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# Idea Makers: Personal Perspectives on the Lives & Ideas of Some Notable People

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This book of thoroughly engaging essays from one of today's most prodigious innovators provides a uniquely personal perspective on the lives and achievements of a selection of intriguing figures from the history of science and technology. Weaving together his immersive interest in people and history with insights gathered from his own experiences, Stephen Wolfram gives an
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## Get A Copy

Kindle Edition, 250 pages

Published
July 8th 2016
by Wolfram Media, Inc.
(first published July 2016)

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Start your review of Idea Makers: Personal Perspectives on the Lives & Ideas of Some Notable People

Which is actually not a problem. For one thing, it might be the case that Wolfram's results in different areas of research really extend the field of computational mathematics or even define the basis of a computational model of the universe. Who can really know.

What matters is that the book is enjoyable and offers a unique approach to li ...more

The book is also plagued with repetetiveness: words "Mathematica", "Cellular automata", "Universal computation", and, of course, "Wolfram" flickered fast enough to give a poor reader a seizure.

Perhaps reading these essays one at a time would be somewhat okay, but compiling them into a book was a fatal decision.

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Idea makers has quite an interesting mixture of personal anecdotes (feynman, jobs, minsky, etc...) and detail historical recollections of some of the worlds greatest doers.

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Notice that the subtitle is "Personal Perspectives on the Lives and Ideas of Some Notable People." So, although this book has many discussio ...more

The essay about Ada Lovelace goes into the historical records to really pin down, factually, what contributions she made to Charles Babbage's early computer, the "Analytical Engine"; it was not so much as his "pro ...more

But there are a few problems with the narrative. First it is a personal perspective and some of the views are very biased and not appropriate for wider audience. The content is full of self-admiration of the author and his work. ...more

**An understanding of computational mathematics**

Stephen Wolfram is that rare individual who possesses the insights to understand physics, mathematics, and business. His flagship product Mathematica possesses attributes that allow those who learn it well to understand deeper insights to physical phenomena.

His book, Idea Makers, is a digestible form of some of the ideas that allowed Mathematica to be one of the most powerful computational tools on the market.

The book, although slow at the start, del ...more

**Very Interesting and enjoyable**

I found this collection of short biographies very interesting and enjoyable to read. Some are much deeper and detailed, while others are more of a simple tribute to a friend. There is also a bit of over self-referencing, even if it’s always within context. As the various biographies were assemble together, it would have been better to put those self references as footnotes, and eventually dedicate a chapter or an appendix to talk about it. In any case, there is a l ...more

I think this one is quite underrated. It is a collection of really well written essays. I wish I had read this one when I was 12 years old. Instead of glorifying individuals these essays focus on their work. Written in a very simple language this also makes some of the complex ideas and objectives of idea makers.

I also liked the fact that I could pick this book fini ...more

Well, if you haven’t wondered these things, rest assured: Stephen Wolfram has, and he will tell you.

These stories work way better as blog posts by someone showing off his (legitimately very impressive) software. But as a book? Nah.

**Math personalities and some pressure to like Wolfram more**

Relentlessly reframes great mathematicians' work in terms of Wolfram's computational obsessions. I loved the personal stories and eventually came around to see his point… we really can view lots of modern math was striving towards universal computation. Overall, worthwhile and interesting. ...more

Only Wolfram throwing comments on how something relates to his Mathematica project is annoying, but if you're also allergic to self-promotion you could just ignore that. ...more

Interesting idea. But the author's ego ruins everything.
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Stephen Wolfram's parents were Jewish refugees who emigrated from Germany to England in the 1930s. Wolfram's father Hugo was a textile manufacturer and novelist (Into a Neutral Country) and his mother Sybil was a professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford. He has a younger brother, Conrad. Wolfram is married to a mathematician and has four children.

He was educated at Eton College, but cla ...more

He was educated at Eton College, but cla ...more

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“Von Neumann was in many ways a traditional mathematician, who (like Turing) believed he needed to turn to partial differential equations in describing natural systems.”
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