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An Outer View of the Inner World
Mariana Cook
With an introduction by R. C. Gunning

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"[T]his book from Princeton University Press offers 92 large black-and-white studio photographs of mathematicians, each faced by a page of text, 400 to 900 words, in which the featured mathematician talks about himself and his work. . . . There is a quite extraordinary variety of backgrounds, confirming one's intuition that of all talents, the mathematical one may be most helpful in lifting genius out of obscurity."--John Derbyshire, National Review Online

"Mariana Cook has photographed everyone from Francis Crick to Barack and Michelle Obama but has chosen to turn her lens on a slightly more obscure subject for this collection of black-and-white portraits of mathematicians. She photographed 92 in all, some just beginning their careers, others Fields Medal winners with their fame secure. Accompanying the images are personal essays in which each subject reflects on the obsessions, disappointments, and relationships that continue to endear them to their profession. What emerges is a sincere and candid look inside an often insular field."--Seed Magazine

"Mathematicians is a hardcover book of photos that centers around 92 well-established mathematicians. It is a work of art that presents, through each of the glossy images (which are printed on excellent quality paper), an autobiographical note on the left, and a large, black and white photograph of a mathematician on the right side. The beautiful portraits, along with the short essays, help the reader to establish a brief emotional connection with each mathematician, as you become privy to the 'outer view of their inner world.' . . . Stunning photography and intimate essays make for a great work of art. . . . The affordable price and large format of this book make it a coffee table piece that every geek should have."

"This book implements a new approach . . . take ninety-two large black-and-white photographs of mathematicians and pair them with accompanying personal reflections by those pictured. The end result of this is a very rare commodity indeed: a coffee-table book about mathematicians. . . .We are treated to memories of parents, schoolteachers, college professors, advisors, and senior colleagues and shown how such people all have roles to play in the nurturing of mathematical talent. This book sends a clear message that competent teachers at all levels are necessary for the health of our profession."--Todd Eisworth, Notices of the AMS

"This book conveys the beauty and joy of mathematics to readers outside the field as well as those in it. These pictures and their texts are an inspiration, and a perfect gift for those who love mathematics as well as for those who think they can't do it!"--L'Enseignement Mathematique


"The startling contrast between lined faces and lively minds suggests that the passionate pursuit of mathematics is an ideal formula for aging gracefully, even joyfully."--Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind

"Mariana Cook has gathered a wonderful collection of reflective essays by some of the most celebrated living mathematicians and she has captured the essence of these interesting people through her photographs. It was a pleasure to read about the lives and thoughts of these mathematicians whom I have respected for so long. I foresee many mathematicians and mathematics students consuming these morsels with delight."--David Richeson, author of Euler's Gem: The Polyhedron Formula and the Birth of Topology

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File created: 7/17/2014

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