Drawing on his personal experiences and obsessions as well as the thoughts and opinions of mathematicians from Archimedes and Omar Khayyám to such contemporary giants as Alexander Grothendieck and Robert Langlands, Michael Harris reveals the charisma and romance of mathematics as well as its darker side. In this portrait of mathematics as a community united around a set of common intellectual, ethical, and existential challenges, he touches on a wide variety of questions, such as: Are mathematicians to blame for the 2008 financial crisis? How can we talk about the ideas we were born too soon to understand? And how should you react if you are asked to explain number theory at a dinner party?
Disarmingly candid, relentlessly intelligent, and richly entertaining, Mathematics without Apologies takes readers on an unapologetic guided tour of the mathematical life, from the philosophy and sociology of mathematics to its reflections in film and popular music, with detours through the mathematical and mystical traditions of Russia, India, medieval Islam, the Bronx, and beyond.
For more than forty years, A History of Mathematics has been the reference of choice for those looking to learn about the fascinating history of humankind’s relationship with numbers, shapes, and patterns. This revised edition features up-to-date coverage of topics such as Fermat’s Last Theorem and the Poincaré Conjecture, in addition to recent advances in areas such as finite group theory and computer-aided proofs.Distills thousands of years of mathematics into a single, approachable volume Covers mathematical discoveries, concepts, and thinkers, from Ancient Egypt to the present Includes up-to-date references and an extensive chronological table of mathematical and general historical developments.
Whether you're interested in the age of Plato and Aristotle or Poincaré and Hilbert, whether you want to know more about the Pythagorean theorem or the golden mean, A History of Mathematics is an essential reference that will help you explore the incredible history of mathematics and the men and women who created it.