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Paul Erdös was an amazing and prolific mathematician whose life as a world-wandering numerical nomad was legendary. He published almost 1500 scholarly papers before his death in 1996, and he probably thought more about math problems than anyone in history. Like a traveling salesman offering his thoughts as wares, Erdös would show up on the doorstep of one mathematician or another and announce, "My brain is open." After working through a problem, he'd move on to the next place, the next solution.
Hoffman's book, like Sylvia Nasar's biography of John Nash, A Beautiful Mind, reveals a genius's life that transcended the merely quirky. But Erdös's brand of madness was joyful, unlike Nash's despairing schizophrenia. Erdös never tried to dilute his obsessive passion for numbers with ordinary emotional interactions, thus avoiding hurting the people around him, as Nash did. Oliver Sacks writes of Erdös: "A mathematical genius of the first order, Paul Erdös was totally obsessed with his subject--he thought and wrote mathematics for nineteen hours a day until the day he died. He traveled constantly, living out of a plastic bag, and had no interest in food, sex, companionship, art--all that is usually indispensable to a human life."
The Man Who Loved Only Numbers is easy to love, despite his strangeness. It's hard not to have affection for someone who referred to children as "epsilons," from the Greek letter used to represent small quantities in mathematics; a man whose epitaph for himself read, "Finally I am becoming stupider no more"; and whose only really necessary tool to do his work was a quiet and open mind. Hoffman, who followed and spoke with Erdös over the last 10 years of his life, introduces us to an undeniably odd, yet pure and joyful, man who loved numbers more than he loved God--whom he referred to as SF, for Supreme Fascist. He was often misunderstood, and he certainly annoyed people sometimes, but Paul Erdös is no doubt missed. --Therese Littleton -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.
"Hoffman's playful, plainspoken and often hilarious biography of a monkish, impish, generous genius is purest pleasure." Mail on Sunday "Paul Hoffman's wittily articulated life of the mathematical genius Paul Erdos opens a door to a sunlit upland of pure logic, populated by bungee-bouncing, bearded maniacs and absurdly intelligent men who never learnt to tie their own shoelaces...Anyone with an interest in the science of numbers should read this." Observer "The Man Who Loved Only Numbers is one of the most accessible and engaging introductions to the world of pure mathematics you are ever likely to come across." Graham Farmelo, Sunday Telegraph "A wonderful, playful, insightful life of this century's most unusual mathematician." Ian Stewart, Independent -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
I found this book really gripping. The author described the historical context of Erdos' life well and explained the math in a way that a non-mathematician could easily... Lesen Sie weiter...Am 4. Juli 2000 veröffentlicht
This is a wonderful book. Hoffman writes a series of vignettes about Paul Erdos, a giant of number theory. Erdos, who died in 1996, was as eccentric as he was brilliant. Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 29. Juni 2000 von James Davis
This is one of two excellent biographies published shortly after Paul Erdos' death (the other being "my brain is open" by B.Schechter) This book succeeds on many levels. Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 5. Juni 2000 von Giuseppe A. Paleologo
If you want to read a biography of an eccentric but highly accomplished man, look no further. Paul Erdos may have lacked everyday practical skills, may have had a very disheveled... Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 2. Juni 2000 von Laura Miller
Having had no prior knowledge of Paul Erdos and his work, I purchased this book on a whim. I enjoy biographies of interesting people and he certainly was one. Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 5. Mai 2000 von Debbie Tam
Needless to say Erdos, the most prolific mathematician of all times had a curious yet eventful life ! Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 28. März 2000 von Nishant
This is a book filled with garbages which the author took from somewhere else and forcefully pasted them together in a rather distorted way. Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 16. März 2000 von John Williams
This book is tremendous fun to read. It's not very well organized, it jumps around a lot, it gets lost in tangents - but it manages to capture that pure, fresh, clear and utterly... Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 10. Februar 2000 von Hans U. Widmaier
I received this book as a gift, and as a non-mathematician I thought it was both an interesting biography and an engaging overview of some of the key events and themes in modern... Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 20. Januar 2000 von Brian Reynolds