### Significant Figures (Hardcover)

* The Lives and Work of Great Mathematicians*

Basic Books, 9780465096121, 320pp.

Publication Date: September 12, 2017

List Price:
28.00*

* Individual store prices may vary.

#### Description

A celebrated mathematician traces the history of math through the lives and work of twenty-five pioneering mathematicians

A celebrated mathematician traces the history of math through the lives and work of twenty-five pioneering mathematicians

In

*Significant Figures*, acclaimed mathematician Ian Stewart introduces the visionaries of mathematics throughout history. Delving into the lives of twenty-five great mathematicians, Stewart examines the roles they played in creating, inventing, and discovering the mathematics we use today. Through these short biographies, we get acquainted with the history of mathematics from Archimedes to Benoit Mandelbrot, and learn about those too often left out of the cannon, such as Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (c. 780-850), the creator of algebra, and Augusta Ada King (1815-1852), Countess of Lovelace, the world's first computer programmer.

Tracing the evolution of mathematics over the course of two millennia,

*Significant Figures*will educate and delight aspiring mathematicians and experts alike.

#### About the Author

**Ian Stewart**is a professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick and the author of numerous books on mathematics. He has written for

*New Scientist*and

*Scientific American*,

*among other publications. Stewart lives in Coventry, United Kingdom.*

#### Praise For *Significant Figures: The Lives and Work of Great Mathematicians*…

"Mathematics is the universal language, but some of

its most prominent practitioners are forgotten figures--even though they've

shaped our modern world.

mathematicians, from Archimedes to William Thurston. It's a great primer for

those interested in where our universal language of numbers comes from."—

"Stewart folds into his biographies a broad swath of mathematics, including Euclidian and non-Euclidean geometries, set theory, calculus, algebra, and topology; readers with an affinity for math will find the material challenging and fun."

—

"The biographies that appear here are interesting and accessible; anybody with an interest in mathematics or history would likely enjoy perusing them."—

"One of the stated goals of this book is to dispel the idea that mathematicians are boring, and this delightful title goes a long way toward that aim."—

"Stewart has written a worthy successor to

Bell's far-from-outdated classic [

of young readers to pursue careers in mathematics. Meanwhile, working

professionals curious about the lesser-known masters profiled in the book, yet

lacking the time or inclination to digest an entire biography, will find

"Part advanced math lesson and part history

book, Stewart's celebration of seminal mathematicians and their findings will

appeal to anyone who wants to better understand the building blocks of many of

today's sciences."—

"Stewart is the least modish

of writers, delivering new scholarship on ancient Chinese and Indian

mathematics to supplement a well-rehearsed body of knowledge about the western

tradition. A prolific writer himself, Stewart is good at identifying the

audiences for mathematics at different periods."—

"A text for teachers, precocious students, and

intellectually curious readers unafraid to tread unfamiliar territory and learn

what mad pursuits inspire mathematicians."—

"The search for

mathematical truth, no matter how abstract, is ultimately carried out by

flesh-and-blood people. In this readable book, Ian Stewart makes math

accessible by humanizing its greatest practitioners, simultaneously

illuminating who they were and the discoveries they made. You cannot read it

without being struck by admiration for the driven souls who created mathematics

over the centuries."—

"This beautifully written

assemblage of the lives and work of the world's greatest mathematicians is both

humbling and inspiring. Stewart shows with his typical clarity how the power of

pure thought has shaped our world for over two millennia."—

"Professor Ian

Stewart shows us emphatically that great mathematicians have often also been

public servants, political activists and expositors, not just lone geniuses or

one-track minds. Mathematics for all its abstraction is a communal and human

activity, and this is vividly captured in this fascinating whistlestop tour of

the human lives behind the greatest mathematics in history."—

"In his latest book, master

mathematics expositor Ian Stewart delivers on his catchy title with succinct

summaries of twenty-five of the most influential mathematicians of all time.... Stewart provides a concise

overview of what has been hot in math at different times in the discipline's

history. A great way for an outsider to get a sense of the huge historical arc

of mathematical discoveries that has led to the mathematics--and the world--of

today. I recommend it."—

its most prominent practitioners are forgotten figures--even though they've

shaped our modern world.

