The Man who Loved Only Numbers

Author: Paul Hoffman
Publisher: Fourth Estate (GB)
ISBN: 1857028295
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Mathematicians

The biography of a mathematical genius. Paul Erdos was the most prolific pure mathematician in history and, arguably, the strangest too. 'A mathematical genius of the first order, Paul Erdos was totally obsessed with his subject -- he thought and wrote mathematics for nineteen hours a day until he died. He travelled constantly, living out of a plastic bag and had no interest in food, sex, companionship, art -- all that is usually indispensible to a human life. Paul Hoffman, in this marvellous biography, gives us a vivid and strangely moving portrait of this singular creature, one that brings out not only Erdos's genius and his oddness, but his warmth and sense of fun, the joyfulness of his strange life.' Oliver Sacks For six decades Erdos had no job, no hobbies, no wife, no home; he never learnt to cook, do laundry, drive a car and died a virgin. Instead he travelled the world with his mother in tow, arriving at the doorstep of esteemed mathematicians declaring 'My brain is open'. He travelled until his death at 83, racing across four continents to prove as many theorems as possible, fuelled by a diet of espresso and amphetamines. With more than 1,500 papers written or co-written,

The Man Who Loved Only Numbers

Author: Paul Hoffman
Publisher: Hyperion
ISBN: 0786884061
Release Date: 1999-05-12
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Based on a National Magazine Award-winning article, this masterful biography of Hungarian-born Paul Erdos is both a vivid portrait of an eccentric genius and a layman's guide to some of this century's most startling mathematical discoveries.

The Man who Loved Only Numbers

Author: Paul Hoffman
Publisher:
ISBN: 1857028112
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Mathematicians

The biography of a mathematical genius. Paul Erdos was the most prolific pure mathematician in history and, arguably, the strangest too. 'A mathematical genius of the first order, Paul Erdos was totally obsessed with his subject -- he thought and wrote mathematics for nineteen hours a day until he died. He travelled constantly, living out of a plastic bag and had no interest in food, sex, companionship, art -- all that is usually indispensible to a human life. Paul Hoffman, in this marvellous biography, gives us a vivid and strangely moving portrait of this singular creature, one that brings out not only Erdos's genius and his oddness, but his warmth and sense of fun, the joyfulness of his strange life.' Oliver Sacks For six decades Erdos had no job, no hobbies, no wife, no home; he never learnt to cook, do laundry, drive a car and died a virgin. Instead he travelled the world with his mother in tow, arriving at the doorstep of esteemed mathematicians declaring 'My brain is open'. He travelled until his death at 83, racing across four continents to prove as many theorems as possible, fuelled by a diet of espresso and amphetamines. With more than 1,500 papers written or co-written,

My Brain is Open

Author: Bruce Schechter
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9780684859804
Release Date: 2000-02-28
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Traces the eccentric life of legendary mathematician Paul Erdos, a wandering genius who fled his native Hungary during the Holocaust and helped devise the mathematical basis of computer science.

The Boy Who Loved Math

Author: Deborah Heiligman
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
ISBN: 9781466839526
Release Date: 2013-06-25
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

Most people think of mathematicians as solitary, working away in isolation. And, it's true, many of them do. But Paul Erdos never followed the usual path. At the age of four, he could ask you when you were born and then calculate the number of seconds you had been alive in his head. But he didn't learn to butter his own bread until he turned twenty. Instead, he traveled around the world, from one mathematician to the next, collaborating on an astonishing number of publications. With a simple, lyrical text and richly layered illustrations, this is a beautiful introduction to the world of math and a fascinating look at the unique character traits that made "Uncle Paul" a great man. The Boy Who Loved Math by Deborah Heiligman is a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013 and a New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013.

Proofs from THE BOOK

Author: Martin Aigner
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9783662572658
Release Date: 2018-06-14
Genre: Mathematics

This revised and enlarged sixth edition of Proofs from THE BOOK features an entirely new chapter on Van der Waerden’s permanent conjecture, as well as additional, highly original and delightful proofs in other chapters. From the citation on the occasion of the 2018 "Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition" “... It is almost impossible to write a mathematics book that can be read and enjoyed by people of all levels and backgrounds, yet Aigner and Ziegler accomplish this feat of exposition with virtuoso style. [...] This book does an invaluable service to mathematics, by illustrating for non-mathematicians what it is that mathematicians mean when they speak about beauty.” From the Reviews "... Inside PFTB (Proofs from The Book) is indeed a glimpse of mathematical heaven, where clever insights and beautiful ideas combine in astonishing and glorious ways. There is vast wealth within its pages, one gem after another. ... Aigner and Ziegler... write: "... all we offer is the examples that we have selected, hoping that our readers will share our enthusiasm about brilliant ideas, clever insights and wonderful observations." I do. ... " Notices of the AMS, August 1999 "... This book is a pleasure to hold and to look at: ample margins, nice photos, instructive pictures and beautiful drawings ... It is a pleasure to read as well: the style is clear and entertaining, the level is close to elementary, the necessary background is given separately and the proofs are brilliant. ..." LMS Newsletter, January 1999 "Martin Aigner and Günter Ziegler succeeded admirably in putting together a broad collection of theorems and their proofs that would undoubtedly be in the Book of Erdös. The theorems are so fundamental, their proofs so elegant and the remaining open questions so intriguing that every mathematician, regardless of speciality, can benefit from reading this book. ... " SIGACT News, December 2011

