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# Letters to a Young Mathematician

by
Ian Stewart

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...moreHardcover, 224 pages

Published
March 27th 2006
by Basic Books
(first published 2006)

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## Community Reviews

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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 ..at 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...more

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.

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...more

Jun 29, 2014
Devastatingwildness
added it

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

I have to say, my experienc...more

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...more

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....more

*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

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).

The...more

While the ideas are often enlightening (I was particularly taken with ideas about how mathematicia...more

Very much recommended for this interested in math or mathematicians, even if you don't want to be one.

1. http://terrytao.wordpress.com/career-...

2. A mathematician's Apology by GH Hardy, which this book claims inheritance -- pfffft.

3. Thurston's on proof and progress in mathematics ( what it's like to do math today, from a working mathematician)

4. Uncle Petros and the Goldbach Conjecture (on why one might freak the fuck out and do a lot of math)

5. http://www.math.harvard.edu/hcmr/issu... <- Profe...more

*This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.*

Also worth reading for those not interested in mathematics - you don't need to know anything about the field to understand it, and reading might reveal something of the world that's often somewhat misunderstood, for various reasons.

This book has also pointed to me to other interesting books written in past century about various aspects of mathematics. Might pick up some of them as and when I find them.

**qué son las matemáticas**. Recomendado para aquellos que dudan si aplicar a una carrera de matemáticas.

Aug 01, 2009
Elizabeth
rated it
5 of 5 stars
·
review of another edition

Recommends it for:
Math students, high school or college age.

Shelves:
math-related,
love-d-it

I especially enjoyed the beginning of this book because Stewart's letters are addressed to a girl who shared the same kind of passion for math as I have. As the book progresses, the girl gets older and is interested in more sophisticated math which I enjoy learning about, but it was getting hard to understand. I loved the advice and the humor Stewart uses.

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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

More about Ian Stewart...
--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## Share This Book

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Nov 27, 2013 02:15PM