INDISCRETE THOUGHTS ROTA PDF

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Return to Book Page. Indiscrete Thoughts by Gian-Carlo Rota. Indiscrete Thoughts gives a glimpse into a world that has seldom been described that of science and technology as seen through the eyes of a mathematician. The era covered by this book, to , was surely one of the golden ages of science as well as the American university.

Cherished myths are debunked along the way as Gian-Carlo Rota takes pleasure in portraying, war Indiscrete Thoughts gives a glimpse into a world that has seldom been described that of science and technology as seen through the eyes of a mathematician.

Cherished myths are debunked along the way as Gian-Carlo Rota takes pleasure in portraying, warts and all, some of the great scientific personalities of the period Stanislav Ulam who, together with Edward Teller, signed the patent application for the hydrogen bomb , Solomon Lefschetz Chairman in the 50s of the Princeton mathematics department , William Feller one of the founders of modern probability theory , Jack Schwartz one of the founders of computer science , and many others.

Rota is not afraid of controversy. Some readers may even consider these essays indiscreet. After the publication of the essay "The Pernicious Influence of Mathematics upon Philosophy" reprinted six times in five languages the author was blacklisted in analytical philosophy circles.

Indiscrete Thoughts should become an instant classic and the subject of debate for decades to come. It is pages of Rota calling it like he sees it Readers are bound to find his observations amusing if not insightful. Gian-Carlo Rota has written the sort of book that few mathematicians could write. What will appeal immediately to anyone with an interest in research mathematics are the stories he tells about the practice of modern mathematics.

Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published by Birkhauser first published December 18th More Details Original Title. Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Indiscrete Thoughts , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Indiscrete Thoughts. May 20, Gwern rated it liked it. Anthology; mixture of mathematician profiles, professional advice, odd phenomenology pieces, and ends.

The rest was a dense mesh of punditry on mathematical fields I know nothing of, professional gossip, and opaque but mean-spirited Anthology; mixture of mathematician profiles, professional advice, odd phenomenology pieces, and ends. A few asides struck me as interesting. Rota asks how Gibbs could become a world-famous physicist when he was not even a paid professor at an obscure university in the backwaters of physicists - the answer is a well-developed global mailing list whose archives he stumbled across in the library.

If American parents were to ever read the full literature on TBIs, high school football would be gone the next day. Dec 03, David rated it it was amazing Shelves: mathematical-me , nonfiction.

In the foreword to the book, Reuben Hersh quotes Peter Lax with an apology for inaccuracy as saying "A lecture by Rota is like a double martini! The finest presentations of today's mathematics are h In the foreword to the book, Reuben Hersh quotes Peter Lax with an apology for inaccuracy as saying "A lecture by Rota is like a double martini! The finest presentations of today's mathematics are heard in the halls of the Institut Henri Poincare, where polite insultes are elegantly exchanged with jewels of mathematical definitiveness.

I quote one review in its entirety a review of Passmore's Recent Philosophers : "When pygmies cast such long shadows, it must be very late in the day. Han skriver veldig bra. Han krydrer med mange tanker om hva matematikk er, og hvordan matematikk ofte blir feilaktig framstilt i skole og media. Del to handler om fenomenologi.

My Han skriver veldig bra. Del tre er lettere igjen: for eksempel heter et av kapitlene "Ten Lessons for Survival of a Mathematics Department". Boken avsluttes med en del bokanmeldelser. Jan 25, Wendelle rated it it was amazing Shelves: great. Five stars for hilarity and earnestness. This book is the mathematician Gian-Carlo Rota's seized chance to share spicy gossip on the traits and absurdities of his fellow geniuses, and of the cranks who sent him hate fanmail.

Sandwiched in between are his recollections of the delectably lax collegial atmosphere of Yale during his years of study, his incisive conclusions about the personalities of his peers, and his verdicts brought to bear on the different philosophical schools that speculate abo Five stars for hilarity and earnestness. Sandwiched in between are his recollections of the delectably lax collegial atmosphere of Yale during his years of study, his incisive conclusions about the personalities of his peers, and his verdicts brought to bear on the different philosophical schools that speculate about the nature of mathematics.

This book is very quotable. You are killing your father! It has bequeathed us a heritage of lies that we are now painfullycharged witherasing, like a huge national debt. Three years went by. One day I found the courage to unlock that drawer. The void I had felt for pretending he was still alive had become overwhelming. As I looked at the monocle, I was struck by the horror of feeling alone. From now on I would be faced with the terror of his absence. Aug 02, Benjamin rated it it was amazing.

