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Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2015
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Description

In 2010, French mathematician Cédric Villani received the Fields Medal, the most coveted prize in mathematics, in recognition of a proof which he devised with his close collaborator Clément Mouhot to explain one of the most surprising theories in classical physics. Birth of a Theorem is Villani's own account of the years leading up to the award. It invites readers inside the mind of a great mathematician as he wrestles with the most important work of his career.But you don't have to understand nonlinear Landau damping to love Birth of a Theorem. It doesn't simplify or overexplain; rather, it invites readers into collaboration. Villani's diaries, emails, and musings enmesh you in the process of discovery. You join him in unproductive lulls and late-night breakthroughs. You're privy to the dining-hall conversations at the world's greatest research institutions. Villani shares his favorite songs, his love of manga, and the imaginative stories he tells his children. In mathematics, as in any creative work, it is the thinker's whole life that propels discovery—and with Birth of a Theorem, Cédric Villani welcomes you into his.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
04/14/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780374710231
ASIN:
B00NS3174O
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Cédric Villani. (2015). Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Cédric Villani. 2015. Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Cédric Villani, Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Cédric Villani. Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Jun 12, 2018 18:50:43
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shortDescription

In 2010, French mathematician Cédric Villani received the Fields Medal, the most coveted prize in mathematics, in recognition of a proof which he devised with his close collaborator Clément Mouhot to explain one of the most surprising theories in classical physics. Birth of a Theorem is Villani's own account of the years leading up to the award. It invites readers inside the mind of a great mathematician as he wrestles with the most important work of his career.But you don't have to understand nonlinear Landau damping to love Birth of a Theorem. It doesn't simplify or overexplain; rather, it invites readers into collaboration. Villani's diaries, emails, and musings enmesh you in the process of discovery. You join him in unproductive lulls and late-night breakthroughs. You're privy to the dining-hall conversations at the world's greatest research institutions. Villani shares his favorite songs, his love of manga, and the imaginative stories...

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title
Birth of a Theorem
fullDescription

In 2010, French mathematician Cédric Villani received the Fields Medal, the most coveted prize in mathematics, in recognition of a proof which he devised with his close collaborator Clément Mouhot to explain one of the most surprising theories in classical physics. Birth of a Theorem is Villani's own account of the years leading up to the award. It invites readers inside the mind of a great mathematician as he wrestles with the most important work of his career.But you don't have to understand nonlinear Landau damping to love Birth of a Theorem. It doesn't simplify or overexplain; rather, it invites readers into collaboration. Villani's diaries, emails, and musings enmesh you in the process of discovery. You join him in unproductive lulls and late-night breakthroughs. You're privy to the dining-hall conversations at the world's greatest research institutions. Villani shares his favorite songs, his love of manga, and the imaginative stories he tells his children. In mathematics, as in any creative work, it is the thinker's whole life that propels discovery—and with Birth of a Theorem, Cédric Villani welcomes you into his.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Thomas Lin, The New Yorker
      • content: "[Birth of a Theorem] is less about math than about mathematicians--how they live, how they work, and how they talk to one another."
      • premium: False
      • source: Hannah Fry, The Guardian
      • content: "[Villani] is widely regarded as one of the most talented mathematicians of his generation . . . Ultimately, this is a story about the limits of what can be achieved. And in that respect it has everything: partnership, courage, doubt and anxiety, elation and despair. Villani's path to success was not always easy, and he writes vividly of his setbacks and obstacles, detailing the inner monologue of self-doubt that we all experience, regardless of our ability."
      • premium: False
      • source: Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times
      • content: "[Villani] could plainly do for mathematics what Brian Cox has done for physics . . . [Birth of a Theorem] is one of the most peculiar and entertaining science books you will ever read . . . He realises that what seems too obvious to him-the beauty of maths-is baffling to almost everybody else, and he wants to break down the barrier this creates, not by condescendingly trying to be normal, but by being Cédric Villani. As maths is, as I say, the language that can make or break us, this is an urgent task that only Villani and only this book are addressing."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        February 23, 2015
        French mathematician Villani illuminates his year leading up to winning the Fields Medal, alternating between technical descriptions of his work and insights into his personality. The author’s stories for his children, interpretations of his dreams, and descriptions of his late-night tea-stealing escapades offer a fascinating picture of his life. The math is mostly incomprehensible, even to professional mathematicians, and little of it contributes to an understanding of the author’s process. But the narrative is enjoyable anyway, and most of the work on the proof can be followed in the less technical correspondence between Villani and his colleagues. Of wider interest than the particulars of the math is the context: Villani chronicles his meetings with eminent mathematicians and describes the mathematical institutes he visits, providing a view of the math community not often seen by the general public. His energy and passion for his work show through, making the writing feel genuine and honest. A few biographical passages veer in strange, navel-gazing directions, but there is no air of pretention on the author’s part. Though heavy on advanced math, Villani’s book eloquently humanizes mathematicians and is inexplicably fascinating even for the layperson.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 1, 2015
        Winner of the prestigious Fields Medal in 2010, Villani recalls how his breakthroughs in mathematics emerged from a state of lucid exaltation in which one thought succeeded to another as if miraculously. In this scintillating narrative (felicitously translated), Villani invites readers into this exceptional mental state. To be sure, only readers with advanced mathematical training can decipher the formulas that Villani includes to explain his analyses of Landau damping and the Boltzmann equation. But even math-averse readers will relish the excitement of a gifted mind triumphing over forbidding difficulties, particularly those that explorers encounter in the tangled boundary region between pure mathematical theory and empirical physics. But before they experience the success that transports the author into celebratory music and poetry, they share the completely human frustrations and disappointments that precede it. And though readers will marvel at his remarkable genius, they will also recognize how much Villani depends on loving family ties, congenial friendships, and supportive institutions to nurture that genius. A rare portal into stratospheric mathematics.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

subtitle
A Mathematical Adventure
popularity
30
publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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