 Author:
 Ian Stewart (author)
 Language:
 English
 Publisher:
 Basic Books
 Categories:
 Mathematics and science
 Publisher series:
 Art of Mentoring (1/15)
 Publication year:
 2007
 Original publication year:
 2006
 ISBN:
 9780465082322
 Pages:
 203
 Synopsis:
Letters to a Young Mathematician is written as an update on G. H. Hardy's classic A Mathematician's Apology, but the book is not an exercise in apologetics.
"Attitudes change. No longer do mathematicians believe that they owe the world an apology."
It follows an imaginary girl, Meg, from her school years through her ensuing career, and each chapter is a letter to her at crucial steps in her career. Some parts are musings on math (pure vs applied) while others are specific career tips (solitary work vs collaboration). The book is virtually devoid of any actual math, so I think it's safe for mathophobes. In fact, for this very reason, it might even help to partially cure the phobia of those unfortunately inflicted.
 Review:
I really liked the lighthearted way the book is written. Perhaps someone who is planning on embarking on a mathematical career would enjoy it even more.
 Table of Contents:

[Toggle visibility]
 Preface
 1 Why Do Math?
 2 How I Almost Became a Lawyer
 3 The Breadth of Mathematics
 4 Hasn't It All Been Done?
 5 Surrounded by Math
 6 How Mathematicians Think
 7 How to Learn Math
 8 Fear of Proofs
 9 Can't Computers Solve Everything?
 10 Mathematical Storytelling
 11 Going for the Jugular
 12 Blockbusters
 13 Impossible Problems
 14 The Career Ladder
 15 Pure or Applied?
 16 Where Do You Get Those Crazy Ideas?
 17 How to Teach Math
 18 The Mathematical Community
 19 Pigs and Pickup Trucks
 20 Pleasures and Perils of Collaboration
 21 Is God a Mathematician?
 Notes and References