A Brief HistoryIf a domino has two squares, then a pentomino must has five! At least so thought student Solomon W. Golomb when he coined the name for these 12 little tiles in a 1953 talk to the Harvard Mathematical Club. In 1907 these 12 little compadres had already been featured in a problem about pieces on a Go board, published in England by Henry Ernest Dudeney. And in the mid 1920's, archeologists at the ancient site of Niniveh unearthed a series of 2339 tablets, well, maybe not... but that would be NICE!
The trail for any information on pentominoes begins with the book by Golomb, Polyominoes. Puzzles, Patterns, Problems, and Packings, Princeton University Press, 1994. A Pfine Plittle Pbook!
Some LinksU. of Victoria, Canada Combinatorics Object Server: Information on pentomino puzzles
U. of Exeter, UK Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching: Polyominoes - an introduction
Guenther Albrecht Buehler Logical Art and the Art of Logic
Arion Lei: from Macau via Hong Kong U. of Science and Tech.: Polyominoes. I really like his pentomino farm topic. He even has a reference to CS grand master Don E. Knuth of Stanford U, apparently also an champion pentomino farmer.
Robert Simm Pentomino Java Project for the 10x6 Rectangle
Gerard Putter's Pentomino Page. Were we also born on the same day?