Synopses & Reviews
A New York Times Science BestsellerWhat if you had to take an art class in which you were only taught how to paint a fence? What if you were never shown the paintings of van Gogh and Picasso, werent even told they existed? Alas, this is how math is taught, and so for most of us it becomes the intellectual equivalent of watching paint dry.
In Love and Math, renowned mathematician Edward Frenkel reveals a side of math weve never seen, suffused with all the beauty and elegance of a work of art. In this heartfelt and passionate book, Frenkel shows that mathematics, far from occupying a specialist niche, goes to the heart of all matter, uniting us across cultures, time, and space.
Love and Math tells two intertwined stories: of the wonders of mathematics and of one young mans journey learning and living it. Having braved a discriminatory educational system to become one of the twenty-first centurys leading mathematicians, Frenkel now works on one of the biggest ideas to come out of math in the last 50 years: the Langlands Program. Considered by many to be a Grand Unified Theory of mathematics, the Langlands Program enables researchers to translate findings from one field to another so that they can solve problems, such as Fermats last theorem, that had seemed intractable before.
At its core, Love and Math is a story about accessing a new way of thinking, which can enrich our lives and empower us to better understand the world and our place in it. It is an invitation to discover the magic hidden universe of mathematics.
Review
"U.C. Berkley mathematician Frenkel reveals the joy of pure intellectual discovery in this autobiographical story of determination, passion, and the Langlands program a sort of 'Grand Unified Field Theory of mathematics.' As a teenager Frenkel was 'converted' from math hater to eager theorist by a mathematical friend of the family, enough to pursue it despite his struggles against an unapologetically anti-Semitic Soviet educational system. Frenkel writes casually of climbing over the fence to sit in on advanced classes at Moscow State University, a top school that didn't accept Jews. With the help of mentors, he worked hard and eventually found his way to Harvard and the freedom to focus on his research. Frenkel balances autobiographical narrative with enthusiastic discussions of his own work on the Langlands program, a web of algebraic conjectures named after a Canadian mathematician that is noted for its usefulness in organizing seemingly chaotic data into regular patterns full of symmetry and harmony, and its applications to quantum theory. While the math can be heavy going, Frenkel's gusto will draw readers into his own quest, pursuing the deepest realities of mathematics as if it were 'a giant jigsaw puzzle, in which no one knows what the final image is going to look like.' B&w illus." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Synopsis
In
Love and Math, Berkeley professor Edward Frenkel shows that mathematics, far from occupying a specialist niche, goes to the heart of all matter and unites us across cultures, continents, and centuries. In this heartfelt and passionate book, Frenkel reveals a side of mathematics weve never seen, suffused with all the beauty and wonder of a work of art, appealing not only to the cerebral, but to the human and the spiritual.
Love and Math tells two intertwined stories: of amazing mathematics and of the journey of one young man learning and living it. Growing up in Russia, Frenkel was denied entrance to university to study mathematics because of discriminatory policies. Yet with the help of his mentors he circumvented the system to become one of the twenty-first centurys leading mathematicians. He now works on one of the biggest ideas to come out of mathematics in the last 50 years: the Langlands Program, considered by many to be a Grand Unified Theory of Mathematics.
While most people are not blocked from studying mathematics, many see it as being impenetrable, or worse, irrelevant to their lives. At its core, Love and Math is a story about gaining entry to the previously inaccessible, which can enrich our lives and empower us to understand better the world and our place in it. It is an invitation to discover the wonders of the hidden universe of mathematics.
About the Author
Edward Frenkel is a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, and was previously on the faculty at Harvard University. The winner of the Hermann Weyl Prize in mathematical physics, he has contributed articles to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, Slate, and the Scientific American blog.
Table of Contents
A Guide for the Reader
1. A Mysterious Beast
2. The Essence of Symmetry
3. The Fifth Problem
4. Kerosinka
5. Threads of Solution
6. Apprentice Mathematician
7. The Grand Unified Theory
8. Magic Numbers
9. Rosetta Stone
10. Being in the Loop
11. Conquering the Summit
12. Tree of Knowledge
13. Harvard Calling
14. Tying the Sheaves of Wisdom
15. A Delicate Dance
16. Quantum Duality
17. Uncovering Hidden Connections
18. Searching for the Formula of Love