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The suffers that great mathematicians had

  1. May 22, 2014 #1
    Hi :)
    I'm a math student and I like reading lives of mathematicians. And I want to learn how Gauss, Erdos, Hilbert etc. started, what were the problems at first, how did they overcome? I want to be a mathematician if I can handle it, and I really want to learn how to be a good, a skilled mathematician. I wonder if they had diaries :) Thanks and have a nice day.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Welcome to PF;
    All the people you mention have copious personal and public writings.
    You will find many fine biographies of all these people in a decent library, and there are online summaries which can provide a starting place from which you can refine your queries.

    It is quite unlikely that you will have the same or even similar challenges to them tough.
    i.e. Carl Gauss, for instance, was a child prodigy who had aristocratic patronage.
  4. May 26, 2014 #3
    I spent too much time reading biographies & "philosophy of mathematics" in my UG days, and ended up with a good rather than *very* good degree. A good mathematician is someone who always comes top of the class in UG, or at least, if Gauss is a classmate, is almost top, and on target for a very good "first". If you aren't of that standard, then you need to do more mathematics, not read biographies.
  5. May 28, 2014 #4
    I have been told that Men of Mathematics is a great book. Some other noteworthy mentions..

    The man who knew infinity : A Life Of The Genius Ramanujan.
    My brain is open : The Mathematical Journeys Of Paul Erdos.
    Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians

    Amazon stocks a lot of great Mathematician biographies. I also agree with mal4mac. The only way you can become good at it is to really immerse yourself into it and do more mathematics.
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