Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel of Mathematical Obsession

Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel of Mathematical Obsession

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By (author) Apostolos K Doxiadis

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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Format: Paperback | 220 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 208mm x 15mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1582341281
  • ISBN 13: 9781582341286
  • Sales rank: 170,873

Product description

In the tradition of "Fermat's Last Theorem" and "Einstein's Dreams," a novel about mathematical obsession. Petros Papachristos devotes the early part of his life trying to prove one of the greatest mathematical challenges of all time: Goldbach's Conjecture, the deceptively simple claim that every even number greater than two is the sum of two primes. Against a tableau of famous historical figures-among them G.H. Hardy, the self-taught Indian genius Srinivasa Ramanujan, and a young Kurt Godel-Petros works furiously to prove the notoriously difficult conjecture. Decades later, his ambitious young nephew drives the defeated mathematician back into the hunt to prove Goldbach's Conjecture. . . but at the cost of the old man's sanity, and perhaps even his life.

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Author information

Apostolis Doxadis received a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics from Columbia University and a Master's Degree in Applied Mathematics from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris. He has run a number of successful computer companies, as well as written and directed for both the screen and the stage. The second of his two feature films, "Tetriem," won the prize of the International Center for Artistic Cinema at the 1988 Berlin International Film Festival. Mr. Doxiadis lives in Athens, Greece

Review quote

“A mathematical conjecture unsolved for two centuries; a mathematical genius uncle driven mad trying to solve it; an ambiguous relation with a mathematically-minded nephew; and acute human observation all come together in "Uncle Petros "to make a very funny, tender, charming and, to my mind, irresistible novel.”—Oliver Sacks, M.D. “Paints a fascinating picture of how a mathematician could fall into a mental trap by devoting his efforts to a too difficult problem.”—John Nash, Nobel Laureate, 1994, subject of "A Beautiful Mind" “It is brilliantly written—a mathematical detective story of great charm—and it certainly succeeds in capturing much of the spirit of mathematical research.”—Sir Michael Atiyah, winner of the Fields Medal and world-renowned mathematician “A compelling portrait of a talented young mathematician.”—Professor Ken Ribet, University of California, Berk