"The twentieth century has transformed mathematics from a cottage industry run by a few semi-amateurs into a worldwide industry run by an army of professionals ... " --from the Preface by M. Atiyah This remarkable book is a celebration of the state of mathematics at the end of the millennium. Produced under the auspices of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), the volume was born as part of the activities observing the World Mathematical Year 2000. The volume consists of 30 articles written by some of the most influential mathematicians of our time. Authors of 15 contributions were recognized in various years by the IMU as recipients of the Fields Medal, from K. F. Roth (Fields Medalist, 1958) to W. T. Gowers (Fields Medalist, 1998). The articles offer valuable reflections about the amazing mathematical progress we have witnessed in this century and insightful speculations about the possible development of mathematics over the next century. Some articles formulate important problems, challenging future mathematicians. Others pay explicit homage to the famous set of Hilbert Problems posed one hundred years ago, giving enlightening commentary. Yet other papers offer a deeply personal perspective, allowing singular insight into the minds and hearts of people doing mathematics today. Mathematics: Frontiers and Perspectives is a unique volume that pertains to a broad mathematical audience of various backgrounds and levels of interest. It offers readers true and unequaled insight into the wonderful world of mathematics at this important juncture: the turn of the millennium. The work is one of those rare volumes that can be browsed, and if you do simply browse through it, you get a wonderful sense of mathematics today. Yet it also can be intensely studied on a detailed technical level for gaining insight into some of the great problems on which mathematicians are currently working. |