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**The Mathematician's Brain: A Personal Tour Through the Essentials of Mathematics and Some of the Great Minds Behind Them Review**The author, who is a very distinguished mathematician, gives his personal view on how mathematicians think. It is welcome to have books like this written by real mathematicians, as opposed to philosophers who doesn't know that much math. While professional mathematicians might not learn much, students of mathematics can get some very nice insights into how mathematics and mathematicians work.

Unfortunately, some parts of the book that discuss specific mathematics (as opposed to what mathematics is like in general) are not clearly written and should have been edited better. For example, it shakes the confidence of the reader when early on, the pythagorean theorem is stated incorrectly, and then on the next page a statement is asserted to follow from the pythagorean theorem, when it actually follows from the converse of the pythagorean theorem. Most readers of the book will probably know this anyway so it doesn't matter, but later, descriptions of more advanced mathematical concepts are sometimes so brief that they would probably be incomprehensible to someone who does not already know them, and puzzling to someone who does.

Disclosure: I only skimmed this in the bookstore because I didn't feel like paying 20 cents per page for it. I hope that an inexpensive paperback edition will appear, with corrections.

**The Mathematician's Brain: A Personal Tour Through the Essentials of Mathematics and Some of the Great Minds Behind Them Overview**

The Mathematician's Brain poses a provocative question about the world's most brilliant yet eccentric mathematical minds: were they brilliant because of their eccentricities or in spite of them? In this thought-provoking and entertaining book, David Ruelle, the well-known mathematical physicist who helped create chaos theory, gives us a rare insider's account of the celebrated mathematicians he has known-their quirks, oddities, personal tragedies, bad behavior, descents into madness, tragic ends, and the sublime, inexpressible beauty of their most breathtaking mathematical discoveries.

Consider the case of British mathematician Alan Turing. Credited with cracking the German Enigma code during World War II and conceiving of the modern computer, he was convicted of "gross indecency" for a homosexual affair and died in 1954 after eating a cyanide-laced apple--his death was ruled a suicide, though rumors of assassination still linger. Ruelle holds nothing back in his revealing and deeply personal reflections on Turing and other fellow mathematicians, including Alexander Grothendieck, Ren Thom, Bernhard Riemann, and Felix Klein. But this book is more than a mathematical tell-all. Each chapter examines an important mathematical idea and the visionary minds behind it. Ruelle meaningfully explores the philosophical issues raised by each, offering insights into the truly unique and creative ways mathematicians think and showing how the mathematical setting is most favorable for asking philosophical questions about meaning, beauty, and the nature of reality.

The Mathematician's Brain takes you inside the world--and heads--of mathematicians. It's a journey you won't soon forget.

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