Mathematics, beautiful or useful?

Volume/Issue

Vol 12, Issue 1

Date

Thursday, 1 March, 2012

Journal Name

MSOR Connections

Author(s)

Ngoc Tran

Abstract

Is mathematics beautiful or useful? Why do people choose to do mathematics? How could Enrico Bombieri have been obsessed by the Riemann Hypothesis since the age of 15? How could Andrew Wiles have devoted 30 years of his life including 7 years of isolation just to solve Fermat’s Last Theorem? Indeed, mathematicians themselves nowadays are still arguing about whether mathematics is or should be either beautiful or useful. Are those who do ‘useful’ research occasionally looked down upon by others who do more aesthetically pleasing ‘beautiful’ mathematics research?

DOI

doi: 10.11120/msor.2012.12010021

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Taxonomy: work area

Journals

Taxonomy: discipline

STEM Maths, Stats and OR

Taxonomy: HEAV