Book Review: Love and Math

Books and recommendations from Scientific American
Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality

Basic Books

Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality
Edward Frenkel
Basic Books, 2013 ($27.99)

Like many adolescent males, young Frenkel had a one-track mind. He scaled fences, cut classes and arranged furtive rendezvous, all for his “secret lover”—abstract, high-level mathematics. Institutional anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union blocked his enrollment at Moscow State University, so he sought out informal advisers, snuck into lectures and devoured mathematical literature. Eventually Frenkel landed at Harvard University; he is now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Part ode, part autobiography, Love and Math is an admirable attempt to lay bare the beauty of numbers for all to see, even though some readers may balk at Frenkel's mentions of Kac-Moody algebras and of objects called hyperspheres.

This article was originally published with the title "Love and Math."

or subscribe to access other articles from the October 2013 publication.
Digital Issue $5.99
Digital Issue + Subscription $39.99 Subscribe
Share this Article:


You must sign in or register as a member to submit a comment.

Email this Article