Angles of Reflection: Logic and a Mother's Love
By: Joan L. Richards (author)Paperback
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At the time her nine year old son was diagnosed with a brain tumour, Joan Richards was deeply involved in writing a book about the life and work of the 19th-century mathematician Augustus De Morgan. Immersed in this abstract, logical world of science, Richards was forced by her son's sudden illness to confront a different kind of reality, the irrational world of a serious family illness and its consequences. A memoir, "Angles of Reflection" portrays a woman deeply enmeshed in two male dominated worlds, 19th-century mathematics and 20th-century research academics struggling to integrate the competing demands of family and career without sacrificing one to the other. As the strain of caring for her sick child mounts, Richards' view of De Morgan broadens to include his family in ways that both illuminate his work and force her to re-evaluate her own career and relationships. In the process, she gives new meaning to the term "applied mathematics" by drawing life lessons from De Morgan's logic, Newton's absolute space and time, and Leibnitz's relative visions of reality.
JOAN RICHARDS is an Associate Professor of the History of Mathematics at Brown University.
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- ID: 9780716794615
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