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A Certain Ambiguity:
A Mathematical Novel
Gaurav Suri & Hartosh Singh Bal
With a new foreword by Keith Devlin

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"I loved this novel. I hope we see more 'mathematical novels' being published in the future."--Donald L. Vestal, MAA Review

"The writers have created a book that could fascinate those who have just a rudimentary knowledge of math."--India Abroad

"Suri and Bal's unconventional book praises the beauty of mathematics and the logical inevitability of its proofs. The book is also a discourse on the struggles between truth, faith, and reason. All this is woven into two weeks in the life of Ravi, an Indian student at Stanford University, and his accidental discovery that his grandfather was once convicted of blasphemy in a New Jersey town...Among the many books that aim to make mathematics more accessible to the nonmathematician, this is a remarkably pleasant and successful achievement."--J. Mayer, Choice


"A Certain Ambiguity is an amazing narrative that glows with a vivid sense of the beauty and wonder of mathematics."--Martin Gardner

"This is a truly captivating thriller that will take you on a whirlwind tour to infinity--and beyond. But be warned: once you start reading, you won't be able to put it aside until finished! A masterly-told story that weaves together criminal law, ancient and modern history, a young man's quest to know his deceased grandfather-and some highly intriguing mathematics."--Eli Maor, author of e: the Story of a Number and The Pythagorean Theorem: A 4,000-Year History

"This rich and engaging novel follows the path that leads one young person to become a professional mathematician. By deftly blending the young man's story with mathematical ideas and historical developments in the subject, the authors succeed brilliantly in taking the reader on a tour of some of the major highlights in the philosophy of mathematics. If that were not enough, the book also examines, through the minds of its characters, the natures of faith (religious and other) and truth. I am strongly thinking of building a university non-majors math course around this novel."--Keith Devlin, Stanford University, author of The Math Gene

"A Certain Ambiguity is a remarkably good effort to work through some fundamental issues in the philosophy of mathematics in the context of a novel. Crucial to the success of such a venture is creating characters and a plot that are strong enough to hold a reader's interest. Suri and Bal succeed particularly well in the story of Vijay Sahni and Judge Taylor. This well-written book will, I believe, find readers not only among mathematicians, but in a wider audience that is intrigued by mathematical meaning."--Joan Richards, Brown University

"Suri and Bal convey the beauty and elegance--as well as the fascination--of basic mathematical concepts."--Alexander Paseau, University of Oxford

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File created: 4/21/2017

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