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This is an astute and lively exploration of what it's really like to do mathematics, by well-known mathematician and writer Ian Stewart. The first scientific entry in Basic Books' renowned "Art of Mentoring" series, "Letters to a Young Mathematician" tells readers what Ian Stewart wishes he'd known when he was a student. Subjects ranging from the philosophical to the practical - what mathematics is and why it's worth doing, the relationship between logic and proof, the role of beauty in mathematical thinking, the future of mathematics, how to deal with the peculiarities of the mathematical community, and many others - are dealt with in Stewart's much-admired style, which combines subtle, easygoing humour with a talent for cutting to the heart of the matter. Like GH Hardy's classic "A Mathematician's Apology", this book is sure to be a perennial favourite with students at all levels, as well as other readers who are curious about what mathematics is all about. Ranging broadly in subject matter, these brief, intellectual primers to life are a stimulating read for anyone who wants to experience the insights, wisdom and advice of today's leading minds.