Archive for the ‘Mathematics’ Category

Power and Beauty and Light

Monday, September 7th, 2015

The story I’m going to tell is about abstract mathematics. I’m going to argue that its power and beauty lie not in the answers it provides or the problems it solves, but in the light that it sheds. That light enables us to see clearly, and that is the first step to understanding the world around us.

— Eugenia Cheng, How to Bake Pi, p. 13

The Wonder and Humor of Mathematics

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

When writing this book, my motivation was at all times to communicate the excitement and wonder of mathematical discovery. I also wanted to show that mathematicians can be funny. They are the kings of logic, which gives them an extremely discriminating sense of the illogical. Math suffers from a reputation that it is dry and difficult. Often it is. Yet math can also be inspiring, accessible and, above all, brilliantly creative. Abstract mathematical thought is one of the great achievements of the human race, and arguably the foundation of all human progress.

— Alex Bellos, Here’s Looking at Euclid, p. xi