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A strange wilderness : the lives of the great mathematicians / Amir D. Aczel.
Aczel, Amir D.
New York : Sterling, c2011.
xix, 284 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
"Bestselling popular science author Amir Aczel selects the most fascinating individuals and stories in the history of mathematics, presenting a colorful narrative that explores the quirky personalities behind some of the most profound, enduring theorems. Through such mathematical geniuses as Archimedes, Leonardo of Pisa (a.k.a. Fibonacci), Tartaglia ("the stutterer"), Descartes, Gottfried Liebniz, Carl Gauss, Joseph Fourier (Napoleon's mathematician), Evariste Galois, Georg Cantor, Ramanujan, and "Nicholas Bourbaki," we gather little known details about the alliances and rivalries that profoundly impacted the development of what the scheming doctor-turned-mathematician Geronimo Cardano called "The Great Art." This story of mathematics is not your dry "college textbook" account; tales of duels, battlefield heroism, flamboyant arrogance, pranks, secret societies, imprisonment, feuds, theft, and even some fatal errors of judgment fill these pages (clearly, genius doesn't guarantee street smarts). Ultimately, readers will come away from this book entertained, with a newfound appreciation of the tenacity, complexity, eccentricity, and brilliance of the mathematical genius"-- Provided by publisher.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Hellenic foundations. God is number ; Plato's Academy ; Alexandria -- The East. The House of Wisdom ; Medieval China -- Renaissance mathematics. Italian shenanigans ; Heresy -- To calculus and beyond. The gentleman soldier ; The greatest rivalry ; Geniuses of the Enlightenment -- Upheaval in France. Napoleon's mathematicians ; Duel at dawn -- Toward a new mathematics. Infinity and mental illness ; Unlikely heroes ; The strangest wilderness.
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