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

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eBook | ISBN: 9781400832880 | Where to buy this ebook


Mathematicians is a remarkable collection of ninety-two photographic portraits, featuring some of the most amazing mathematicians of our time. Acclaimed photographer Mariana Cook captures the exuberant and colorful personalities of these brilliant thinkers and the superb images are accompanied by brief autobiographical texts written by each mathematician. Together, the photographs and words illuminate a diverse group of men and women dedicated to the absorbing pursuit of mathematics.

The compelling black-and-white portraits introduce readers to mathematicians who are young and old, fathers and daughters, and husbands and wives. They include Fields Medal winners, those at the beginning of major careers, and those who are long-established celebrities in the discipline. Their candid personal essays reveal unique and wide-ranging thoughts, opinions, and humor, as the mathematicians discuss how they became interested in mathematics, why they love the subject, how they remain motivated in the face of mathematical challenges, and how their greatest contributions have paved new directions for future generations. Mathematicians in the book include David Blackwell, Henri Cartan, John Conway, Pierre Deligne, Timothy Gowers, Frances Kirwan, Peter Lax, William Massey, John Milnor, Cathleen Morawetz, John Nash, Karen Uhlenbeck, and many others.

Conveying the beauty and joy of mathematics to those both within and outside the field, this photographic collection is an inspirational tribute to mathematicians everywhere.


"[T]he insights in . . . [this book] will inspire mathematicians and scientists to come."--Eric L. Altschuler, Nature

"Mathematicians: An Outer View of the Inner World presents 92 photographic portraits by Mariana Cook, with an introduction by Robert Clifford Gunning, and an afterword by Brandon Fradd. The book's concept is simple and elegant: On each right-hand page is a portrait of a mathematician, printed in rich and black and white, and on the facing left-hand page is an autobiographical essay by the subject of the photograph. The portraits are carefully composed and lighted, with a certain formality to them."--Brian Hayes, American Scientist

"The idea of a collection of portraits of mathematicians seems on the face of it as irrational as the square root of two. Intellectually opaque, the practice of higher mathematics is visually null. It can be understood, at least by a few people, but that doesn't mean it can be seen. . . . Precisely because we can't glimpse the world mathematicians see, the prospect of glimpsing the faces of those who can becomes all the more intriguing."--Mark Feeney, Boston Globe

"To convey their interior lives, photographer Cook has produced an elegant volume of striking, insightful, black-and-white portraits of 92 mathematicians, each accompanied by autobiographical reflections by the subjects. . . . It is difficult to say who will enjoy browsing the book most: professional mathematicians glad to see old friends, students looking for role models, or interested lay readers curious to learn if a career in a highly abstract pursuit reveals itself on the faces of its practitioners."--Choice

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  • File created: 6/13/2017

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