Puzzle researcher: Jacques Ferroul

Jacques Ferroul was born September 11, 1948, in Saint-Denis, La Reunion, an overseas "department" of France on an island in the Indian Ocean.

He received his BA degree in Mathematiques Elementaires from the University of Montpellier in 1966. He received his Master's degree in mathematics from the University of Marseille in 1973. He studied biology and geology and obtained a degree in natural sciences. He was a mathematics teacher at Louis Pasteur College in Marseille from September 1975 until his retirement in 2008.

Jacques married Nicole Laugier in 1971. They had two children, Gilles and Erica.

Jacques Ferroul was known for his creativity in many aspects of his life. He was a good guitarist. He composed several melodies. He practiced running and participated in half marathons and marathons. He loved to communicate with many people, and for this he learned many languages.

Jacques loved nature. With his family he spent holidays in the French Alps. He loved great mountains covered with vegetation where many animals lived.

He loved to play. He was passionate about games and puzzles, like pentominoes, tangrams, Todong… He started by making a 12-piece puzzle, each piece having a surface area of 6 identical equilateral triangles (hexiamonds). He named that puzzle Hexos. At the same time, he made a 24-piece puzzle, each piece having a surface area of 7 identical equilateral triangles (heptiamonds) and named the puzzle Heptos.

When making Hexos and Heptoes in wood, he got scraps and used them to make a small puzzle for his son. This puzzle had two types of pieces: 3 pieces made with 4 equilateral triangles (tetriamonds) and 4 pieces made with 5 equilateral triangles (pentiamonds). And that is how Tetrapentos was born!

The Tetrapentos he named TET’PEN for short because they are made of tetriamonds and pentiamonds, members of the polyform family polyiamonds. Kadon produces polyiamonds up through size 8.

He continued to design many other puzzles. You can see them shown and explained on his beautiful website. These six are produced and published by Kadon:

  • Stelo
  • Tetrapentos
  • Polyspidrons
  • Grand Polyspidrons
  • La Ora Stelo
  • The Crab (Le Crabe)

    In November 2023, Jacques became very ill, and he passed away on December 1, 2023. We miss him deeply, and we honor his memory and will provide for his magnificent mathematical creations a permanent future as treasures for all humankind. We are happy and grateful to have known this brilliant, kind and gentle man for all these years. Our love is with his family.

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