Keith Devlin -- regular National Public Radio commentator and member of the Stanford University staff -- writes about the genetic progression of mathematical thinking and the most head-scratching math problems of the day. And he somehow manages to make it fun for the lay reader.
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Palo Alto, California
Date of Birth:
March 16, 1947
Place of Birth:
B.S., King's College, London, 1968; Ph.D., University of Bristol, 1971
|Devlin Gets a Clue|
|As a teenager, back when he dreamed of becoming a scientist, Devlin realized that to do so he would have to be good at math. Which he was not. As he tried to get good at it, he explained in an interview with National Public Radio, he had what he called an “Alicia Silverstone moment.”|
Drawing from the vernacular of the Clueless movie star, he told NPR that when he was 16, a lightbulb went off in his head: “Oh my gosh, I'm butt-crazy in love with mathematics. It's not the science that I'm in love with anymore. It's the mathematics.” The jumble of mathematics suddenly became quite clear. “What until then had been this collection of rather disjointed, meaningless rules for manipulating equations and solving problems suddenly fell into place and it made perfect, beautiful, elegant and wonderful sense to me, and I wanted to be a mathematician -- and I've been one ever since.”
|The Best Book to Read First||Award Winner|
|The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved and why Numbers Are like Gossip|
Ever wondered why math doesn't seem to come as easily to humans as language? In this groundbreaking work, Devlin postulates that humans are born with a "number instinct" similar to the "language instinct" -- we just need to learn how to tap into it.
|Logic and Information|
Selected as the Most Outstanding Book in Computer Science and Data Processing by the American Association of Publishers in 1991, this book introduces Devlin's thoughts on the relationship between human interaction and machine interface.