Uncle Petros and Goldbach s Conjecture

Author: Apostolos Doxiadis
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 9780571295692
Release Date: 2012-11-15
Genre: Fiction

Uncle Petros is a family joke. An ageing recluse, he lives alone in a suburb of Athens, playing chess and tending to his garden. If you didn't know better, you'd surely think he was one of life's failures. But his young nephew suspects otherwise. For Uncle Petros, he discovers, was once a celebrated mathematician, brilliant and foolhardy enough to stake everything on solving a problem that had defied all attempts at proof for nearly three centuries - Goldbach's Conjecture. His quest brings him into contact with some of the century's greatest mathematicians, including the Indian prodigy Ramanujan and the young Alan Turing. But his struggle is lonely and single-minded, and by the end it has apparently destroyed his life. Until that is a final encounter with his nephew opens up to Petros, once more, the deep mysterious beauty of mathematics. Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture is an inspiring novel of intellectual adventure, proud genius, the exhilaration of pure mathematics - and the rivalry and antagonism which torment those who pursue impossible goals.

Prime Obsession

Author: John Derbyshire
Publisher: Joseph Henry Press
ISBN: 9780309141253
Release Date: 2003-04-15
Genre: Science

In August 1859 Bernhard Riemann, a little-known 32-year old mathematician, presented a paper to the Berlin Academy titled: "On the Number of Prime Numbers Less Than a Given Quantity." In the middle of that paper, Riemann made an incidental remark â€" a guess, a hypothesis. What he tossed out to the assembled mathematicians that day has proven to be almost cruelly compelling to countless scholars in the ensuing years. Today, after 150 years of careful research and exhaustive study, the question remains. Is the hypothesis true or false? Riemann's basic inquiry, the primary topic of his paper, concerned a straightforward but nevertheless important matter of arithmetic â€" defining a precise formula to track and identify the occurrence of prime numbers. But it is that incidental remark â€" the Riemann Hypothesis â€" that is the truly astonishing legacy of his 1859 paper. Because Riemann was able to see beyond the pattern of the primes to discern traces of something mysterious and mathematically elegant shrouded in the shadows â€" subtle variations in the distribution of those prime numbers. Brilliant for its clarity, astounding for its potential consequences, the Hypothesis took on enormous importance in mathematics. Indeed, the successful solution to this puzzle would herald a revolution in prime number theory. Proving or disproving it became the greatest challenge of the age. It has become clear that the Riemann Hypothesis, whose resolution seems to hang tantalizingly just beyond our grasp, holds the key to a variety of scientific and mathematical investigations. The making and breaking of modern codes, which depend on the properties of the prime numbers, have roots in the Hypothesis. In a series of extraordinary developments during the 1970s, it emerged that even the physics of the atomic nucleus is connected in ways not yet fully understood to this strange conundrum. Hunting down the solution to the Riemann Hypothesis has become an obsession for many â€" the veritable "great white whale" of mathematical research. Yet despite determined efforts by generations of mathematicians, the Riemann Hypothesis defies resolution. Alternating passages of extraordinarily lucid mathematical exposition with chapters of elegantly composed biography and history, Prime Obsession is a fascinating and fluent account of an epic mathematical mystery that continues to challenge and excite the world. Posited a century and a half ago, the Riemann Hypothesis is an intellectual feast for the cognoscenti and the curious alike. Not just a story of numbers and calculations, Prime Obsession is the engrossing tale of a relentless hunt for an elusive proof â€" and those who have been consumed by it.

Archimedes Revenge

Author: Paul Hoffman
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0449000893
Release Date: 1997
Genre: Mathematics

Now anyone can understand what the mathematical geniuses are thinking . . . . * How topologists figured out the way to turn a smokestack into a bowling ball -- and why. * How game theorists discovered that to elect the candidate of your choice you must sometimes vote for his opponent. * How computer theorists intend to create a robot that will think for itself -- and do all the housework. * How cryptographers have been laboring since 1822 to decipher a map that will lead to a buried treasure worth millions of dollars. Archimedes' Revenge takes the reader on a guided tour of the world of contemporary mathematics and makes its infinite marvels comprehensible, relevant, and fun. "A breezy and lighthearted account of a number of topics in and around the periphery of mathematics . . . Mr. Hoffman approaches mathematics as a storyteller, and a good one." -- The New York Times Book Review "From the Paperback edition.

