## Adventures of a MathematicianThe autobiography of mathematician Stanislaw Ulam, one of the great scientific minds of the twentieth century, tells a story rich with amazingly prophetic speculations and peppered with lively anecdotes. As a member of the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1944 on, Ulam helped to precipitate some of the most dramatic changes of the postwar world. He was among the first to use and advocate computers for scientific research, originated ideas for the nuclear propulsion of space vehicles, and made fundamental contributions to many of today's most challenging mathematical projects. With his wide-ranging interests, Ulam never emphasized the importance of his contributions to the research that resulted in the hydrogen bomb. Now Daniel Hirsch and William Mathews reveal the true story of Ulam's pivotal role in the making of the "Super," in their historical introduction to this behind-the-scenes look at the minds and ideas that ushered in the nuclear age. An epilogue by Françoise Ulam and Jan Mycielski sheds new light on Ulam's character and mathematical originality. |

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User Review - freetrader - LibraryThingReview of a math fashion victim Towards the end of his celebrated autobiography that was published in 1976, mathematician Stanislaw Ulam makes a striking remark about the way mathematics is presented ... Read full review

### Contents

Prologue | xxvii |

Becoming a Mathematician in Poland | xxxi |

Childhood | xxxiii |

Student Years | 15 |

Travels Abroad | 42 |

A Working Mathematician in America | 53 |

Princeton Days | 55 |

Harvard Years | 74 |

Southern California 19451946 | 162 |

Back at Los Alamos | 178 |

The Super | 199 |

The Death of Two Pioneers | 215 |

The Past Fifteen Years | 237 |

Government Science | 239 |

Professor | 256 |

Random Reflections | 263 |

Transition and Crisis | 96 |

The University of Wisconsin | 113 |

Life among the Physicists | 138 |

Los Alamos | 138 |

Postscript to Adventures | 295 |

Bibliography | 309 |

Index | 311 |

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Alamos asked atomic Banach became become bomb brain calculations called chess cians collaboration course deuterium discussed electronic computers energy Erdos Everett famous feeling felt Fermi fission Francoise friends G. D. Birkhoff Gamow gave going H-bomb Hans Bethe Harvard ideas important impressed interesting invited John Pasta John von Neumann Johnny Johnny's joke knew Kuratowski laboratory later lectures lived logic look Los Alamos Lwow Madison Mark Kac mathe mathematicians matics Mazur memory Monte Carlo Monte Carlo method nebech Neumann neutron never nuclear once Oppenheimer paper perhaps person physicist play points Poland Polish Princeton problems professor pure mathematics quantum theory questions reactions remember Russian scientific scientists seemed set theory space Stan Stanislaw Mazur Stefan Banach Steinhaus strange student Super talked Teller thermonuclear things thought tion told topology Ulam Ulam's University walk Warsaw Wiener wonder wrote young

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Page 11 - Nobody will blame Teller because the calculations of 1946 were wrong, especially because adequate computing machines were not then available. But he was blamed at Los Alamos for leading the Laboratory, and indeed the whole country, into an adventurous program on the basis of calculations which he himself must have known to have been very incomplete.