Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure

Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure


By (author) Cédric Villani, Translated by Professor Malcolm Debevoise

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  • Publisher: FABER & FABER
  • Format: Hardback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 210mm 454g
  • Publication date: 14 April 2015
  • ISBN 10: 0865477671
  • ISBN 13: 9780865477674

Product description

An intimate look inside a mathematician's mind as he wrestles with the theorem that will make his reputation Cedric 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.

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Author information

Cedric Villani is a French mathematician working primarily on partial differential equations and mathematical physics. He is a professor at Lyon University and the director of the Institut Henri Poincare. He has been the recipient of the Jacques Herbrand Prize, the Prize of the European Mathematical Society, the Fermat Prize, and the Henri Poincare Prize. In 2010 he was award the Fields Medal for his work on Landau damping and the Botlzmann equation. Malcolm DeBevoise was educated at Amherst College and Johns Hopkins University. He has translated more than thirty works from the French and Italian in every branch of scholarship.

Review quote

"This is a book of a new genre." --Yann Moix, "Le Figaro ""Cedric Villani proves to us how a mathematical genius . . . is a man like any other." --Sylvestre Huet, " Liberation"