Letters to a Young Mathematician


Letters to a Young Mathematician

"Letters to a Young Mathematician" is a 2006 book by Ian Stewart, and is part of Basic Books' Art of Mentoring series. Stewart mentions in the preface that he considers this book an update to G.H. Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology.

The book is made up of letters to a fictional correspondent of Stewart's, an aspiring mathematician named Meg. The letters follow Meg from her school years up to her receiving tenure from an American university.

Among the topics covered include:
* Chapter 1: The prevalence of mathematics in daily life.
* Chapter 2: How Stewart himself got into mathematics
* Chapter 3: The difference between school mathematics and university mathematics
* Chapter 4: The limitless boundaries of mathematics
* Chapter 5: Stewart's inspiration from animal gaits
* Chapter 6: The way mathematicians think
* Chapter 7: Problem solving methods
* Chapter 8: The Importance of Proofs
* Chapter 9: The role of computers in Mathematics
* Chapter 10: What is a proof?
* Chapter 11: Choosing a PhD subject
* Chapter 12: Computers in Aiding Mathematical Proofs
* Chapter 13: Impossible Problems
* Chapter 14: The career ladder for academics
* Chapter 15: The Line between pure and applied mathematics
* Chapter 16: Getting ideas in mathematics
* Chapter 17: Teaching mathematics
* Chapter 18: The Mathematical Community
* Chapter 19: Stewart's experiences as a lecturer
* Chapter 20: Collaboration
* Chapter 21: God as a mathematician

ISBN 0-465-08231-9 Original hardback from Basic Books


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