The Mathematician's Brain
Consider the case of British mathematician Alan Turing. Credited with cracking the German Enigma code during World War II and conceiving of the modern computer, he was convicted of "gross indecency" for a homosexual affair and died in 1954 after eating a cyanide-laced apple--his death was ruled a suicide, though rumors of assassination still linger. Ruelle holds nothing back in his revealing and deeply personal reflections on Turing and other fellow mathematicians, including Alexander Grothendieck, René Thom, Bernhard Riemann, and Felix Klein. But this book is more than a mathematical tell-all. Each chapter examines an important mathematical idea and the visionary minds behind it. Ruelle meaningfully explores the philosophical issues raised by each, offering insights into the truly unique and creative ways mathematicians think and showing how the mathematical setting is most favorable for asking philosophical questions about meaning, beauty, and the nature of reality.
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What Is Mathematics?
The Erlangen Program
Mathematics and Ideologies
The Unity of Mathematics
A Glimpse into Algebraic Geometry and Arithmetic
A Trip to Nancy with Alexander Grothendieck
Structures and Concept Creation
Mathematical Invention Psychology and Aesthetics
The Circle Theorem and an Infinite Dimensional Labyrinth
The Smile of Mona Lisa
Tinkering and the Construction of Mathematical Theories
The Strategy of Mathematical Invention