Off the Deep End: Diary of a Mathematician

 
9780988243804: Off the Deep End: Diary of a Mathematician
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This is Scott Axelrod's diary from the summer of 2011. In it, he finds his voice as a writer piecing together his life. His story is framed by a transformative experience he had when a manic episode led him to believe he could "solve the human condition." But that's not really possible, is it? Is the human condition, the circumstances of our lives on this earth, a problem to be solved? Sixteen years after his singular manic episode, Axelrod tries to integrate his thoughts about the social world with his work with some of the highest-level physicists and mathematicians in the world. He tries to understand the communities that shaped and absorb him. He shows us how his interactions with family and friends help him as he goes "off the deep end"--and then deeper and deeper. While writing the diary, Axelrod goes through a personal transformation. Archimedes said, "Give me a place to stand on and with a lever I will move the whole world." Maybe if enough people read this book and listen to its messages, it could change the world or touch a human heart.

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About the Author:

Scott Axelrod holds a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton University as a student of string theorist Edward Witten. As a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and as a professor at MIT, his researched focused on geometrical quantum field theories. He has consulted for Schlumberger-Doll research, principally in the area of nuclear magnetic resonance. As a research staff member at IBM, he worked on speech recognition and natural language processing. He is currently the director of research at the hedge fund Falcon Management. He has co-taught the course "Perspectives in Global Investment" at Yale University. In addition to his scientific papers, Axelrod is the author of the book, "Off the Deep End: Diary of a Mathematician". In it he explores many scientific, psychological, philosophical, religious, and personal issues. Axelrod is married to physicist Denise Freed. They live in Newton, MA, where they raise their two children.

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