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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » I Want to be a Mathematician: A Conversation with Paul Halmos » User review

Should be seen by all present and future teachers of mathematics

  • Jul 10, 2010
The late Paul Halmos was many things in and out of the world of mathematics. He was an educator, mathematician, teacher, writer, speaker, chronicler, and a bit of a philosopher. In this DVD, all of those traits are captured in his answers and comments to the questions he receives. Halmos demonstrates passion, humility and intellectual energy as he puts forward his thoughts on how mathematicians should behave, both in and out of the classroom. His comments on teaching and how you must be both tough and understanding with students will warm the hearts of all math teachers who face recalcitrant students.
This is a tape that should be shown in all classes designed for future teachers of mathematics, if you want to learn something well, listen to and observe the masters. Halmos was definitely in that class; his thoughts and opinions will still be useful centuries from now. Halmos is now gone, but he has left a very large legacy.

Published in Journal of Recreational Mathematics, reprinted with permission.

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Charles Ashbacher ()
Ranked #76
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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Paul Halmos died on October 2, 2006, at the age of 90. He was a master of mathematics in multiple ways, and he influenced mathematicians and mathematical culture throughout his career. Unlike most other master mathematicians, Paul s legacy was not merely mathematics but rather advice and opinion about mathematical life writing, publishing, speaking, research, or even thinking about mathematics. Paul wrote about each of these topics with an extraordinary mixture of conviction and humility. Paul Halmos s writing affected the professional lives of nearly every mathematician in the latter half of the twentieth century, and it will continue to influence the profession for years to come. --John Ewing

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Director: George Csicsery
DVD Release Date: February 25, 2009
Runtime: 44 minutes
Studio: Zala Films
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