## Mathematical Encounters of the Second KindPhilip J. Davis has won numerous awards for his scientific writing, among them the National Book Award. Mathematical Encounters of the Second Kind is a joyful memoir of the author's encounters, some actual and some fictional, with a number of mathematicians and historical figures. For instance, few people know that Napoleon Bonaparte of France, Lord Rothschild of England, and Queen Hortense of the Netherlands had in common an interest in mathematical talent. Fewer still know the influence that that interest had on their lives and on the lives of others of their respective times. And only Davis knows that, were it not for one of them, he might never have developed the interest in mathematics that has led him to a life of creating and applying mathematics and writing about it for his peers, his students, and a wide range of intellectually curious readers. Davis' message is that an interest in mathematics can, like any activity of the human mind, bring people into contact with each other over centuries, over oceans, and over cultural separations. He came to realize that mathematics goes beyond the scientific and technological needs of society, and can serve as a social connection among people of diverse origins, abilities, and stations in life. He turns, in his correspondence and travels, some surprising corners, sharing with us his encounters with a world of academics, politicians, writers, and even spies, all connected through some of the simplest, yet most profound ideas in mathematics. What emerges is an entertaining and informative portrayal of an occupation that is not well understood or is misconceived by the rest of the world. The general reader will find that little mathematical knowledge is required to join and to enjoy the commentary and the fun of the encounters. |

### What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

### Contents

Napoleons Theorem | 1 |

Carpenter and the Napoleon Ascription | 55 |

The Man Who Began His Lectures with Namely | 137 |

The Rothschild I Knew | 159 |

Acknowledgments | 295 |

297 | |

### Other editions - View all

### Common terms and phrases

algebra alternating current American ancient answer Applied Mathematics Art Tatum asked astrologer Bergman Berlin breakfast British Bulghuri Bulghuristan Caesar ciphering called Cambridge Carpenter circle College conjecture course cryptographer cryptography Descartes Elagabalus Elisabeth Bergner Emma Emperor England English equilateral triangles Erdos-Kac Theorem Euclid fact famous Fourier geometry Hadassah Hase heard Hortense integers interest Isaiah Berlin kind knew known Lady later lecture letter Lindner lived London look Lord Rothschild Louis lunch married math mathematician moon Napoleon Napoleon's Theorem Neumann never number theory philosophy played prime numbers Problem 44 professional Professor Queen question ritual scholar scientific Stefan Bergman Steiner story suppose talk tell Tess Thatcher thing Thomas Gray thought tion told took turned University Victor Lord Victor Rothschild wanted Weisgall wife write wrote young

### Popular passages

Page 300 - The date and author of the so-called Fragments of Toparcha Gothicus.

### References to this book

Rethinking the Mathematics Curriculum Celia Hoyles,Candia Morgan,Geoffrey Woodhouse Limited preview - 1999 |