The subject can include other topics such as the aesthetics of mathematics, and peculiar or amusing stories and coincidences about mathematics and mathematicians. Its greatest contribution is its ability to pique curiosity and inspire the further study of mathematics.

Recreational mathematics includes such topics as magic squares and the exploration of fractals aided by computer graphics.

The Journal of Recreational Mathematics is the biggest publication on this topic.

The foremost advocates of recreational mathematics have included

- Martin Gardner, author of
*Mathematical Games*, a long running column in Scientific American - Douglas Hofstadter
- John Conway
- Henry Dudeney
- Clifford A. Pickover, author of numerous books on recreational mathematics
- Piet Hein
- Sam Loyd
- Walter William Rouse Ball
- Raymond Smullyan
- H. S. M. Coxeter