Mircea Pitici

“The best mathematics writing from around the world is collected in this annual anthology. The Best Writing on Mathematics 2020 makes numerous articles not easily found anywhere else available to a wide audience, and you don’t have to be a mathematician to enjoy them. It includes promising new voices in addition to some of the most renowned figures in the field. These writings provide fascinating new perspectives on mathematics’s nature, significance, and current use. They take readers behind the scenes of today’s greatest mathematical arguments and dig into mathematics’s history, philosophy, education, and practical elements.

Here, Paul Thagard argues that mathematics’ power comes from its blend of realistic and fantastical qualities, while Erica Klarreich explains how Hao Huang used the combinatorics of cube nodes to solve a vexing problem in computer science. Steven Strogatz also discusses how calculus drives advances in virology. Other pieces include those by John Baez, who describes how algebraic geometry captured his attention, Mark Colyvan, who contrasts the vastly dissimilar explanatory strategies of mathematics and science, and Boris Odehnal, who discusses some unexpected characteristics of multidimensional geometries. There is also a ton more.

This essential book includes an editor’s introduction, a bibliography of more noteworthy literature, and the best essays on mathematics from the past year.

Anyone interested in where mathematics has brought us and where it is going should have this book on their bookshelf.”