By Constance Reid
"...a tale of significant mathematicians and their achievements, of functional successes and screw ups, and of human perfidy and generosity...this is among the nonetheless too infrequent events within which mathematicians are proven as frail, flesh-and-blood creatures...a very helpful book." -CHOICE
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Extra info for Courant
He was drawn quite early to Riemann's ideas. Many of these had come to that mathematician as the result of a unique geometric intuition which Klein seems to have been almost alone in understanding at the time. Other mathematicians admired the results but were not able to reconcile themselves to the methods by which they had been obtained. Riemann's early death also contributed to the lack of appreciation of his work, but-in Courant's opinion-it is unlikely that even alive he would have had the personal force to put over his ideas.
It seems that in connection with the derivation of the boundary conditions I had failed to take into consideration the surface current-the existence of which I had not been aware of up until that moment. Since the other people in the seminar were not quite clear about it either, it was discussed at length; and my report did not get beyond this point. Hilbert kept getting more and more impatient-although it's surprising that he was not more rude to me-and I became more and more upset and confused.
But almost immediately Minkowski interrupted me. It seems that in connection with the derivation of the boundary conditions I had failed to take into consideration the surface current-the existence of which I had not been aware of up until that moment. Since the other people in the seminar were not quite clear about it either, it was discussed at length; and my report did not get beyond this point. Hilbert kept getting more and more impatient-although it's surprising that he was not more rude to me-and I became more and more upset and confused.
Courant by Constance Reid