. I think there may be stuff in the
Second Scientific American book of Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions, 
but you could check other of his books as well.  If we come up with 
more, we'll let you know.  Good luck!

- Doctor Andrew,  The Geometry Forum

Date: 11/12/95 at 14:48:59
From: Doctor Ethan
Subject: Re: What is the history of pentominoes?  

Here is something I found at the MacTutor History of Mathematics 

The game of pentominoes is of more recent invention. The problem of 
tiling an 8 x 8 square with a square hole in the center was solved
in 1935. This problem was shown by computer to have exactly 65 
solutions in 1958. In 1953 more general polyominoes were introduced. 
It is still an unsolved problem how many distinct polyominoes of each 
order there are. There are 12 pentominoes, 35 hexominoes and 108 
heptominoes (including one rather dubious one with a hole in the 

Puzzles with polyominoes were invented by Solomon W. Golomb, a
mathematician and electrical engineer at Southern California University.

You could check out there page for more info it is at:


- Doctor Ethan,  The Geometry Forum

Associated Topics:
Middle School History/Biography

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