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 cyanidelaced applehis 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 tellall. 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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LibraryThing Review
User Review  FPdC  LibraryThingThis book, by a world famous dynamicist and mathematical physicist, is a kind of digression about mathematics, mathematicians, ethics, politics, philosophy, and more. His discussions of mathematics ... Read full review
LibraryThing Review
User Review  fpagan  LibraryThingThese ~150 pages harbor quite a variety of opinionated but meaty little chapters on the basic nature of mathematics and what it means to be a mathematician. Read full review
Contents
Scientific Thinking  1 
What Is Mathematics?  5 
The Erlangen Program  11 
Mathematics and Ideologies  17 
The Unity of Mathematics  23 
A Glimpse into Algebraic Geometry and Arithmetic  29 
A Trip to Nancy with Alexander Grothendieck  34 
Structures  41 
Structures and Concept Creation  73 
Turings Apple  78 
Mathematical Invention Psychology and Aesthetics  85 
The Circle Theorem and an Infinite Dimensional Labyrinth  91 
Mistake  97 
The Smile of Mona Lisa  103 
Tinkering and the Construction of Mathematical Theories  108 
The Strategy of Mathematical Invention  113 