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Warum (Gerade) Mathematik?: Eine Antwort in Briefen

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  718 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Was machen eigentlich Mathematiker? Den ganzen Tag nur rechnen und Gleichungen losen und Formeln ableiten und Funktionen darstellen? Geht es in der Mathematik ausschliesslich um Zahlen? Wie kommt man auf die Idee, Mathematik zu studieren, und was sollte man dafur mitbringen? Welche Erfahrungen liegen zwischen dem ersten Semester und der ersten Professur? Wer sonst als Ian ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 17th 2008 by Spektrum Akademischer Verlag (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,714)
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Being no mathematician myself (and certainly lacking in talent), I don't think I have ever been this engrossed in reading a book about math. I basically devoured it. In fact, I believe anyone can devour it: there are no exotic symbols or scary formulas to put one off; the focus is on the humanistic side rather than the technical side; the book reads almost like a story as the imagined "Meg" (to which the book is supposed to be addressed) grows from a curious youngster to an established mathemati ...more
I assigned this book to my Trig class, and they responded mostly well to it. The funniest part is that they were surprised to find that Meg wasn't real. This worked well as a launching point into discovering math all around, and the students still mention how math is everywhere, much to their chagrin/surprise! Sometimes the author was a little long-winded or over their head, but the students sometimes considered actually looking into the strange things mentioned. I hope to adapt portions of this ...more
Angelynn Alvarez
This book is amazing! Stewart did a great job in casually describing (to "Meg") what to expect in the life of a mathematician (in academia), as well as the splendor of mathematics. What I really REALLY liked was how the book described the beauty of mathematics in its own right, as well as the beauty of its applications in the real world. As a mathematics PhD candidate, I evidently am aware of the elegance of the subject, so a lot of the description was not new to me. Nevertheless, I ultimately f ...more
a bit childish, but good,
a bit vague but interesting,
could have been better,
what he says in relation to G.H. Hardy I don't agree with at all and he doesn't demonstrate his claim least not with any clarity and definitely not with any conviction.
he de-mystifies certain things when he is actually trying to mystify them.
he tried to write for a broad audience and ended up really talking to no one, or rather, not really really reaching anyone.
it was good, but lacked strong opinion and deep insig
Letters To A Young Mathematician is a great book if you're looking for a genereal idea of what it's like to do mathematics for a living. It answers many questions, including the old wondering: what is mathematics exactly?
The book is a series of letters addressed to an aspiring mathematician called Meg. This is a fresh and interesting way to deliver factual information to the reader, and even a better way to keep track of the author's thinking process.
Andrea AE
230 de 230. Me hubiera gustado leer Cartas a una Joven Matemática cuando estudiaba la prepa, de seguro me hubiera dedicado a las matemáticas y es que Ian Stewart te presenta todo ese mundo que va desde las mismas matemáticas hasta los matemáticos de una forma tan extraordinaria y fácil de comprender, abriéndote los ojos y borrando estereotipos que se tiene sobre ellas.
Sin embargo hay veces que se muestra más de un lado que le del otro, no es imparcial en algunos aspectos que debería serlo hacie
Sofia Lazaridou
OK,I was out of my element here.My math teacher lend me the book and though it's recommended to high school students but I think if you're a high school student should really like maths and you read books about them then you should read this.I as mostly romance reader couldn't exactly follow the idea of the book because it's plotless.Stewart just talks about maths all by himself.It might had helped if Meg's letters were also inside the book since sometime he answered things to her that I did not ...more
Hamed Zakerzadeh
"If you publish nothing for five years and then solve the Poincaré conjecture, you'll be set for life, assuming you are allowed to keep your job while you are doing it. If you publish nothing for five years and then fail to solve the Poincaré conjecture, you'll be out on your ear."

