Recreational mathematics consists of mathematical games and puzzles that are often designed for a popular (i.e., not mathematically astute) audience and are typically based on ideas from discrete mathematics, especially elementary concepts of probability, combinatorics and number theory, since these areas focus on familiar objects and ideas, but involve many subtleties.
Many companies ask puzzle-type questions during interviews to test the ability of the interviewee. Strong math and analytical skills required to solve these puzzles.
- You are in the dark, and on the floor there are six shoes of three colors, and a heap of twenty-four socks, black and brown. How many socks and shoes must you take into the light to be certain that you have a matching pair of socks and a matching pair of shoes?
- A man has to get a fox, a chicken, and a sack of corn across a river. He has a rowboat, and it can only carry him and one other thing. If the fox and the chicken are left together, the fox will eat the chicken. If the chicken and the corn are left together, the chicken will eat the corn. How does the man do it?