Wednesday, May 9, 2007
I just finished reading Ian Stewart's Letters to a Young Mathematician. The book is a compilation of letters written to a fictional math student named Meg, but it is really aimed at the math student within us all. Though you never see an of Meg's letters, you can imagine her frustration and her failed efforts to understand exactly what mathematics is. It is a question that even the most mathematically inclined among us ask and one with no straightforward answer. Stewart weaves a thoroughly enjoyable yarn and leaves the reader feeling at least awed by mathematics even if they are still a bit confused. It should be required reading in any math class.