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The Princeton Companion to Mathematics


This is a one-of-a-kind reference for anyone with a serious interest in mathematics. Edited by Timothy Gowers, a recipient of the Fields Medal, it presents nearly two hundred entries, written especially for this book by some of the world's leading mathematicians, that introduce basic mathematical tools and vocabulary; trace the development of modern mathematics; explain essential terms and concepts; examine core ideas in major areas of mathematics; describe the achievements of scores of famous mathematicians; explore the impact of mathematics on other disciplines such as biology, finance, and music--and much, much more.

Unparalleled in its depth of coverage, The Princeton Companion to Mathematics surveys the most active and exciting branches of pure mathematics, providing the context and broad perspective that are vital at a time of increasing specialization in the field. Packed with information and presented in an accessible style, this is an indispensable resource for undergraduate and graduate students in mathematics as well as for researchers and scholars seeking to understand areas outside their specialties.


- Features nearly 200 entries, organized thematically and written by an international team of distinguished contributors

- Presents major ideas and branches of pure mathematics in a clear, accessible style

- Defines and explains important mathematical concepts, methods, theorems, and open problems

- Introduces the language of mathematics and the goals of mathematical research

- Covers number theory, algebra, analysis, geometry, logic, probability, and more

- Traces the history and development of modern mathematics

- Profiles more than ninety-five mathematicians who influenced those working today

- Explores the influence of mathematics on other disciplines

- Includes bibliographies, cross-references, and a comprehensive index


Contributors incude:

Graham Allan, Noga Alon, George Andrews, Tom Archibald, Sir Michael Atiyah, David Aubin, Joan Bagaria, Keith Ball, June Barrow-Green, Alan Beardon, David D. Ben-Zvi, Vitaly Bergelson, Nicholas Bingham, Bla Bollobs, Henk Bos, Bodil Branner, Martin R. Bridson, John P. Burgess, Kevin Buzzard, Peter J. Cameron, Jean-Luc Chabert, Eugenia Cheng, Clifford C. Cocks, Alain Connes, Leo Corry, Wolfgang Coy, Tony Crilly, Serafina Cuomo, Mihalis Dafermos, Partha Dasgupta, Ingrid Daubechies, Joseph W. Dauben, John W. Dawson Jr., Francois de Gandt, Persi Diaconis, Jordan S. Ellenberg, Lawrence C. Evans, Florence Fasanelli, Anita Burdman Feferman, Solomon Feferman, Charles Fefferman, Della Fenster, Jos Ferreirs, David Fisher, Terry Gannon, A. Gardiner, Charles C. Gillispie, Oded Goldreich, Catherine Goldstein, Fernando Q. Gouva, Timothy Gowers, Andrew Granville, Ivor Grattan-Guinness, Jeremy Gray, Ben Green, Ian Grojnowski, Niccol Guicciardini, Michael Harris, Ulf Hashagen, Nigel Higson, Andrew Hodges, F. E. A. Johnson, Mark Joshi, Kiran S. Kedlaya, Frank Kelly, Sergiu Klainerman, Jon Kleinberg, Israel Kleiner, Jacek Klinowski, Eberhard Knobloch, Jnos Kollr, T. W. Krner, Michael Krivelevich, Peter D. Lax, Imre Leader, Jean-Franois Le Gall, W. B. R. Lickorish, Martin W. Liebeck, Jesper Ltzen, Des MacHale, Alan L. Mackay, Shan Majid, Lech Maligranda, David Marker, Jean Mawhin, Barry Mazur, Dusa McDuff, Colin McLarty, Bojan Mohar, Peter M. Neumann, Catherine Nolan, James Norris, Brian Osserman, Richard S. Palais, Marco Panza, Karen Hunger Parshall, Gabriel P. Paternain, Jeanne Peiffer, Carl Pomerance, Helmut Pulte, Bruce Reed, Michael C. Reed, Adrian Rice, Eleanor Robson, Igor Rodnianski, John Roe, Mark Ronan, Edward Sandifer, Tilman Sauer, Norbert Schappacher, Andrzej Schinzel, Erhard Scholz, Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze, Gordon Slade, David J. Spiegelhalter, Jacqueline Stedall, Arild Stubhaug, Madhu Sudan, Terence Tao, Jamie Tappenden, C. H. Taubes, Rdiger Thiele, Burt Totaro, Lloyd N. Trefethen, Dirk van Dalen, Richard Weber, Dominic Welsh, Avi Wigderson, Herbert Wilf, David Wilkins, B. Yandell, Eric Zaslow, Doron Zeilberger

Timothy Gowers is the Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He received the Fields Medal in 1998, and is the author of Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction. June Barrow-Green is lecturer in the history of mathematics at the Open University. Imre Leader is professor of pure mathematics at the University of Cambridge.


"This is a wonderful book. The content is overwhelming. Every practicing mathematician, everyone who uses mathematics, and everyone who is interested in mathematics must have a copy of their own."--Simon A. Levin, Princeton University

"The Princeton Companion to Mathematics fills a vital need. It is the only book of its kind."--Victor J. Katz, professor emeritus, University of the District of Columbia

"I think that this is a wonderful book, completely different from anything that has been written before about mathematics and mathematicians."--Endre Sli, University of Oxford

"The Princeton Companion to Mathematics is a much needed--and will become a much used--reference work. In fact, it will stand alone as the reference work in mathematics."--John J. Watkins, Colorado College

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