Monday, November 5, 2012

A Summary of Mathematics

A lecture recently given at the University of Lagos was almost-verbatim published in The Guardian*.

In the paper titled Abstract Mathematics: Exploring the Universe through imaginative science , Prof. J.O. Olaleru gave a comprehensive layman's explanation of what mathematics and mathematicians care about these days - from number theory and topology to logic and even professional rewards: publications, prizes...
He said a bit about his own work and his beliefs as well.
Johnson Olajire Olaleru, PhD
Kindly download and read the paper:  Abstract Mathematics: Exploring the Universe through imaginative science .  It's a laudable example of maths in the public sphere.

* , Part 1, Part 2


  1. I like to think of myself as a maths geek, but this was kinda too long for me. I get the whole message though. Mathematics is beautiful!! Btw have u read mathematics: a short introduction by timothy Gowers?

  2. Way to go, Nigeria! I do have to point out a couple of dates he got wrong, though: Perelman published his solution to Poincaire's conjecture in 2002 and not 1994 as the author wrote. And Andrew Wiles worked for at least 7 years (1986-1993) to solve Fermat's Last Theorem.

  3. Hi Ope, I haven't read the Gowers book, thanks for mentioning it. Somehow the author name rings a bell.
    I like short and sweet writing too, but considering how rarely one finds good conceptual summaries of math, I'll take a few thousand words :)

    Nwannem Nate, true the Perelman gist didn't break in the 90s. I keep forgetting Wiles is a still-living person, his name evokes Fermat-ancient history. Can't say I remember why these proofs are so important in math.


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