28
Mar
11

Lewis Carroll in Numberland: His Fantastical Mathematical Logical Life

Lewis Carroll in Numberland: His Fantastical Mathematical Logical Life by Robin Wilson.

Paperback Penguin, 2009.

ISBN-13: 978-0141016108

Robin Wilson (born December 1943) is a Visiting Emeritus Professor in Pure Mathematics at the Open University, a Stipendiary Lecturer at Pembroke College, Oxford and professor of geometry at Gresham College.

He says:

In Graph Theory my main interests are in colouring problems – especially in edge–colourings of graphs and the four–colour problem. In the history of mathematics, I am interested in British mathematics – especially the 17th century and the period 1860 – 1940 and in the history of graph theory and combinatorics.

He’s apparently the son of Harold Wilson, former Prime Minister.

From the publisher’s blurb:

Lewis Carroll’s writings have inspired and entertained generations of readers, but now his forgotten achievements in the world of numbers are finally brought to light by highly acclaimed author and mathematician Robin Wilson. Here Wilson explores the singular imagination of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson – known to millions around the world as Lewis Carroll – the creator of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass”. “Lewis Carroll in Numberland” shows how this incredible mind was not limited to the exuberant fantasy and word play of his children’s books which brim with mathematical allusions – arithmetical, geometrical, logical and mechanical. Dodgson’s exceptional talent as a mathematician won him the Christ Church Mathematical Lectureship at Oxford, a position he held for over twenty-six years. During this time he published extensively and brilliantly in the traditional fields of geometry, logic and algebra. Wilson’s passionate celebration of Dodgson’s mathematical achievements reveals that his work in numbers went far beyond the purely academic. We are taken inside the mind of a man who turned his mathematical genius to the study of voting patterns, to the design of tennis tournaments and even to the prolific creation and popularization of imaginative, numerical puzzles. This absorbing book introduces us to the mind behind the myth and shows the true range of Carroll’s extraordinary talents and numerous contributions to British society.

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