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Mathematical Apocrypha: Stories and Anecdotes of Mathematicians and the Mathematical (Spectrum) Paperback – July 15, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0883855393 ISBN-10: 0883855399

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Product Details

  • Series: Spectrum
  • Paperback: 225 pages
  • Publisher: The Mathematical Association of America (July 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883855399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883855393
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,590,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'... a fascinating and amusing collection of stories about mathematicians and the mathematical world ... The pace is quick and I have to admit that I read it in one sitting and then left it by the loo so that I could skim through again looking for my favourites ... I hope that a really wide audience will read it as it brings to life a world that most people cannot imagine.' The Mathematical Gazette

Book Description

This is a collection of tales about mathematicians and the mathematical, derived from the author's experience. It shares the nature of the mathematical enterprise, and gives a glimpse of mathematical culture. It is written in a brisk and engaging manner and also includes a number of attractive photographs and illustrations.

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
Quite against the opinion of many, mathematicians are people too. They have quirks, foibles and eccentricities that are only slightly different in kind from those possessed by the remainder of the population. If you doubt that statement, read this book and be convinced. The author has collected together a set of the most interesting short stories about people, independent of the fact that they do math. It is funny, insightful and can be read by anyone. After I started it, I found it very difficult to put down, and I highly recommend it to everyone, whether they can balance an equation or not.
Published in Journal of Recreational Mathematics, reprinted with permission.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought this book would be about the non-mathematical lives of famous mathematicians, and I was not proven wrong. The problem is that it is a compilation of one-paragraph anecdotes of many matehmaticians' lives, which makes for good coffee table reading and not bedtime reading. There is very little substance to any of the lifestyles of any of the characters.
The accounts themselves relate to the famous and not-so-famous, but many of them are questionable as to whether they actually deserve to be in this book as they are may times simple accounts of a person's daily life - chronicling the events that happen to many of us on a daily basis.
I summary the stories are too brief and there are other (better) factual books on the real lives and histories behind mathematics and mathematicians.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph A. Schrock on June 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my reading of Steven Krantz's "Mathematical Apocrypha", I encounter numerous anecdotes that endorse the view that not only do mathematicians tend to be eccentric, but they are often very funny -- sometimes intentionally so, and sometimes not.
As something of an amateur mathematician-mathematical hobbyist, I find Krantz's book a very good read -- well worth buying. My guess is that many non-mathematicians could also find in the book many stories about mathematicians and their numerous quirks that could provide for humorous storytelling and joking.
As an enthusiaist of mathematical ideas and those who generate them, I find "Mathematical Apocrypha" to be the best source of mathematical anecdotes I've yet been blessed with encountering.
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