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Love and Math

The Heart of Hidden Reality

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


What if you had to take an art class in which you were only taught how to paint a fence? What if you were never shown the paintings of van Gogh and Picasso, weren't even told they existed? Alas, this is how math is taught, and so for most of us it becomes the intellectual equivalent of watching paint dry. In Love and Math, renowned mathematician Edward Frenkel reveals a side of math we've never seen, suffused with all the beauty and elegance of a work of art. In this heartfelt and passionate book, Frenkel shows that mathematics, far from occupying a specialist niche, goes to the heart of all matter, uniting us across cultures, time, and space. Love and Math tells two intertwined stories: of the wonders of mathematics and of one young man's journey learning and living it. Having braved a discriminatory educational system to become one of the twenty-first century's leading mathematicians, Frenkel now works on one of the biggest ideas to come out of math in the last 50 years: the Langlands Program. Considered by many to be a Grand Unified Theory of mathematics, the Langlands Program enables researchers to translate findings from one field to another so that they can solve problems, such as Fermat's last theorem, that had seemed intractable before. At its core, Love and Math is a story about accessing a new way of thinking, which can enrich our lives and empower us to better understand the world and our place in it. It is an invitation to discover the magic hidden universe of mathematics.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 12, 2013 – U.C. Berkley mathematician Frenkel reveals the joy of pure intellectual discovery in this autobiographical story of determination, passion, and the Langlands program—a sort of “Grand Unified Field Theory of mathematics.” As a teenager Frenkel was “converted” from math hater to eager theorist by a mathematical friend of the family, enough to pursue it despite his struggles against an unapologetically anti-Semitic Soviet educational system. Frenkel writes casually of climbing over the fence to sit in on advanced classes at Moscow State University, a top school that didn’t accept Jews. With the help of mentors, he worked hard and eventually found his way to Harvard and the freedom to focus on his research. Frenkel balances autobiographical narrative with enthusiastic discussions of his own work on the Langlands program, a web of algebraic conjectures named after a Canadian mathematician that is noted for its usefulness in organizing seemingly chaotic data into regular patterns full of symmetry and harmony, and its applications to quantum theory. While the math can be heavy going, Frenkel’s gusto will draw readers into his own quest, pursuing the deepest realities of mathematics as if it were “a giant jigsaw puzzle, in which no one knows what the final image is going to look like.” B&w illus.

Customer Reviews

For advanced mathematicians only...

I enjoyed the authors enthusiasm and life story, but this book required too deep a background in modern math to get much from it, even for someone with a PhD in Computer Science. It is very hard for someone doing actual groundbreaking research to translate it into something that people can understand, and unfortunately Frenkel doesn’t do it in this book.


..... disappointment. I was fooled by a great article in the New York Times by the author. This book is for mathematicians only. Every paragraph sends you to the appendix to give mathematical proofs.

Cathartic Read

This book completely changed my perspective on modern mathematics. Due to poor arithmetic education during elementary school, I have struggled with operational mathematics my entire life. Standardized testing taught me to fear math problems, and this fear persisted during undergrad when I would register for classes. However, after reading this book, and I mean really reading it, not just making futile attempts to comprehend the material, I was left with a profound sense of awe for all that modern math is currently accomplishing and explaining. Give it a try. Even the most frightened math student may come out with a renewed excitement and confidence.

Love and Math
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  • $11.99
  • Level: Grades 13 and Above
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mathematics
  • Published: Oct 01, 2013
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings