Thursday, September 19, 2013

"The Heart of Hidden Reality"

Two great math memoirs in one month!... Martin Gardner's autobiography should be showing up in bookstores shortly, and already University of Calif./Berkeley mathematician Edward Frenkel's book "Love and Math" is popping up as well. The title of this post, is the subtitle of the book. Peter Woit has a positive review here:

Frenkel is a leader among those studying the "Langlands program" and mathematical physics.

From Peter's review:
"What’s really wonderful though is his dedication to the cause of the opposite of obscurantism, that of doing the hard work of trying to explain mathematical insights to as wide an audience as possible. His book is packed with mathematics and physics, full of enlightening explanations of difficult topics at all different levels of mathematical sophistication.
"Perhaps the most remarkable part of the book though is the way it makes a serious attempt to tackle the problem of explaining one of the deepest sets of ideas in mathematics, those which go under the name of the “Langlands program”….
"I heartily recommend this book to all with an interest in mathematics or its relation to physics. If the 'Love' of the title has you hoping for a tale of romance between two people, you’re going to be disappointed, but you will find something much more unusual, a memoir of the romance of mathematics and its relation to the physical world."
...and if that's not enough to get you interested, read the scintillating reviewer blurbs at the Amazon page linked to above (which affords you about 20 pages of free reading, plus ~40 pages of endnotes!).

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