Letters to a young mathematician / Ian Stewart

Auteur principal : Stewart, Ian, 1945-, AuteurType de document : MonographieLangue : anglais.Pays: Etats Unis.Éditeur : New York : Basic Books, 2006Description : 209 p. ; 25 cmISBN: 9780465082315.Bibliographie : Bibliogr..Sujet MSC : 00A05, General and miscellaneous specific topics, Mathematics in general
00A06, General and miscellaneous specific topics, Mathematics for nonmathematicians (engineering, social sciences, etc.)
97B20, Educational policy and systems, Educational policy for general education
Item type: Monographie
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00A05 STE (Browse shelf(Opens below)) Available 04745-01

This book is a series of letters to an imaginary young mathematician at various stages of her career, in high school, beginning college, embarking on a graduate program, and eventually achieving tenure. They are the kinds of letters Ian Stewart, himself both a distinguished mathematician and writer about mathematics for the lay public, would like to have received at those stages in his career, updated to take account of modern conditions. In the course of the letters, he touches on many aspects of mathematics – its unseen importance behind everyday technology, the nature of mathematical thought, the role of computers – and the result is in some ways a modern version of [G. H. Hardy, A mathematician's apology. Cambridge: Univ. Press. (1940; Zbl 0025.19301)]. Knowing that the author is British made the Americanisms (“math” rather than “maths", “Mom", etc.) grate on my ears; and the version of how Dick Feynman came to learn Spanish on p. 185 is unfair to him and much less funny than the true story recounted in his “Surely you're joking, Mr Feynman” (London, Unwin, 1986). It is full of wisdom and of a love for mathematics. The young person with any mathematical talent who reads it while still at school or in college will be very lucky. They are, however, unlikely to buy it. Those of us who have responsibility for such youngsters should do so, and keep a couple of copies permanently on our desks to lend out without too much concern about getting them back every time. (Zentralblatt)

Bibliogr.

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