Science, Computers, and People [electronic resource] : From the Tree of Mathematics / by Stanislaw M. Ulam ; edited by Mark C. Reynolds, Gian-Carlo Rota.

Author(s):

Uniform title:

Imprint:

Boston, MA : Birkhäuser Boston, 1986.

Description:

XXII, 266 p. online resource.

ISBN:

9781461598190

Subject(s):

Summary:

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 un 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.

Contents

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, 1903–1957

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.

Journal citation:

Springer eBooks

Record created 2017-03-01, last modified 2018-03-22