Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Mathematician's Shiva

by Stuart Rojstaczer

A young, female Eastern European Jewish mathematical savant survives a labor camp and makes her way to the U.S., where she has a long career as a respected academic, and a son. No surprise, then, that many colleagues want to attend her funeral and celebrate her life and achievements, even though her son would prefer a quiet and dignified period of mourning. He will not get his wish, though, especially once the rumor spreads that his mother had solved a very thorny and long-standing problem in mathematics, and spitefully taken to solution to her grave.

Doesn't sound funny, does it? This book does have some laugh out loud moments, along with touching emotional moments. No equations or hard to understand concepts, the math here is mostly a metaphor, a reflection of the riddles in human relationships, even with those we think we know best. A lot of people would enjoy this book, if the knew about it.

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