It's brash and, at times, contradictory, but it's intensely thought-provoking. In particular, I found it invigorating to read an account that tackles some of the myths that mathematicians tell each other like the idea that proofs provide unassailable veracity, despite the fact that invalid proofs do trip people up and that some people do not follow valid arguments without degrading the subject falling back to some relative concept of "truth".

He staunchly defends the axiomatic method while fear It's brash and, at times, contradictory, but it's intensely thought-provoking. He staunchly defends the axiomatic method while fearlessly critiquing it. His version of phenomenology was presented clearly and is worth dwelling upon.

His complaint that the presentation of mathematics as definition-theorem-proof completely obscures how mathematicians actually work is also worth dwelling upon. Some of the stories about mathematicians were amusing, but they are not what my mind will retain from this book. Feb 15, Andrew Foote rated it really liked it. Rota is a very good writer, and he succeeded in keeping my attention to the extent that I read the whole book in one night.

This is surely due mostly to the power of Rota's writing. For a mathematician, he has considerable literary flair. Sentences which could be extracted as aphorisms are frequent. There is an overall tone of "everything you know is wrong, and I am telling you the shocking secrets about how things really are", an attention-seeking technique which many writers use, which can be Rota is a very good writer, and he succeeded in keeping my attention to the extent that I read the whole book in one night.

There is an overall tone of "everything you know is wrong, and I am telling you the shocking secrets about how things really are", an attention-seeking technique which many writers use, which can be annoying when you find the writer's supposed insights disappointingly mundane; nevertheless, for me, I found this tone was a reasonable one to take with the subject matter.

The various chapters of the book are somewhat disparate in subject; it's basically a collection of essays. The first part is biographical in nature or "gossip", in Rota's own words , and discusses the lives and personalities of various mathematicians of Rota's generation and a couple of earlier ones, such as Gibbs and Grassmann. I found it readable enough but somebody primarily interested in what intellectual insights Rota has to offer might be bored by it.

It requires a more emotionally attuned kind of reading. The chapter about Stanislaw Ulam is particularly compelling, if read this way, and arguably is the peak of the book. I particularly like this paragraph, from the same chapter, which I will probably quote from now on to anybody who asks what appeal there is in mathematics: Of all escapes from reality, mathematics is the most successful ever.

It is a fantasy that becomes all the more addictive because it works back to improve the same reality we are trying to evade. All other escapes—sex, drugs, hobbies, whatever—are ephemeral by comparison. The mathematician's feeling of triumph, as he forces the world to obey the laws his imagination has freely created, feeds on its own success.

The world is permanently changed by the workings of his mind and the certainty that his creations will endure renews his confidence as no other pursuit. The mathematician becomes totally committed, a monster, like Nabokov's chess player who eventually sees all life as subordinate to the game of chess.

The second part delves into Rota's thoughts on philosophy of mathematics. I can't say I read this with the greatest deal of attention, but it generally seemed quite reasonable and I would be inclined to take a closer look at it some time when I felt more like doing intensive philosophy.

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Indiscrete Thoughts

Indiscrete Thoughts gives a glimpse into a world that has seldom been described that of science and technology as seen through the eyes of a mathematician. The era covered by this book, to , was surely one of the golden ages of science as well as the American university. Cherished myths are debunked along the way as Gian-Carlo Rota takes pleasure in portraying, warts and all, some of the great scientific personalities of the period —Stanislav Ulam who, together with Edward Teller, signed the patent application for the hydrogen bomb , Solomon Lefschetz Chairman in the 50s of the Princeton mathematics department , William Feller one of the founders of modern probability theory , Jack Schwartz one of the founders of computer science , and many others. Rota is not afraid of controversy.

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It seems that you're in Germany. We have a dedicated site for Germany. Indiscrete Thoughts gives a glimpse into a world that has seldom been described, that of science and technology as seen through the eyes of a mathematician. The era covered by this book, to , was surely one of the golden ages of science as well as of the American university. Cherished myths are debunked along the way as Gian-Carlo Rota takes pleasure in portraying, warts and all, some of the great scientific personalities of the period —Stanislav Ulam who, together with Edward Teller, signed the patent application for the hydrogen bomb , Solomon Lefschetz Chairman in the s of the Princeton mathematics department , William Feller one of the founders of modern probability theory , Jack Schwartz one of the founders of computer science , and many others. Rota is not afraid of controversy.

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