Please don't get me wrong, I simply liked it and recommend it to everyone (at least who has some interests in math). But in particular, in the first chapters, the book didn't seem that interesting to me, to get 4/5. It
Clever, perceptive, genuine -- and, best of all, my favorite genre of non-fiction, which lies somewhere between memoir and essay but with some expertise behind it. Of course writers write about their own lives. It's also gratifying to get advice, even on a topic in which I'm unlikely to be able to follow it. I wish I'd paid more attention to math, or had more inspiring math teachers -- I would have been able to do interesting things with my developing view of the world if I'd had better math ski ...more
The hardest thing about describing this book is saying whether it's fiction or non-fiction. It's mostly a series of essays on math, mathematicians, and how the two affect each other. But, it's presented as a series of letters to a fictional young (in the beginning, aspiring) mathematician named Meg. But, the letters are written by the author, a bona fide mathematician, and not a fictional character at all. If he were just delusional, then this book would be solidly in the non-fictional camp. He ...more
Ron Joniak
Lovely read to prepare the early mathematician for the future. Unfortunately, this book suffers from lack of deep insight and is often very vague. Meg is indeed, not real.
Zeynep Derin
Bu kitap benim matematiğe olan sevgimin sadece yapabildiğim işlemlerinden ibaret olmadığını anlamamı sağladı. İlkokulda ya da ortaokulda söylediğimiz ' Bu matematik bizim hayatımızda ne işe yarar?' sorusunun cevabını vermektedir. Matematik aslında her ihtiyacımızda söylediğimiz her şeyin içinde var. Benim ortaokul öğretmenimin dediği sözlerden bir tanesi hiç aklımdan çıkmıyor. ' Türkçe okusanız bile matematik sizin hayatınızda olacak. ' sözü gerçekten matematiğin her şeyden ibaret olduğunu kavra ...more
Matematik zaten vardı.Her zaman hayatımızın bir köşesinde yer edindi kendine.Evrenin dilini anlıyorsanız demek ki matematik biliyorsunuz.
Genç Matematikçiye Mektuplar kitabı,yazarın matematik okumayı düşünen Meg'e matematik ile ilgili yazdığı tavsiye mektuplarından oluşuyor.Bilgisayar,televizyon,araba,... çağı hep daha ileriye taşıyan teknoloji kısacası,zekice tasarlanmış birer matematik harikasıdır.Beğenerek izlediğimiz filmleri izlerken,o çok sevdiğimiz arabamızı sürerken,... hiç düşündük mü ac
Este libro lo leí hace tiempo, antes de entrar en la universidad, pensando que quizás me influiría a la hora de elegir carrera. Lo que recuerdo es lo siguiente: la verdad es que no me inspiró. Yo ya sabía lo que era la Matemática y no necesitaba que me lo explicaran. Tenía un ideal de la Matemática, y lo que esperaba era encontrar un relato apasionado sobre su experiencia con la Matemática. Pero no fue así. Fue una explicación sobre la Matemática para gente que no la conoce, algunos consejos y m ...more
Kitapta matematiğin biyoloji ile, fizik ile, felsefe ile, teknoloji ile kısacası hayatın her alanı ile bağlantılarından bahsetmiş yazar.Kitabı okuyunca daha ilkokuldan itibaren öğrenmeye başladığımız matematiğin gerçekten ne işimize yaradığını , hayatımızı nasıl kolaylaştırdığını görüyoruz.Matematik okuyanlar için bir dert olan ispatların ne için gerekli olduğundan, bu yolda ilerlerken karşılaşacağımız zorluklardan, bu zorlukların getirisi olan her türlü güzelliklerden bahsetmiş yazar.Kitabı oku ...more
Nermin Akbudak
Matematik nedir? Matematikçi nedir? Matematik niye var? gibi sorunların cevabını veriyor bu kitap. Matematikçi olmanın nasıl bir şey olduğunu ve matematikçi olmak için neler gerektiği konusunda gerçekten en iyi kitap. Genelde şunu çok duymuşuzdur matematik her yerde var. Ama nerede? İşte bu kitap sayesinde hayatımızın gerçekten matematikle iç içe olduğunu anlamamızı ve hayata bir matematikçi gözüyle bakmamızı sağlıyor.Matematiğin büyüleyici, fakat çoğu zaman gizemli dünyasını merak eden herkes i ...more
Seher demirci
Bu kitabı okumadan önce matematiğin kapsamlı bir bilim olduğunu biliyordum. Ama okuduktan sonra anladım ki kapsamlı demek az olur. Matematik bizim hayatımızın bir bütünü. Onsuz bir dünya düşünülemez. Kitap matematiğin hayatımızda olan yerini öyle güzel açıklamış ki bize söyleyecek söz bırakmamış. Matematiği sevmeyen insanların bu kitabı okumaları gerek. Çünkü hayatımızda bu kadar yer edinmiş bir şeyi sevmemek onlar için büyük kayıp. Kitaba bir arkadaşımın tavsiyesiyle başladım ve diğer bütün ark ...more
Yasemin Avcı
Dec 05, 2014 Yasemin Avcı rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody
Recommended to Yasemin by: My teacher
Shelves: okudum
Aslında bu kitabı seçme sebebim matematiğe olan bakış açımı genişletmekti. Ve öyle de oldu. Yazar Ian Stewart insanların matematiğe olan önyargısını yıkmak için birçok ikna edici sebepler sunmuş. Coğrafya'nın, Astronomi'nin ya da canlıları inceleyen Biyoloji'nin Matematikle işbirliği yapmadan bir adım ileriye gidemeyeceğini ispatlarla ortaya koymuş. Daha yolun başında bir matematikçi olan Meg'e, ileride önüne çıkabilecek engeller karşısında nasıl bir tutum sergilemesi gerektiğini her mektubunda ...more
Blamp Head
Feb 16, 2015 Blamp Head rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: .
Shelves: mathematics
Dear Ian,

I read your book Letters to a Young Mathematician and was very impressed. First and foremost, you talked about what it's like to be a mathematician, and talked at length about the practical considerations a mathematician must necessarily face.

