December 10, 2023 | Rome, Italy

The Man Who Loved Only Numbers

By |2018-03-21T18:29:11+01:00January 1st, 2008|Recent Reviews|

By Paul Hoffman

Hyperion, 1998. 320 pages.


aul Erdós’s life was entirely dedicated to solving mathematical problems around the world. He owned no home and hardly any clothing and gave away almost all the money he made or was awarded. He travelled constantly and willingly shared his knowledge with and stimulated the thinking of even the youngest mathematical thinkers, while gaining a well-earned reputation as an eccentric and impractical man you’d willingly put up with in order to spend a few valuable hours in his company.

He knew and was highly regarded by most of the modern scientific and mathematical giants, including Einstein, G. H. Hardy, and Gödel, but the list is long, and the contemporary names are no less prestigious. Hoffmann also clearly lays out the big mathematical discoveries and questions in this surprisingly spellbinding book, which introduces us to a man who believed that knowledge was achieved best through shared insight.

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