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A Mathematician's Apology Essay

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Partikian is a freelance writer, editor, and English instructor. In this essay, Partikian suggests that Hardy's text is a multifaceted work that should be appreciated primarily as an artistic treatise and memoir.

Mathematics is an exclusive club that opens its doors to a small number of gifted and often misunderstood individuals. Those who remain outside only have a vague perception of what it means to be a mathematician, and the perception that they do hold is more often than not hindered by an inability to understand exactly what it is that a mathematician does. Conversely, the expert mathematician is almost as ill-equipped as the layperson in trying to convey the beauty and joy of pure mathematics to non-mathematicians; the mathematician's reliance on abstractions and the specialized vocabulary that define him as a mathematician make him a poor choice to describe and verbalize his field to the layperson. One...

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This section contains 1,841 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Mathematician's Apology Study Guide
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A Mathematician's Apology from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.