The analysis here is based on a statistical technique known as time series analysis and so avoids complex mathematics, yet provides a good understanding of the fundamentals.
Professor Ruelle is one of the world’s authorities on chaos and dynamical systems and his account here will be welcomed by scientists in physics, engineering, biology, chemistry and economics who encounter nonlinear systems in their research.
In this witty, authoritative and entertaining ‘walk among the scientific results of the twentieth century’, David Ruelle explores game theory, probability, classical chaos, quantum uncertainty and the disconcerting implications of Gödel’s theorem among other topics. Since many systems are highly sensitive to initial conditions, the consequences of tiny changes in the variables can be enormous. Ruelle applies this crucial insight to the understanding of turbulence, ‘strange attractors’, black holes, entropy, information and intelligence. Anyone joining him on this skilfully conducted tour will gain a firm grasp of fundamental themes in today’s mathematics and science.
Consider the case of British mathematician Alan Turing. Credited with cracking the German Enigma code during World War II and conceiving of the modern computer, he was convicted of “gross indecency” for a homosexual affair and died in 1954 after eating a cyanide-laced apple—his death was ruled a suicide, though rumors of assassination still linger. Ruelle holds nothing back in his revealing and deeply personal reflections on Turing and other fellow mathematicians, including Alexander Grothendieck, René Thom, Bernhard Riemann, and Felix Klein. But this book is more than a mathematical tell-all. Each chapter examines an important mathematical idea and the visionary minds behind it. Ruelle meaningfully explores the philosophical issues raised by each, offering insights into the truly unique and creative ways mathematicians think and showing how the mathematical setting is most favorable for asking philosophical questions about meaning, beauty, and the nature of reality.
The Mathematician’s Brain takes you inside the world—and heads—of mathematicians. It’s a journey you won’t soon forget.