17.647 history of 20C mathematics?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Sun Feb 15 2004 - 02:12:16 EST

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 647.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

         Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2004 07:07:42 +0000
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: history of 20C mathematics?

I am in need of recommendations for a history of 20C mathematics, esp from
Hilbert through Gödel to Turing and von Neumann; it would also be useful to
read about how Mr Turing's machine (as Richard Feynman calls it) has
affected mathematics since. I'm interested in a philosophical view of this
history, but it's important to me to get the facts straight, e.g. which
important papers were published when. I'd like to understand which of
Hilbert's famous problems proved important to this particular history and
why. At the same time I'd rejoice in a view sufficiently strong to risk a
few sentences that sum up the gist of how Hilbert's project ran aground,
why and what this tells us about computing. Constance Reid's Hilbert is, as
she says, more of a poetic celebration of mathematics (and German academic
culture of the period) than a real history; frustratingly it gives few
references, for example. I need a more scholarly poem!

Many thanks.


Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
7848-2784 fax: -2980 || willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk

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