E.T. Bell’s biographies of the lives and achievements of path-breaking mathematicians – “… from Zeno to Poincare” as the tag-line suggests. There are 25 biographies in all, from the ancient Greeks to Georg Cantor.
The author takes these famous names off their pedestals and describes their human side. Bell was himself a mathematician and is able to succinctly touch upon the specific problems each of these geniuses grappled with and put their stories in context of the overall development of mathematical thought.
A great read for young adults interested in Mathematics or just curious about what made these famous names tick.
Here is the classic, much-read introduction to the craft and history of mathematics by E.T. Bell, a leading figure in mathematics in America for half a century. Men of Mathematics accessibly explains the major mathematics, from the geometry of the Greeks through Newton's calculus and on to the laws of probability, symbolic logic, and the fourth dimension. In addition, the book goes beyond pure mathematics to present a series of engrossing biographies of the great mathematicians -- an extraordinary number of whom lived bizarre or unusual lives. Finally, Men of Mathematics is also a history of ideas, tracing the majestic development of mathematical thought from ancient times to the twentieth century. This enduring work's clear, often humorous way of dealing with complex ideas makes it an ideal book for the non-mathematician.