Monday, November 10, 2014

The Education of a Mathematician by Philip Davies

This book is different from most other books for the mathematics layman. It is a very tangible and personal journey of the author from the 1930’s to end of the 20 century. In general I found it a very readable book on mathematics as well as mathematics education. There is also philosophy discussions in the book.
The author is a professional mathematician who gives his personal experience and what it means to be a mathematician with his travels to various countries.
The author discuss some really important questions such as the future role of mathematics and it applications. Also he reflects back at how mathematics has affected all of us in the past.
The last chapter describes the authors’ talk at the ‘The International Congress of Mathematicians’ in August 1998 given in Berlin. I really like this chapter with subheading such as Male vs Female Mathematics and Soft Mathematics vs Traditional Mathematics.

My only reservation is that it was hard to follow in places as the author is also a philosopher.