Your book didn't assume any technical knowledge of the subject, and indeed several Goodreads reviewers indicate that the book appeals (well, sometimes) even among those not inclined to study mathematics at all. Though some reviewers found your styl
şeyma  eyi
Dec 08, 2014 şeyma eyi marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Okumuş olduğum kitap bana matematiğin hiç bilmediğim yönlerini gösterdi. Ayrıca yıllardır sorduğumuz ve bizden sonraki nesillerinde soracağı ' niye öğreniyoruz' , ' ne işimize yarayacak' gibi soruları yanıtlamış. Tüm bunların yanında bu kitap keyfime okuyacağım bir kitap değil. Okuduğum bölümle ilgili olduğu için seçmiş olduğum bir kitap. Tabii okumaktan memnun olduğum kısımlarda yok değil. Mesela hayatımızdaki varlıkların matematikle ilgili olanlarına kırmızı etiket yapıştırmak hakkında ki bölü ...more
As the title suggests, this book is written in the form of letters to a "young mathematician", offering advice and generally discussing what mathematics is and what it means to be a mathematician. The back cover promises that it "tells readers what world renowned mathematician Ian Stewart wishes he had known when he was a student", and I was intrigued because I had a mixed experience with mathematics in university and always wondered what I could have done differently.

I have to say, my experienc
Koen Crolla
A book by Ian Stewart contains, in the second paragraph of the preface, the line ``No longer do mathematicians believe they owe the world an apology''. How many chapters do you expect to contain extended apologies for being a mathematician? If you guessed ``several'', you must have read Stewart's books before.

Letters to a Young Mathematician is written as a series of condescending letters to a girl named Meg, who is considering becoming (and over the course of the book does become) a mathematici
I've recently decided to go back to school for a degree in Applied Mathematics, so while my girlfriend was looking over the math section at a used book store she came upon this book. It is certainly a quick read as other reviewers have stated and I must say I found it an enjoyable one. I believe the intended audience of this book is for anyone in general. If you are interested in what mathematicians do, how they contribute to the world, or a glimpse into what they think about, then this is a goo ...more
"Letters to a Young Mathematician" was not written for me. It was probably not written for you either unless you are a 16 or 17 year old female high school student who is very good at math and planning on becoming a professional mathematician. Keeping in mind the fact that I am not the target audience here is my review...

The book is at times very interesting and inspiring, with fascinating anecdotes and lots of recommendations for other texts, and at other times rather trite and overly specific.
Ian Stewart is one of the most recognizable math popularizers out there. He has written many popular books, as well as writing a regular math puzzles column for Scientific American for a while. I read some of Stewart's popular math books when I was a kid (a blessing on our local public library!). I also admire his work with Golubitsky on analysis of pattern formation and nonlinear dynamics in terms of symmetry and symmetry breaking (his nontechnical books on symmetry in nature are a treat for an ...more
Probably nothing drastically new here for many young mathematicians, but still includes some good stories and useful tips, and it's always interesting to hear how an established professional got into their field in the first place.
Stewart makes an interesting point that, unlike many other fields, you don't just happen to fall into math - it has to be something you're really into (although it may take a lot of lucky coincidences to let you realize that you're good at math and into it as well).
Jan 31, 2011 Deana rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Deana by: Mom
Shelves: 2009, read-owned, 4-5stars
I have no idea how to explain the genre of this, but it is excellent and highly recommended to EVERYONE, regardless of your interest in math (or lack thereof). The book unfolds as a series of letters from the author to Meg, a fictional (as far as I know) female with an interest in mathematics. The author, in case you are unaware, is a famous mathematician in real life. He's done lots of great research in the field, but in recent years his work has mainly been in writing "popular mathematics" - t ...more
Letters to a Young Mathematician is a short epistolary book with chronological letters addressed to "Meg," what I assume is a fictional mathematician. The letters begin with "Meg" in high school and end with her tenured position at a university. Through the course of the letters, Stewart gives advice and ruminates on the nature of mathematics, learning, teaching, and mathematical research and work.

While the ideas are often enlightening (I was particularly taken with ideas about how mathematicia
Kathy Nealen
Not really what I want expected. It covered advice related to the study of mathematics but also other advice about not having a relationship with one's advisor and how to avoid embarrassment and problems during formal presentations.

Favorite quotes: "Keep your mind open, but not so open that your brains fall out." "That the universe we experience is a contrivance of our imaginations, however, does not imply that the universe itself has no independent existence." "The patterns that we experience
Alexi Parizeau
Perhaps I've read too many popular math books, because I felt Ian Stewart was paraphrasing both himself and others in many chapters. But that was kinda the point of this book. It's meant to be a casual introduction to the essential (and best) thoughts about mathematics, so it will necessarily summarize past writings. Stewart does a great job in that sense; I think I was happily smiling through the whole book. So if it wasn't a productive experience for me, it was certainly very pleasant.
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Ian Stewart is an Emeritus Professor and Digital Media Fellow in the Mathematics Department at Warwick University, with special responsibility for public awareness of mathematics and science. He is best known for his popular science writing on mathematical themes.
--from the author's website

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See other authors wit
More about Ian Stewart...
Flatterland: Like Flatland Only More So Does God Play Dice?: The New Mathematics of Chaos In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World Why Beauty Is Truth: A History of Symmetry Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities

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