## 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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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.