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Publisher's Summary

An inclusive vision of mathematics - its beauty, its humanity, and its power to build virtues that help us all flourish

For mathematician Francis Su, a society without mathematical affection is like a city without concerts, parks, or museums. To miss out on mathematics is to live without experiencing some of humanity's most beautiful ideas.  

In this profound book, written for a wide audience but especially for those disenchanted by their past experiences, an award-winning mathematician and educator weaves parables, puzzles, and personal reflections to show how mathematics meets basic human desires - such as for play, beauty, freedom, justice, and love - and cultivates virtues essential for human flourishing. 

These desires and virtues, and the stories told here, reveal how mathematics is intimately tied to being human. Some lessons emerge from those who have struggled, including philosopher Simone Weil, whose own mathematical contributions were overshadowed by her brother's, and Christopher Jackson, who discovered mathematics as an inmate in a federal prison. 

Christopher's letters to the author appear throughout the book and show how this intellectual pursuit can - and must - be open to all.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Francis Edward Su (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about Mathematics for Human Flourishing

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Read this book!

I am a better person because of this book! Math is magical! Francis writes this magic well!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Captivating Encouraging Story for all

In amazing story telling prose, Dr. Su capitivates audiences with math and life lessons. An encouragement for all, especially college undergraduates and graduate students navigating finding life purpose and meaning in the ivory tower. These stories help us be more sensitive to those struggling around us. A joy to read!

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  • Jonathan Jackson
  • 03-01-22

A love letter to mathematics

I enjoyed listening to this story and it helped me think about the way I ‘think’ about mathematics.
However, this felt less of a book and more of a padded out version of a speech given by Francis Su. At times it felt very US focused with a sense of the way the US sees the world is the only way and the whole chapter on love was hard to listen to from a non-US perspective.
Overall though this is worth a listen to if you are looking to help motivate you to study or to convince others to study.

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  • Avi D Reader
  • 12-07-20

An inspiring delight

A review requires fifteen words, but mine was succinct, now only four words are left!