Indiscrete Thoughts

Gian - Carlo Rota

Indiscrete Thoughts gives a rare glimpse into a world that has seldom been described, that os science and technology as seen through the eyes of a mathematician. The era covered by this book, 1950 to 1990, was surely one of the golden ages of science as well as the American university.

Cherished myths are debunked along the way as Gian-Carlo Rota takes pleasure in portraying, warts and all, some of the great scientific personalities of the period - Stanislaw Ulam (who, together with Edward Teller, signed the patent application for the hydrogen bomb), Solomon Lefschetz (Chairman in the 50s of the Princeton mathematics department), William Feller (one of the founders of modern probability theory), Jack Schwartz (one of the founders of computer science), and many others.

Rota is not afraid of controversy. Some readers may even consider these essaysindiscreet. After the publication of the essay "The Pernicious Influence of Mathematics upon Philosophy" (reprinted six times in five languages) the author was blacklisted in analytical philosophy circles. Indiscrete thoughts should become an instant classic, and the subject of debate for decades to come.

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