Gaurav Suri



Average rating: 3.89 · 288 ratings · 48 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
A Certain Ambiguity: A Math...

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3.89 avg rating — 288 ratings — published 2007 — 11 editions
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“Hippasus’ proof—or at least Nico’s retelling of it—was really so simple that when he finished sketching it out, I wasn’t even aware that we had actually proven anything. Nico paused for a few minutes to let us mull it over.
It was Peter who broke the silence, “I’m not sure I understand what we have done.”
Nico seemed to be expecting such a response. “Step back and examine the proof; in fact, you should try and do this with every proof you see or have to work out for yourself. ..."
He again waited for his words to sink in, and it began to make sense for me. All my mathematics teachers (other than Bauji and Nico) always seemed to evade this part of their responsibility. They had been content to merely write out a proof on the blackboard and carry on, seemingly without concern for what the proof meant and what it told us.
“But you should not stop here. Even when you have understood a proof, and I hope you have indeed understood this proof, ask yourself the next question, the obvious one, but as critical: So what? Or, why are we proving this? What is the point? What is the context? How does it relate to us? To answer these questions we have to step back a little. Let me show you—it’s really quite delightful.” Now there was excitement in Nico’s voice.”
Gaurav Suri, A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel

“He had told me more than once that what
happened in the distant past (by which he usually meant anything before
last year) is irrelevant to what will happen tomorrow, and it’s tomorrow that
matters.”
Gaurav Suri, A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel



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