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Mathematical Journeys. Author(s). Peter D. Schumer. First published January Print ISBN |Online ISBN
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Mathematical Journeys Newsletter

Mathematicians who read Schechter's biography -- and I have already remarked that I suspect that will account for the majority of his readers -- are likely to be annoyed at a number of inaccuracies that could have been avoided by getting a mathematician to check through the manuscript.

On page 53, the author states that trial division is "the only surefire way of determining whether a number is prime," which is false. On pages 76 to 78, Schechter screws up the logic in the proof of Esther Klein's theorem that if five points are drawn at random on a plane, with no three collinear, then four of them will determine a convex quadrilateral. On page 81, it is stated that Frank Ramsey's younger brother "was the Archbishop of Canterbury," whereas it should have read "was to become the Archbishop of Canterbury.


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It is clear from the context that Schechter understood the result correctly. But as mathematics instructors tell their students every year, theorems should be stated precisely, especially results such as Jingrun's that are inching their way toward a particular goal.

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Errata aside, however, I enjoyed the book and can recommend it. It's worth reading, even if you have already read Hoffman's version of the tale.

Keith Devlin devlin stmarys-ca. Literally homeless, without even a bank account, Erdos would rely on his host to tend to his daily needs while he explored the realm of mathematics.

My Brain is Open: Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos

My Brain Is Open is the fascinating story of the brilliant and unusual man who developed the mathematics that forms the basis for computer science, although he worked in longhand and never touched a computer himself. It is an exploration of the world of mathematics in which Erdos moved, an exciting world vital to the technology of the 20th century but largely unknown to many. Born in Hungary, Erdos fled the Holocaust and spent the rest of his life in perpetual motion, driven by the vagaries of politics as much as mathematics. A frequent visitor to the United States, he was unable to visit the country during the McCarthy years because of his strong political opinions.


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    My Brain is Open : The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos

    Mathematical Journeys Author s : Peter D. First published: 28 January About this book A colorful tour through the intriguing world of mathematics Take a grand tour of the best of modern math, its most elegant solutions, most clever discoveries, most mind-bending propositions, and most impressive personalities.

    Reviews "This is such a fount of fascinating knowledge and problems that all professors and teachers who want to motivate and challenge their talented students should consult it.

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