*Significant*

Figureswalks through the lives and work of 25 greatFigures

mathematicians, from Archimedes to William Thurston. It's a great primer for

those interested in where our universal language of numbers comes from."—

**Popular Mechanics**"Stewart folds into his biographies a broad swath of mathematics, including Euclidian and non-Euclidean geometries, set theory, calculus, algebra, and topology; readers with an affinity for math will find the material challenging and fun."

—

**Publishers Weekly**"In

—*Significant Figures,*Ian Stewart brings mathematics to life with intriguing accounts of twenty-five extraordinary contributors to the field. His biographical sketches blend equal parts passion--love affairs and rivalries--with insights--groundbreaking discoveries--to offer vivid, complete portraits of his subjects. By showing how even mathematical geniuses face all-too-human challenges, Stewart offers a riveting chronicle of one of humankind's loftiest endeavors."**Paul Halpern, author***The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality*"The biographies that appear here are interesting and accessible; anybody with an interest in mathematics or history would likely enjoy perusing them."—

**MAA Reviews**"One of the stated goals of this book is to dispel the idea that mathematicians are boring, and this delightful title goes a long way toward that aim."—

*Library Journal*"Stewart has written a worthy successor to

Bell's far-from-outdated classic [

*M*one that may in time incline an even greater number*en*

of Mathematics]--of Mathematics]

of young readers to pursue careers in mathematics. Meanwhile, working

professionals curious about the lesser-known masters profiled in the book, yet

lacking the time or inclination to digest an entire biography, will find

*Significant Figures*both informative and entertaining."—*SIAM News*"Part advanced math lesson and part history

book, Stewart's celebration of seminal mathematicians and their findings will

appeal to anyone who wants to better understand the building blocks of many of

today's sciences."—

*Booklist*"Stewart is the least modish

of writers, delivering new scholarship on ancient Chinese and Indian

mathematics to supplement a well-rehearsed body of knowledge about the western

tradition. A prolific writer himself, Stewart is good at identifying the

audiences for mathematics at different periods."—

*Spectator*"A text for teachers, precocious students, and

intellectually curious readers unafraid to tread unfamiliar territory and learn

what mad pursuits inspire mathematicians."—

*Kirkus Reviews*"The search for

mathematical truth, no matter how abstract, is ultimately carried out by

flesh-and-blood people. In this readable book, Ian Stewart makes math

accessible by humanizing its greatest practitioners, simultaneously

illuminating who they were and the discoveries they made. You cannot read it

without being struck by admiration for the driven souls who created mathematics

over the centuries."—

**Sean Carroll, author of***The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself*"This beautifully written

assemblage of the lives and work of the world's greatest mathematicians is both

humbling and inspiring. Stewart shows with his typical clarity how the power of

pure thought has shaped our world for over two millennia."—

**J.S. Al-Khalili, OBE, Professor of Physics, University of Surrey**"Professor Ian

Stewart shows us emphatically that great mathematicians have often also been

public servants, political activists and expositors, not just lone geniuses or

one-track minds. Mathematics for all its abstraction is a communal and human

activity, and this is vividly captured in this fascinating whistlestop tour of

the human lives behind the greatest mathematics in history."—

**Dr. Eugenia Cheng, Scientist In Residence, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, author of***How to Bake Pi*and*Beyond Infinity*"In his latest book, master

mathematics expositor Ian Stewart delivers on his catchy title with succinct

summaries of twenty-five of the most influential mathematicians of all time.... Stewart provides a concise

overview of what has been hot in math at different times in the discipline's

history. A great way for an outsider to get a sense of the huge historical arc

of mathematical discoveries that has led to the mathematics--and the world--of

today. I recommend it."—

**Keith Devlin, Stanford University, author of***The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci's Arithmetic Revolution*and*Finding Fibonacci: The Quest to Rediscover the Forgotten Mathematical Genius Who Changed the World*or

Buy Here