Edward Frenkel's Love & Math is part autobiography, part math explainer, and part romance novel. But at its core, it's an invitation to experience the allure of mathematics, even if you've never used "love" and "math" in the same sentence.
I recently came across a tweet with a screenshot from a calculus book that defines the derivative with no mention of a limit. Not even Leibniz’s differentials have a home here. And although the definition is quite verbose, I found that it makes the derivative feel natural — tangible even.
When aliens attack, do you do the math or fight back? According to the prolific mathematician Paul Erdös, if aliens threaten to obliterate us if we can't calculate the Ramsey number for red six and blue six, then we better start fighting.
Mathematics is hard to define. But why?
For the past few years, I've referred to myself as a recovering mathematician. Let me explain.