Visions of Infinity (Paperback)

The Great Mathematical Problems

By Ian Stewart

Basic Books, 9780465064892, 352pp.

Publication Date: November 4, 2014

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (3/5/2013)

List Price: 19.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Acclaimed writer and mathematician Ian Stewart investigates history's most important and elusive math problems

For every problem mathematicians solve, another awaits to perplex and galvanize them. Such challenges offer a tantalizing glimpse of the field's unlimited potential and keep mathematicians looking toward the horizons of intellectual possibility.

In Visions of Infinity, Ian Stewart explains why these problems exist, what drives mathematicians to solve them, and why their efforts matter in the context of science as a whole. Stewart describes solved problems as well as those like the P/NP problem, which could easily remain unproved for another hundred years.

An approachable and illuminating history of mathematics as told through fourteen of its greatest problems, Visions of Infinity reveals how mathematics the world over have risen to meet the challenges set by their predecessors-and how the enigmas of the past inevitably surrender to the powerful techniques of the present.

About the Author

Ian Stewart is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and active researcher at the University of Warwick. He is also a regular research visitor at the University of Houston, the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications in Minneapolis, and the Santa Fe Institute. His writing has appeared in New Scientist, Discover, Scientific American, and many newspapers in the U.K. and U.S. He lives in Coventry, England.

Praise For Visions of Infinity: The Great Mathematical Problems

"Readers will be captivated by the technical achievements, loose ends, and human insights that Stewart shares on his grand mathematical tour."—Dallas Morning News

"A bracing mental workout for armchair mathematicians."—Booklist, starred review

"If you wish to intelligently discuss the Riemann hypothesis, P/NP problems or the Hodge conjecture, you ought to read this book first."—Science News

"Stewart's loquacious yet lucid style makes the most complex mathematics accessible."—Publishers Weekly