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AuthorUlam, Stanislaw M. author
TitleScience, Computers, and People [electronic resource] : From the Tree of Mathematics / by Stanislaw M. Ulam ; edited by Mark C. Reynolds, Gian-Carlo Rota
ImprintBoston, MA : Birkhรคuser Boston, 1986
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Descript XXII, 266 p. online resource


STANISLAW MARCIN ULAM, or Stan as his friends called him, was one of those great creative mathematicians whose interests ranged not only over all fields of mathematics, but over the physical and biological sciences as well. Like his good friend "Johnny" von Neumann, and unlike so many of his peers, Ulam is unclassifiable as a pure or applied mathematician. He never ceased to find as much beauty and excitement in the applications of mathematics as in working in those rarefied regions where there is a total unยญ concern with practical problems. In his Adventures of a Mathematician Ulam recalls playing on an oriental carpet when he was four. The curious patterns fascinated him. When his father smiled, Ulam remembers thinking: "He smiles because he thinks I am childish, but I know these are curious patterns. I know something my father does not know." The incident goes to the heart of Ulam's genius. He could see quickly, in flashes of brilliant insight, curious patterns that other mathematicians could not see. "I am the type that likes to start new things rather than improve or elaborate," he wrote. "I cannot claim that I know much of the technical material of mathematics


1 The Applicability of Mathematics -- 2 Physics for Mathematicians -- 3 Ideas of Space and Space-Time -- 4 Philosophical Implications of Some Recent Scientific Discoveries -- 5 A First Look at Computing: A Personal Retrospective -- 6 Computers in Mathematics -- 7 Experiments in Chess on Electronic Computing Machines: Some Early Efforts -- 8 Computations in Parallel -- 9 Patterns of Growth of Figures -- 10 More on Patterns of Growth -- 11 How to Formulate Mathematically the Problems of the Rate of Evolution -- 12 Some Further Ideas and Prospects in Biomathematics -- 13 Further Applications of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences -- 14 Thermonuclear Devices -- 15 The Orion Project -- 16 John von Neumann, 1903โ{128}{147}1957 -- 17 Von Neumann: The Interaction of Mathematics and Computing -- 18 John von Neumann on Computers and the Brain -- 19 Gamow and Mathematics: Personal Reminiscences -- 20 Marian Smoluchowski and the Theory of Probabilities in Physics -- 21 Kazimierz Kuratowski -- 22 Stefan Banach -- 23 A Concluding Paean

Mathematics History Mathematics History of Mathematical Sciences


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