Men of mathematics by ET Bell
Synopsis: From one of the greatest minds in contemporary mathematics, Professor E.T. Bell, comes a witty, accessible, and fascinating look at the beautiful craft and enthralling history of mathematics.
Men of Mathematics provides a rich account of major mathematical milestones, from the geometry of the Greeks through Newton’s calculus, and on to the laws of probability, symbolic logic, and the fourth dimension. Bell breaks down this majestic history of ideas into a series of engrossing biographies of the great mathematicians who made progress possible—and who also led intriguing, complicated, and often surprisingly entertaining lives.
Never pedantic or dense, Bell writes with clarity and simplicity to distill great mathematical concepts into their most understandable forms for the curious everyday reader. Anyone with an interest in math may learn from these rich lessons, an advanced degree or extensive research is never necessary.
First Published: 1937 | ISBN-13: 978-0671628185
Mini-bio: Eric Temple Bell was a Scottish-born mathematician and science fiction writer who lived in the United States for most of his life. He published non-fiction using his given name and fiction as John Taine. – Wikipedia
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Men of Mathematics was a highly influential book in my youth, half a century ago, and inspired me in my Mathematical education. Ignoring the title, which is of its time, Bell gives a great narrative of the mathematician as hero and the trajectory of mathematics as a series of leaps by great men. This can be daunting but in Bell’s masterful hands is inspirational. My pantheon of maths greats was embedded in my psyche by reading Bell. I cannot think about mathematical creativity without thinking of Gauss and Euler and this is due to Bell. (Please check the pronunciation of non-Anglo names before you podcast eg Poincaré, Descartes)