Fascinating Mathematical People: Interviews and Memoirs

Princeton University Press
1
Free sample

Fascinating Mathematical People is a collection of informal interviews and memoirs of sixteen prominent members of the mathematical community of the twentieth century, many still active. The candid portraits collected here demonstrate that while these men and women vary widely in terms of their backgrounds, life stories, and worldviews, they all share a deep and abiding sense of wonder about mathematics.

Featured here--in their own words--are major research mathematicians whose cutting-edge discoveries have advanced the frontiers of the field, such as Lars Ahlfors, Mary Cartwright, Dusa McDuff, and Atle Selberg. Others are leading mathematicians who have also been highly influential as teachers and mentors, like Tom Apostol and Jean Taylor. Fern Hunt describes what it was like to be among the first black women to earn a PhD in mathematics. Harold Bacon made trips to Alcatraz to help a prisoner learn calculus. Thomas Banchoff, who first became interested in the fourth dimension while reading a Captain Marvel comic, relates his fascinating friendship with Salvador Dalí and their shared passion for art, mathematics, and the profound connection between the two. Other mathematical people found here are Leon Bankoff, who was also a Beverly Hills dentist; Arthur Benjamin, a part-time professional magician; and Joseph Gallian, a legendary mentor of future mathematicians, but also a world-renowned expert on the Beatles.

This beautifully illustrated collection includes many photographs never before published, concise introductions by the editors to each person, and a foreword by Philip J. Davis.

Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

Read more

About the author

Donald J. Albers is senior acquisitions editor at the Mathematical Association of America. Gerald L. Alexanderson is the Michael and Elizabeth Valeriote Professor of Science at Santa Clara University. They are the editors of Mathematical People: Profiles and Interviews and More Mathematical People: Contemporary Conversations.
Read more
3.0
1 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
Read more
Published on
Sep 6, 2011
Read more
Pages
352
Read more
ISBN
9781400839551
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
Mathematics / Essays
Mathematics / General
Mathematics / History & Philosophy
Science / General
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
The Freakonomics of math—a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands

The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it.

Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer?

How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God.

Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.
by Donald J. Albers ix INTRODUCTION In July of 1984 the first national conference on mathematics education in two-year colleges was held at Menlo College. The conference was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Two-year colleges account for more than one-third of all undergraduate enrollments in mathematics, and more than one-half of all college freshmen are enrolled in two-year colleges. These two facts alone suggest the importance of mathematics education in two-year colleges, particularly to secondary schools, four-year colleges, and universities. For a variety of reasons, four-year colleges and universities are relatively unaware of two-year colleges. Arthur Cohen, who was a participant at the "New Directions" conference warns: "Four-year colleges and universities ignore two-year colleges at their own peril." Ross Taylor, another conference participant, encouraged two-year college faculty to be ever mindful of their main source of students--secondary schools- and to work hard to strengthen their ties with them. There are many other reasons why it was important to examine two-year college mathematics from a national perspective: 1. Over the last quarter century, rio other sector of higher education has grown so rapidly as have two-year colleges. Their enrollments tripled in the 60's, doubled in the 70's, and continue to increase rapidly in the 80's. x 2. Twenty-five years ago, two-year colleges accounted for only one-seventh of all undergraduate mathematics enrollments; today the fraction is more than one-third.
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.