Venues that publish Sudoku puzzles are quick to assure readers that, the presence of numbers notwithstanding, no mathematics is required to solve them. In so doing they perpetuate a tragic misunderstanding of mathematics, one that equates it with the drudgery of rote arithmetic. Though Sudokupuzzles do not directly involve arithmetic, they are all about mathematics. Taking Sudoku Seriously sets out to correct this error by using Sudoku puzzles as the foundation for an introduction to higher mathematics. The clear thinking and logical reasoning used in solving Sudoku are precisely the tools employed by research mathematicians in their work. Questions a curious person might ask about Sudoku lead naturally to ideas in combinatorics, graph theory and algebra. The mechanics of generating interestingpuzzles force you to confront the difficulties inherent in searching large spaces. This book is the very first of its kind to connect Sudoku puzzles with these key mathematical concepts. As both a math book and a puzzle book, it will change the readers look at both Sudoku and mathematics, servingboth as a gateway to mathematics for Sudoku fans and as an exploration of the intricacies of Sudoku for mathematics buffs.Since mathematics is learned by doing, the book includes a large number of intriguing puzzles, many of them novel variations on Sudoku. This visually stunning and elegantly written book will appeal to anyone with a taste for mathematics. Even better, those who claim they do not like mathematicsmight find that they have simply never encountered the real thing. With high school mathematics as the only prerequisite, this book is accessible to nearly anyone.