Mathematica: A Secret World of Intuition and Curiosity (Hardcover)

Mathematica: A Secret World of Intuition and Curiosity By David Bessis, Kevin Frey (Translated by) Cover Image

Mathematica: A Secret World of Intuition and Curiosity (Hardcover)

By David Bessis, Kevin Frey (Translated by)


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A fascinating look into how the transformative joys of mathematical experience are available to everyone, not just specialists
Math has a reputation for being inaccessible. People think that it requires a special gift or that comprehension is a matter of genes. Yet the greatest mathematicians throughout history, from René Descartes to Alexander Grothendieck, have insisted that this is not the case. Like Albert Einstein, who famously claimed to have “no special talent,” they said that they had accomplished what they did using ordinary human doubts, weaknesses, curiosity, and imagination.
David Bessis guides us on an illuminating path toward deeper mathematical comprehension, reconnecting us with the mental plasticity we experienced as children. With simple, concrete examples, Bessis shows how mathematical comprehension is integral to the great learning milestones of life, such as learning to see, to speak, to walk, and to eat with a spoon.
Focusing on the deeply human roots of mathematics, Bessis dispels the myths of mathematical genius. He offers an engaging initiation into the experience of math not as a series of discouragingly incomprehensible logic problems but as a physical activity akin to yoga, meditation, or a martial art. This perspective will change the way you think not only about math but also about intelligence, intuition, and everything that goes on inside your head.
David Bessis lectured on his research in algebra, geometry, and topology at leading institutions around the world, and taught at Yale University and École normale supérieure. He lives in Paris, France. Kevin Frey received a PhD in English from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He lives in Kaneohe, HI.

Product Details ISBN: 9780300270884
ISBN-10: 0300270887
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: May 28th, 2024
Pages: 344
Language: English
“I was utterly charmed by Mathematica. Whether you love math or hate it (or just think you hate it), please read this book. It’s about what mathematics really is.”—Steven Strogatz, author of Infinite Powers

“I felt like David Bessis put in writing the way I learn, enjoy, and live mathematics. A must-read for mathematicians and non-mathematicians alike.”—Hugo Duminil-Copin, 2022 Fields Medal laureate

“In this revealing book, David Bessis leads us on an earnest and personal journey into how to think mathematically: a process of exploration, making mistakes, and gradually correcting and improving one’s understanding.”—Terence Tao, 2006 Fields Medal laureate

“This is an insightful, illuminating, and thought-provoking book, de-mystifying what it means and feels like to do mathematics.”—Eugenia Cheng, author of Is Math Real?, The Joy of Abstraction, and How to Bake Pi

“This is a rare specimen: a mathematical self-improvement book. It’s full of playful, assertive, inventive coaching for becoming your best mathematical self.”—Ben Orlin, author of Math with Bad Drawings