Synopses & Reviews
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.
"[Stewart] sometimes draws on his own experiences as a researcher and teacher to further enliven the narrative, often to humorous effect. This excellent book for introducing lay readers to mathematics as a profession is highly recommended..." Library Journal
"For nonmathematicians, Letters to a Young Mathematician
offers wonderful insight into academics, a reading list in a variety of fields, and a bit of knowledge about Gauss, Fibonacci, Leibniz, Feynman, and Fermat. It also serves as a primer on mathematicians, their culture, their tribal customs, and their community. For mathematicians themselves, Stewart provides first-rate career advice and offers a charming example of how best to talk to the rest of us." Paul A. Robinson Jr., The Christian Science Monitor
(read the entire Christian Science Monitor review
From a renowned mathematician and writer comes an insightful and lively exploration of why mathematics matters.
About the Author
Ian Stewart is professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick, where he is director of Mathematics Awareness Center. He has published more than sixty books, including Does God Play Dice?, Nature's Numbers, Figments of Reality, The Science of Discworld (with Terry Pratchett and Jack Cohen), and, most recently, The Annotated Flatland, the first-ever annotated edition of Edwin A. Abbott's beloved classic. Stewart was awarded the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Medal for furthering the public understanding of science and he delivered the prestigious Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 1997.