Fermat s Last Theorem

Author: Simon Singh
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
ISBN: 9780007381999
Release Date: 2012-11-22
Genre: Science

‘I have a truly marvellous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.’

My Search for Ramanujan

Author: Ken Ono
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9783319255682
Release Date: 2016-04-20
Genre: Mathematics

"The son of a prominent Japanese mathematician who came to the United States after World War II, Ken Ono was raised on a diet of high expectations and little praise. Rebelling against his pressure-cooker of a life, Ken determined to drop out of high school to follow his own path. To obtain his father’s approval, he invoked the biography of the famous Indian mathematical prodigy Srinivasa Ramanujan, whom his father revered, who had twice flunked out of college because of his single-minded devotion to mathematics. Ono describes his rocky path through college and graduate school, interweaving Ramanujan’s story with his own and telling how at key moments, he was inspired by Ramanujan and guided by mentors who encouraged him to pursue his interest in exploring Ramanujan’s mathematical legacy. Picking up where others left off, beginning with the great English mathematician G.H. Hardy, who brought Ramanujan to Cambridge in 1914, Ono has devoted his mathematical career to understanding how in his short life, Ramanujan was able to discover so many deep mathematical truths, which Ramanujan believed had been sent to him as visions from a Hindu goddess. And it was Ramanujan who was ultimately the source of reconciliation between Ono and his parents. Ono’s search for Ramanujan ranges over three continents and crosses paths with mathematicians whose lives span the globe and the entire twentieth century and beyond. Along the way, Ken made many fascinating discoveries. The most important and surprising one of all was his own humanity."

The Man Who Knew Infinity

Author: Robert Kanigel
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476763491
Release Date: 2016-04-26
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A biography of the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. The book gives a detailed account of his upbringing in India, his mathematical achievements, and his mathematical collaboration with English mathematician G. H. Hardy. The book also reviews the life of Hardy and the academic culture of Cambridge University during the early twentieth century.

Mathematicians on Creativity

Author: Peter Borwein
Publisher: The Mathematical Association of America
ISBN: 9780883855744
Release Date: 2014-07-07
Genre: Education

This book aims to shine a light on some of the issues of mathematical creativity. It is neither a philosophical treatise nor the presentation of experimental results, but a compilation of reflections from top-caliber working mathematicians. In their own words, they discuss the art and practice of their work. This approach highlights creative components of the field, illustrates the dramatic variation by individual, and hopes to express the vibrancy of creative minds at work. Mathematicians on Creativity is meant for a general audience and is probably best read by browsing.

How Mathematicians Think

Author: William Byers
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400833955
Release Date: 2010-04-12
Genre: Mathematics

To many outsiders, mathematicians appear to think like computers, grimly grinding away with a strict formal logic and moving methodically--even algorithmically--from one black-and-white deduction to another. Yet mathematicians often describe their most important breakthroughs as creative, intuitive responses to ambiguity, contradiction, and paradox. A unique examination of this less-familiar aspect of mathematics, How Mathematicians Think reveals that mathematics is a profoundly creative activity and not just a body of formalized rules and results. Nonlogical qualities, William Byers shows, play an essential role in mathematics. Ambiguities, contradictions, and paradoxes can arise when ideas developed in different contexts come into contact. Uncertainties and conflicts do not impede but rather spur the development of mathematics. Creativity often means bringing apparently incompatible perspectives together as complementary aspects of a new, more subtle theory. The secret of mathematics is not to be found only in its logical structure. The creative dimensions of mathematical work have great implications for our notions of mathematical and scientific truth, and How Mathematicians Think provides a novel approach to many fundamental questions. Is mathematics objectively true? Is it discovered or invented? And is there such a thing as a "final" scientific theory? Ultimately, How Mathematicians Think shows that the nature of mathematical thinking can teach us a great deal about the human condition itself.

Birth of a Theorem

Author: Cédric Villani
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374710231
Release Date: 2015-04-14
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

In 2010, French mathematician Cédric Villani received the Fields Medal, the most coveted prize in mathematics, in recognition of a proof which he devised with his close collaborator Clément Mouhot to explain one of the most surprising theories in classical physics. Birth of a Theorem is Villani's own account of the years leading up to the award. It invites readers inside the mind of a great mathematician as he wrestles with the most important work of his career. But you don't have to understand nonlinear Landau damping to love Birth of a Theorem. It doesn't simplify or overexplain; rather, it invites readers into collaboration. Villani's diaries, emails, and musings enmesh you in the process of discovery. You join him in unproductive lulls and late-night breakthroughs. You're privy to the dining-hall conversations at the world's greatest research institutions. Villani shares his favorite songs, his love of manga, and the imaginative stories he tells his children. In mathematics, as in any creative work, it is the thinker's whole life that propels discovery—and with Birth of a Theorem, Cédric Villani welcomes you into his.