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# My Brain Is Open: The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos

Like Genius, this portrait of legendary mathematician Paul Erdos -- abounding with ironies, fascinating in its exploration of mathematics -- introduces us to a brilliant and eccentric thinker.For half a century, mathematicians the world over would answer a knock at their front doors to find Erdos, a small suitcase in one hand and a bag full of papers in the other, announci
...more

Hardcover, 224 pages

Published
December 31st 1998
by Simon & Schuster
(first published September 1st 1998)

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## Community Reviews

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Mar 29, 2011
Jamie Collins
rated it
really liked it

Shelves:
history-and-biography,
science-and-medicine

Paul Erdős (pronounced

This is a short book, and not so much a biography of Erdős as a collec ...more

*air-dish*) was a famous, eccentric and highly prolific mathematician who authored many hundreds of papers in collaboration with hundreds of other mathematicians. His name was unfamiliar to me until I read this xkcd cartoon, which makes an inside joke about Erdős Numbers, which are similar to links in the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game - they describe a mathematician's "collaborative distance" from Erdős.This is a short book, and not so much a biography of Erdős as a collec ...more

The book was writt ...more

They would meet at the city park in Budapest, many of them proteges of some of the great math teachers in the city at the time.

They competed with, and fed off, each other, much like the bebop musicians of Harlem did in the 1940s as they were revolutionizing jazz.

The city had a m ...more

Jul 19, 2014
David Pantano
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
mathematica

My Brain Is Open to The mathematical journeys of Paul Erdos

"The meaning of life, Erdos often said, was to prove and conjecture. Proof and conjecture are the tools with which mathematicians explore the Platonic universe of pure form, a universe that to many of them is as real as the universe in which they must reluctantly make their homes and livings, and far more beautiful."

In the world of mathematics, Erdos was an icon. His stature and influence on mathematicians and on the mathematical world ...more

"The meaning of life, Erdos often said, was to prove and conjecture. Proof and conjecture are the tools with which mathematicians explore the Platonic universe of pure form, a universe that to many of them is as real as the universe in which they must reluctantly make their homes and livings, and far more beautiful."

In the world of mathematics, Erdos was an icon. His stature and influence on mathematicians and on the mathematical world ...more

The book often references the documentary about Erdos, N is a Number, which runs under an hour and ...more

Oct 23, 2011
Chrissy
rated it
it was amazing

Recommends it for:
Anyone remotely interested in mathematics

I'm a little bit Erdos obsessed at the moment, so I came to this book already familiar with most of his extraordinary story. I previously read, and was blown away by, The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdös and the Search for Mathematical Truth, but I have to agree with others that this is the better biography. Schechter maintains the focus mores strongly on Erdos than Hoffman does, opting to delve farther into Erdos's work than the (more accessible) work of other more famous mat
...more

Feb 11, 2008
Will Sin
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition

Recommends it for:
Anyone who wants to have an open mind

Those anecdotes about this great mathematician are intriguing and wonderfully inspiring. He's also one of my beloved mentors. By the way, my Erdo's number's beyond 5.

Aug 04, 2010
Stephanie Curran
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
nonfiction

While the theorems and proofs got me all tangled up, the stories of his life and the connections he made with others was fascinating.

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“Mathematicians are finite, flawed beings who spend their lives trying to understand the infinite and perfect.”
—
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