Read A Mathematician's Apology by G.H. Hardy Free Online
Book Title: A Mathematician's Apology|
Date of issue: October 1st 2011
ISBN 13: 9781466402690
The author of the book: G.H. Hardy
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 524 KB
Read full description of the books A Mathematician's Apology:Amusing, even if it was as sad as the introduction suggested. Read it in high school, but haven't since. Glad I took another crack at it. It just about made me want to crack open one of my math books! I enjoyed the style of exposition, as well as much of the message, though, admittedly, I probably lost track of an argument here or there.
I think avoided pulling out some of the more quoted passages, though I'm sure these aren't entirely original selections:
68: If a man has any genuine talent, he should be ready to make almost any sacrifice in order to cultivate it to the full.
70: ... it is undeniable that a gift for mathematics is one of the most specialized talents, and that mathematicians as a class are not particularly distinguished for general ability of versatility. If a man is any sense a real mathematician, then it is a hundred to one that his mathematics will be far better than anything else he can do, and that he would be silly if he surrendered any decent opportunity of exercising his one talent in order to do undistinguished work in other fields.
73: It is quite true that most people can do nothing well. <-- Dang, Hardy. How do you really feel?
77: A man's first duty, a young man's at any rate, is to be ambitious. Ambition is a noble passion which may legitimately take many forms...
80: [A mathematician's] subject is the most curious of all -- there is none in which truth plays such odd pranks.
116: Mathematics may, like poetry or music, 'promote and sustain a lofty habit of mind'...
117-8: It is indeed rather astonishing how little practical value scientific knowledge has for ordinary men, how dull and commonplace such of it as has value is, and how its value seems almost to vary inversely to its reputed utility. <-- ah, school
143: When the world is mad, a mathematician may find in mathematics an incomparable anodyne. For mathematics is, of all the arts and sciences, the most austere and the most remote, and a mathematician should be of all men the one how can easily take refuge where, as Bertrand Russell says, 'one at least of our nobler impulses can best escape from the dreary exile of the actual world.'
Read information about the authorGodfrey Harold Hardy FRS was a prominent English mathematician, known for his achievements in number theory and mathematical analysis.
Non-mathematicians usually know him for A Mathematician's Apology, his essay from 1940 on the aesthetics of mathematics. The apology is often considered one of the best insights into the mind of a working mathematician written for the layman.
His relationship as mentor, from 1914 onwards, of the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan has become celebrated. Hardy almost immediately recognized Ramanujan's extraordinary albeit untutored brilliance, and Hardy and Ramanujan became close collaborators. In an interview by Paul Erdős, when Hardy was asked what his greatest contribution to mathematics was, Hardy unhesitatingly replied that it was the discovery of Ramanujan. He called their collaboration "the one romantic incident in my life."
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