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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fields Medalists... A Breed Apart

Interesting article on the recently-awarded Fields Medals (given "for outstanding mathematical work completed before the age of 40"), and great mathematicians more generally:

http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/masters-of-the-universe

There is, the article notes, an "identification of mathematics with prodigies and troubled minds" which "is reinforced by the few books and movies that have struck a chord with people at large."

While it's true that those at the highest rarified levels of mathematics are often exceptional or quirky individuals, nonetheless, the stereotype painted by popular media is likely overdrawn.

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