Friday, February 02, 2007

Norbert Weiner - I Am a Mathematician

Caught in a desire to be more scientist-like I've borrowed the book "I Am a Mathematician" by Norbert Weiner from a friend of mine. While being a rather old book (written in 1956), it was exactly what I was looking for: a book that described in layman's terms what the life of a true scientist is like and how he thinks.

I think the book itself was rather boring, but the world described and the way this guy was thinking really opened my eyes to things I wish I understood in my early teens. He sees, for example, the way sciences come together in one big thing called science. Even if he was a mathematician, he worked in physics, psychology and electronics, because he saw the way they worked together, not as separate unconnected subjects. He was thorough, focused and science minded. He went to the beach and thought about equations to define the movements of waves as they break against the shore.

My conclusion is that it is a wonderful insight in the mind of a scientist. It is not a popular science book, it is an autobiography, so it might get a little boring, but it also puts everything into context.


flowingly said...

Liked it too. Wiener also wrote Ex-Prodigy: My Childhood and Youth,
but I haven't read that yet.