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Apologia d'un matemàtic by G. H.…

Apologia d'un matemàtic (original 1940; edition 2008)

by G. H. Hardy, John von Neumann, C. P. Snow, Josep Pla i Carrera (Coaut.), Mònica Merin i Sales (Translator)

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1,0832012,851 (3.84)21
G. H. Hardy was one of this century's finest mathematical thinkers, renowned among his contemporaries as a 'real mathematician ... the purest of the pure'. He was also, as C. P. Snow recounts in his Foreword, 'unorthodox, eccentric, radical, ready to talk about anything'. This 'apology', written in 1940, offers a brilliant and engaging account of mathematics as very much more than a science; when it was first published, Graham Greene hailed it alongside Henry James's notebooks as 'the best account of what it was like to be a creative artist'. C. P. Snow's Foreword gives sympathetic and witty insights into Hardy's life, with its rich store of anecdotes concerning his collaboration with the brilliant Indian mathematician Ramanujan, his idiosyncrasies and his passion for cricket. This is a unique account of the fascination of mathematics and of one of its most compelling exponents in modern times.… (more)
Title:Apologia d'un matemàtic
Authors:G. H. Hardy
Other authors:John von Neumann, C. P. Snow, Josep Pla i Carrera (Coaut.), Mònica Merin i Sales (Translator)
Info:Santa Coloma de Queralt : Publicacions URV, 2008
Collections:Your library

Work details

A Mathematician's Apology by G. H. Hardy (1940)

  1. 10
    Letters to a Young Mathematician by Ian Stewart (kalashnikov)
    kalashnikov: Ian Stewart has been quoted as saying that 'Letters to a Young Mathematician' is intended to be an update and an expansion to 'A Mathematician's Apology'.

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» See also 21 mentions

English (18)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
The preface by CP Snow is better than the book. ( )
  sethwilpan | Aug 12, 2019 |
In this very slim volume, Professor G. H. Hardy talks about what mathematics means to him and to society as a whole. Written with a preface dated 18 July 1940, I assume it came out before the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so I can understand Professor Hardy speaking of relativity as having no real use. When I speak of use, I speak of value. Value means that it has an application of some kind in our society. Many mathematical ideas don't really have value in that sense, but are interesting to a select few.

So in a sense, Professor Hardy is defending his profession and himself. Many people remember Archimedes, Newton, Galileo, Einstein and far too many others to count. Take Rolle for instance, he found some theorem in Calculus and is now remembered. Hardy states that the stuff he did as a mathematician was mediocre at best. Sure he discovered Ramanujan and collaborated with Littlewood, but aside from that he had no real discoveries. So I suppose that is where the title comes from; he is apologizing for mathematics as a whole.

It is an interesting account of a man's life in mathematics, and I thought it was quite nice. Four out of five. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
I found an introduction to be a lot more powerful than the book itself. I expected a much clearer and stronger argument from a mathematician of his caliber. It wasn't an elegant proof. ( )
  Firewild | Jan 3, 2019 |
Absolute classic, excellent reading for nonmathematicians as well. Still very relevant to explain how mathematicians approach their work. ( )
  bccomm | Dec 5, 2016 |
The often-referenced, classic little 1940 book (with an extensive 1967 foreword by CP Snow) where Hardy said that his mathematical discoveries have no practical value and that this fact should not be considered a problem. I felt that I should (finally) read it before tackling Michael Harris's big new work with the deliberately contrasting title _Mathematics Without Apologies_. It *is* a charmer (although the writing exhibits the sexism that was normal for the era and teems with "which"es that, to my mind, cry out to be "that"s).
  fpagan | Feb 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hardy, G. H.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Merín i Sales, MònicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neumann, John vonAuthorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pla i Carrera, JosepIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snow, C. P.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It is a melancholy experience for a professional mathematician to find himself writing about mathematics.
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Un uomo che si chieda continuamente se val la pena di fare quello che fa, e se è la persona giusta per farlo, non concluderà mai nulla di buono e scoraggerà anche gli altri. Bisogna chiudere un po' gli occhi e sopravvalutare leggermente se stessi e la propria materia. Non è una cosa tanto difficile: è molto più difficile evitare di rendere ridicoli se stessi e la propria materia tenendo gli occhi troppo chiusi.
Noi scegliamo i nostri amici non perché incarnano tutte le virtù dell'umanità, ma perché sono quello che sono. È la stessa cosa in matematica; una proprietà comune a troppi oggetti difficilmente suscita l'entusiasmo, e le stesse idee diventano indistinte se non possiedono una grande individualità.
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