Dr. Jacob Ecco is a mathematical detective and puzzle solver. In this book he helps his clients discover treasures outsmart kidnappers and identify spies by means of induction and insight. You're invited to solve the puzzles as well, which are inspired by the methods and thinking of researchers in computer science and mathematics. Solving them requires no special skills (a clear head and imagination help) but doing so will acquaint you with some central ideas in the two fields. Among the nearly 40 puzzles included The Tower of Lego, the Odd Doors Problem, Code Breaking, the Rotary Problem, etc. Solutions to the problems are included in this stimulating adventure story that is not only fun to read but an imaginative and effective device for sharpening thinking and problem solving skills.
Dennis E. Shasha, professor of computer science at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, writes the Puzzling Adventures column in Scientific American as well as the Omniheurist Puzzle Corner for Dr. Dobb’s Journal.