The Best Writing on Mathematics 2020

The year's finest mathematical writing from around the world


Published (US):
Nov 24, 2020
Published (UK):
Dec 29, 2020
5.5 x 8.5 in.
16 color + 91 b/w illus + 1 table.
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This annual anthology brings together the year’s finest mathematics writing from around the world. Featuring promising new voices alongside some of the foremost names in the field, The Best Writing on Mathematics 2020 makes available to a wide audience many articles not easily found anywhere else—and you don’t need to be a mathematician to enjoy them. These writings offer surprising insights into the nature, meaning, and practice of mathematics today. They delve into the history, philosophy, teaching, and everyday aspects of math, and take readers behind the scenes of today’s hottest mathematical debates.

Here, Steven Strogatz reveals how calculus drives advances in virology, Paul Thagard argues that the power of mathematics stems from its combination of realistic and fictional qualities, and Erica Klarreich describes how Hao Huang used the combinatorics of cube nodes to solve a longstanding problem in computer science. In other essays, John Baez tells how he discovered the irresistible attractions of algebraic geometry, Mark Colyvan compares the radically different explanatory practices of mathematics and science, and Boris Odehnal reviews some surprising properties of multidimensional geometries. And there’s much, much more.

In addition to presenting the year’s most memorable writings on mathematics, this must-have anthology includes a bibliography of other notable writings and an introduction by the editor.

This book belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in where math has taken us—and where it is headed.