"An intimate look inside a mathematician's mind as he wrestles with the theorem that will make his reputation Ce;dric Villani is a rock-star mathematician. An intellect of unusual depth and breadth, he is the director of France's greatest mathematics research institute. In 2010 he received the Fields Medal, the most coveted prize in mathematics, for his proofs resolving one of the most controversial theories of classical physics. Birth of a Theorem is his own account of the year leading up to the award. It invites readers inside the mind of a genius as he wrestles with the most important work of his career. But you don't have to understand nonlinear Landau damping to love Birth of a Theorem. It doesn't simplify or overexplain; rather, it invites readers into collaboration. Villani's diaries, e-mails, and musings enmesh you in the process of discovery. You join him in unproductive lulls and late-night breakthroughs. You're privy to the mess-hall conversations of the world's greatest research institutions. Villani discusses his favorite songs, his love of manga, and the imaginative stories he tells his children. Mathematics is like any other creative work in that the thinker's whole life propels discovery--and with Birth of a Theorem, Villani welcomes you into his"-- Provided by publisher.
"An intimate look inside a mathematician's mind as he wrestles with the theorem that will make his reputation"-- Provided by publisher.
"This man could plainly do for mathematics what Brian Cox has done for physics" (Sunday Times). What goes on inside the mind of a rock-star mathematician? Where does inspiration come from? With a storyteller's gift, Cedric Villani takes us on a mesmerising journey as he wrestles with a new theorem that will win him the most coveted prize in mathematics. Along the way he encounters obstacles and setbacks, losses of faith and even brushes with madness. His story is one of courage and partnership, doubt and anxiety, elation and despair. We discover how it feels to be obsessed by a theorem during your child's cello practise and throughout your dreams, why appreciating maths is a bit like watching an episode of Columbo, and how sometimes inspiration only comes from locking yourself away in a dark room to think. Blending science with history, biography with myth, Villani conjures up an inimitable cast of characters including the omnipresent Einstein, mad genius Kurt Godel, and Villani's personal hero, John Nash. Birth of a Theorem combines passion and imagination to take us on a fantastical adventure through the beautiful, mysterious world of mathematics. Maths has never seemed so magical or so exciting.