Monday, March 7, 2011

Spotted: Introduction to Higher Mathematics for the General Reader by Constance Reid

Where: Q-train
Who was reading: An aged man with eyebrows like little lost caterpillars, and a pen in one hand. His copy of the book was yellowed and battered, with notes and cross-outs jotted across each page. The faded cloth binding appeared to be hanging by its last thread, with the pages threatening to slip out en masse. Perhaps an original 1959 edition?
About the Author: Constance Bowman Reid (1918-2010) was a noted writer and builder of B-24 bombers, credited with helping to popularize the subject of mathematics.
A woman? Doing math? When Reid published her first article in Scientific American, readers complained that such articles ought to be written by authorities in the field as opposed to “housewives.”
Because, y’know... authorities in the field of mathematics are all such clear and eloquent writers.
But Constance showed those doubting Thomases... by winning a bunch of cool math prizes, including a Communications Award from the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics for her body of work bringing accurate mathematical information to non-mathematical audiences.

1 comment:

  1. This looks like an interesting read ... and good timing book spy ... March 8th is International Women's Day ...