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The Prime Number Conspiracy: The Biggest Ideas in Math from Quanta

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  125 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Quanta Magazine's stories of mathematical explorations show that "inspiration strikes willy-nilly," revealing surprising solutions and exciting discoveries.

These stories from Quanta Magazine map the routes of mathematical exploration, showing readers how cutting-edge research is done, while illuminating the productive tension between conjecture and proof, theory and intuit
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 20th 2018 by MIT Press
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Antti Rasinen
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
It could be a better book, if they’d had the energy to rewrite the book to be more consistent and less repetitive.

The articles are arranged by topic. Sometimes two subsequent articles need to define a concept, so both of them do it.

Sometimes the articles seem to assume the reader knows math. Sometimes they don’t and they call integral “an infinite sum”.

Terence Tao is overrepresented in the first half of the book.
Josh Friedlander
A collection of essays from Quanta magazine. As founding editor Thomas Lin explains in the introduction, the magazine was started intending to produce high-quality, literary science coverage (akin to the pieces Jeremy Bernstein used to write for the New Yorker) that only focused on things with no real-world relevance: maths, and theoretical problems in physics, biology, and computer science. It launched in 2008 - a bad time for media in general - but was funded by the Simons Foundation (billiona ...more
Steve Agland
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
You have to approach this book for what it is: a collection of loosely related magazine articles and accept the disjointedness and occasional repetition of primers on certain topics.

That aside, this is a wonderful peek into the minds and lives of world-class mathematicians. The topics can be very esoteric and difficult to grasp, but at other times are quite simple, profound and thought-provoking. But it's the biographical side that was surprisingly interesting. For some reason I find mathematici
...more
Patrick Kijek
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A bunch of essays in current Mathematical fields pulled from Quanta Magazine. I’ve loved reading an essay or two every so often and going about my week. Math is more artistic than people realize, especially at the highest levels. This book can help people love to learn about it and the people who are making up new fields, theories and solutions right now.
Cecil New
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful set of essays/articles on advances in math and the mathematicians themselves.
Ankush
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Stories from the frontiers of mathematics describing in layman language some of the cutting edge work by leading mathematician. Highly recommended.
Maurizio Codogno
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: matematica
Questo libro, raccolta di articoli sulla matematica pubblicati su Quanta Magazine, non è certo di semplice lettura. Gli estensori degli articoli non ne possono nulla, e anzi a parere mio hanno fatto dei miracoli nella semplificazione dei temi trattati: ma stiamo parlando di matematica di frontiera, e soprattutto di temi che non sono così sexy da arrivare nelle prime pagine dei grandi media e così rimangono sconosciute anche a chi come me in fin dei conti dovrebbe saperne un po' di più. Non aspet ...more
Stefan
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book provides an overview of the latest developments and breakthroughs in maths. What makes it enjoyable is the attention to the creative process and personality of the people behind these breakthroughs. Enjoyed it as an audio book narrated by Bob Souer.
Steve Gross
May 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
A compilation of magazine articles and it shows. Most of the concepts are either not explained well or too complicated to explain.
Robert Schmidt
Nov 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I want to read about mathematics to learn or understand something. If I'm amazed in the process, all the better. This book is thoroughly failing me. I was bored. I found the articles tedious, the mathematics unrelatable, and the people described within uninteresting. I'll probably never finish it. ...more
Tikri /Letitia
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Selected articles from Quanta for advanced Mathematicians. Found it interesting, but over my head.
Brandon
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a collection of articles from the online science magazine "Quanta." Science journalism at its very best. A must read. ...more
eggcorn
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
i got it as a gift. but they are just articles. you can read them online for free.
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Thomas Lin is the founding editor-in-chief of Quanta Magazine, an award-winning publication that reports on developments in science and mathematics, with content syndicated in Wired, The Atlantic, Scientific American and The Washington Post. Lin previously worked at The New York Times, where he edited online features and wrote about science, technology and tennis. He has also written for Quanta, T ...more

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