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Letters to a Young Mathematician by Ian…
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Letters to a Young Mathematician

by Ian Stewart

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3331133,108 (3.68)6
Recently added byprivate library, ejptrsn, prateek913, jankoza, jonhoyle, Rusty37, happysadnick, Jayson_Rhea, Arpose
  1. 20
    A Mathematician's Apology by G. H. Hardy (kalashnikov)
    kalashnikov: Ian Stewart has been quoted as saying that 'Letters to a Young Mathematician' is an intended follow-on from 'A Mathematician's Apology'.
  2. 00
    The Princeton Companion to Mathematics by Timothy Gowers (beetle_b)
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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Searching for a reflective memoir, I perused Ian Stewart’s Letter’s to a Young Mathematician and found some great advice. Stewart writes letters of advice to a fictional “Meg” as she journeys from high school mathematics through work at a University. Stewart has a great writing style and his letters are very personal. He has mild success at being cute and funny. He uses an English vernacular that is not common in the U.S. I actually read this text with a British accent in my head.

“We were all shoving each other around – but it saved my mathematical bacon.”

This is a great example of how nonfiction can be exciting and catchy. I wanted to read more about his experiences. I wanted to keep turning the page. Stewart writes not only of his own experience with mathematics in today’s world, but also of historical mathematicians like Godfrey Hardy and Thomas Midgley, Jr. The book comes with a section of notes and references in the back as well as a blurb about the author. The content was attractive, the style was easy, and the organization was chronological. This will be a great addition to a mathematics library overflowing with exercise and puzzle books. ( )
  mapalumbo | Mar 23, 2014 |
Short. Informative. The format of quick letters to a student limits the depth and type of information imparted. Since it is meant as information to a general reader, you can't expect too much truly helpful advice. Since it is trying to explain what higher level math is and mathematicians do to a wide audience it ends up being a little too vague. Worth the quick read though. ( )
  austin.sears | Feb 24, 2014 |
I was initially wary of the epistolary form of this non-fiction book by the great and incredibly accessible mathematician Ian Stewart. But I am so very glad that I stuck with it . . . it will inform how I look at the process of learning (and teaching)math to Z, who already sees the world in terms of pattern and symmetry. Reading this volume made me realize his gifts and passion in the area of math and put me on notice that I need to make sure to honor them and help them to flourish. Plus, I now know way more about Poincare than before. Will be buying a copy of this for Z as he ages. ( )
  beckydj | Mar 31, 2013 |
This is fairly well written series of letters written to a young girl thinking of a career in mathematics. Over the course of the book, the letters address the satisfactions of mathematics, and the occasional frustrations of those who pursue a career in this field. I breezed through the book, but there were occasional nuggets of insight here and there. It is intended as bringing Godfrey Hardy's book, "A Mathematician's Apology" up to date. ( )
  vpfluke | Apr 10, 2010 |
'Anyone interested in pursuing a career in mathematics will enjoy this book and find within it many insightful pearls of wisdom from one who has successfully traveled the mathematical road.' D. S. Larson Gonzaga University Choice 11/1/2006
  DianaMcKay | Mar 3, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465082319, Hardcover)

The first scientific entry in the acclaimed Art of Mentoring series from Basic Books, Letters to a Young Mathematician tells readers what Ian Stewart wishes he had known when he was a student and young faculty member. Subjects ranging from the philosophical to the practical--what mathematics is and why it's worth doing, the relationship between logic and proof, the role of beauty in mathematical thinking, the future of mathematics, how to deal with the peculiarities of the mathematical community, and many others--are dealt with in Stewart's much-admired style, which combines subtle, easygoing humor with a talent for cutting to the heart of the matter. In the tradition of G.H. Hardy's classic A Mathematician's Apology, this book is sure to be a perennial favorite with students at all levels, as well as with other readers who are curious about the frequently incomprehensible world of mathematics.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:16 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Letters to a Young Mathematician tells readers what Ian Stewart wishes he had known when he was a student. He takes up subjects from the philosophical to the practical - what mathematics is and why it's worth doing, the relationship between logic and proof, the role of beauty in mathematical thinking, the future of mathematics, how to deal with the peculiarities of the mathematical community, and many others - in a style that combines subtle, easygoing humor with a talent for cutting to the heart of the matter."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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