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November 6th, 2018, 12:38 PM  #1 
Senior Member Joined: May 2015 From: Arlington, VA Posts: 394 Thanks: 27 Math Focus: Number theory  Math book for an arts genius?
I have sent this gentleman The Mathematical Century and Mathematics 1001, and he has given me books about primes, math biographies and references as holiday gifts in the past. What different gift would be appropriate for a person whose chief interests are 20th century literature, and has a grasp of college math? I was thinking of an entertaining book on codes, from before Caesar ciphers up to quantum cryptography. Any suggestions? 
November 6th, 2018, 01:46 PM  #2 
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2016 From: Australia Posts: 1,749 Thanks: 613 Math Focus: Yet to find out. 
Chaos by James Gleick.

November 6th, 2018, 03:40 PM  #3 
Senior Member Joined: May 2015 From: Arlington, VA Posts: 394 Thanks: 27 Math Focus: Number theory 
Fantastic book; I'll certainly consider it. My favorite quote (paraphrase): "...kick your proofreader squarely in the crotch!"

November 6th, 2018, 10:43 PM  #4 
Senior Member Joined: May 2015 From: Arlington, VA Posts: 394 Thanks: 27 Math Focus: Number theory 
Pardon, the quote comes from https://www.nytimes.com/1990/03/04/b...emailman.html or Google: UHOH, HERE COMES THE MAILMAN By JAMES GLEICK MARCH 4, 1990 Last edited by Loren; November 6th, 2018 at 10:48 PM. 
November 8th, 2018, 11:01 AM  #5 
Senior Member Joined: May 2015 From: Arlington, VA Posts: 394 Thanks: 27 Math Focus: Number theory 
Do you know a book on introduction to cryptography for this humanities major?

November 8th, 2018, 11:16 AM  #6  
Senior Member Joined: Aug 2012 Posts: 2,134 Thanks: 621  Quote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Math...an%27s_Apology  
November 9th, 2018, 09:53 AM  #7 
Senior Member Joined: May 2015 From: Arlington, VA Posts: 394 Thanks: 27 Math Focus: Number theory 
Sober, but wow! My friend served in the Vietnam war, and is now a pacifist of about 71 years old, reminiscent of Hardy then. I am fairly sure that he has never read "Apology." I had avoided considering the fate of a mathematician's powers, which seem to require an original brain. 

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