Albers D.J., Alexanderson G.L. Mathematical People: Profiles and Interviews. 2008.
Albers D.J., Alexanderson G.L. Mathematical People: Profiles and Interviews. - A K Peters, 2008. - 416 pages.
This unique collection contains extensive and in-depth interviews with mathematicians who have shaped the field of mathematics in the twentieth century. Collected by two mathematicians respected in the community for their skill in communicating mathematical topics to a broader audience, the book is also rich with photographs and includes an introduction by Philip J. Davis.
From the time of Plato’s Academy with its motto Let no one ignorant of mathematics enter here to the Age of Enlightenment, educated people were expected to be interested in the latest developments in mathematics as well as those in the sciences, literature, philosophy, music, and fine arts. The year Leibniz’s first work on the diff erential calculus appeared in the Acta Eruditorum (1684), the journal also carried articles on theology, archeology, linguistics, philosophy, and the
anatomy of snakes. With the increase in abstraction and complexity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, mathematics became more and more difficult, even for the otherwise well-educated and informed. Today mathematicians can rarely communicate to other scholars or
scientists, or even to other mathematicians, the ideas in mathematics that are exciting to them. Along with this intellectual isolation has come a feeling on the part of many outside mathematics that mathematicians are remote, unapproachable, aloof, and maybe even a bit strange.