Life on the Mathematical Frontier: Legendary Figures and Their Adventures


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Amathematical legend begins as an anecdote about a mathematician or a theorem, reported by someone at second hand. After many repetitions, usually with some variations, it solidifies into a legend. Thus a legend is characterized by two properties: 1) it is not attested by any primary documents or anyone claiming to have been an eyewitness; 2) it becomes widely known and cited. As the examples below will illustrate, a mathemati-cal legend may be cited in more than one context to add color to a mathematical achievement. It often arises as a way of explaining how results were achieved when there is no paper trail showing the way, just as the legend of the Trojan horse, according to some classicists, explains how the Greeks were able to take Troy after the death of the great warrior Achilles when they could not do so with his help.
机译:数学传奇从关于数学家或定理的轶事开始,由二手人报道。经过多次重复(通常会有一些变化),它固化为图例。因此,图例具有两个特性:1)没有任何主要文档或任何自称目击者的证词; 2)它变得广为人知和引用。如以下示例所示,可以在多个上下文中引用数学符号,以为数学成就增添色彩。它经常作为一种解释方式来解释,当没有纸质痕迹说明如何取得成果时,就像一些古典主义者所说的特洛伊木马的传说一样,解释了希腊人在特洛伊去世后如何能够占领特洛伊。伟大的战士阿喀琉斯无法在他的帮助下这样做。



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