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Christmas is just around the corner and I haven't bought all the gifts for my family yet ( yeah, 😢) My Dad has a PhD in Mathematics, he works in Graph theory and his thesis was about Quasiperiodic tilings. What do you think would make a good gift for him? I'll appreciate anything you could think of! Thanks for reading, hope you have a great day 🙂.

p.s.: after reading all the tags in this website I think this is the right one for this kind of question? please correct me if I'm wrong!

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    $\begingroup$ This should obviously be CW, but I support this question existing in the hope that my future children will get me cool math gifts. $\endgroup$ – Alec Rhea Dec 11 '20 at 22:47
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    $\begingroup$ This is entirely not the right website, but I’d like to see what answers you get anyway, so let’s hope the “vote-to-closers” are too busy closing homework questions and let this one survive at least for a while. $\endgroup$ – Gordon Royle Dec 11 '20 at 23:11
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    $\begingroup$ Please, keep this question open. It is one of a very few holidays treats we can have in MathOverflow in the depressing time we have. $\endgroup$ – Piotr Hajlasz Dec 12 '20 at 0:16
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    $\begingroup$ Are you sure that Dad is not an MO regular? $\endgroup$ – Gordon Royle Dec 12 '20 at 12:54
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    $\begingroup$ Am I allowed to go against the grain and suggest not getting your dad a math-related gift? Maybe I am not "mathy" enough but I usually find such gifts a bit boring/easily forgotten (ok, I love the suggestion below about Hagaromo chalk!) $\endgroup$ – Remarkably Unremarkable Dec 12 '20 at 22:54

36 Answers 36

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Complex dynamics generates a wealth of fascinating fractals which are perfect for posters. So I would say a Mandelmap poster can be a good gift.

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I myself work on graphs and studied quasiperiodic tilings, and I warmly recommend XKCD and its goodies, in particular the volume 0 book, the log-scale height poster, and its other books!

Height

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I think a twisty puzzle like a Rubik's Cube is a nice gift, especially if your recipient is interested in puzzles or group theory. I suggest avoiding the Rubik's brand cubes because those turn terribly and going for a Chinese company speedcube. In my extremely limited experience with abstract algebra, I've found being able to see concretely commutators and generators is greatly rewarding and helps my intuition.

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Lot of choice from Quasi periodic tiling designs for table mats by 3d printing ( choose a flexible plastic for rolling up thin sheet after breakfast ). Ask him for his favorite tiling .. penrose, arabesque...

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It is common in Iran that students gift "Rubaiyat Omar Khayyam" that can be found in Amazon easily.

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I think it would be hard to find a math book or a book about math that would be a sure fire gift for a mathematician. My suggestions are: (1) a classy chess set, and (2) an electronic keyboard, both of which speak to a "mathematician mind" in different ways. Two other possibilities: electronic chess set and electronic sudoku set.

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