Like many math-obsessed geeks who lived in the second half of the twentieth century, I read with poignant regret of the passing of Martin Gardner this past weekend.
My introduction to him was through his regular Scientific American column "Mathematical Games". During my formative years, personal computers were shifting from rarity to ubiquity, and many of his columns were well suited to computer experimentation: Conway's game of "Life", Mandelbrot's fractals, etc. I whiled away many a rainy (and not a few sunny) days writing BASIC code to bring those beautiful structures to the screen of my very own Apple IIc.
John Derbyshire writes his own tribute on the Corner. A great man, Gardner. He will be missed.