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The Mathematician's Brain:
A Personal Tour Through the Essentials of Mathematics and Some of the Great Minds Behind Them
David Ruelle

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"For any reader interested as much in what being a mathematician is like as in what mathematics is, this book offers the inside scoop. . . . It is only a very good book that stimulates discussion of foundational issues at all, and The Mathematician's Brain does that and much else beside. One finds a rich, multi-textured, human account of mathematics and mathematical life here, an account that makes one wish to spend an afternoon with the author, in pleasant conversation about whatever captures one's fancy at the moment."--Tim Maudlin, Journal of Statistical Physics

"The Mathematician's Brain takes you inside the world--and heads--of mathematicians. It is a journey you won't soon forget."--L'Enseignement Mathematique

"The Mathematician's Brain is a very readable tour through the landscape of contemporary mathematics. David Ruelle locates mathematics as a human practice, subject to social and political pressures as well as the limitations of human brains, without losing site of its status as an objective, rule-governed discipline. The book is packed with personal anecdotes and speculative comments on the nature of mathematics which display the author's clear enthusiasm for his subject. . . . As an accessible run-through of one mathematician's love-affair with his subject, The Mathematician's Brain is an inviting presentation which introduces readers to the fascinating realm of mathematics and its philosophy."--Mary C. Leng, Mathematical Reviews

"It has an intimate, personal definitions flavor, inviting the reader to get to know Ruelle himself, not only the mathematics he cares to expound. He turns out do be no dry, scholar, but a humane, opinionated, deeply thoughtful fellow human. The mathematics he chooses to present is and well explained. The philosophical and aesthetic issues he explores are important and often neglected."--Reuben Hersh, Siam Review

"There is an enormous amount to admire in the book. . . . The range of topics treated is very generous."--David Corfield, Notices


"David Ruelle has written an entertaining and thoughtful book on human theorizing in that most abstract science, mathematics. Yet its content has ramifications that extend well into other thought processes."--Stephen Smale, Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago

"Fascinating and quite eclectic. Ruelle has a pragmatic approach to discussing philosophical and psychological questions. He is equally pragmatic with regard to ethical and political issues involved in the professional world of the mathematician. As Ruelle repeatedly says, mathematics is a human activity."--William Messing, University of Minnesota

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File created: 11/22/2015

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