ZJU mathematics professor's book wins national award


CAI Tianxin, a professor at ZJU’s School of Mathematical Sciences, has won a national award for his book Legends of Mathematics: Those Great Mathematicians.

book written by ZJU professor CAI Tianxin has won the second prize of China’s National Science and Technology Progress Award for 2017.

The book, titled “Legends of Mathematics: Those Great Mathematicians”, rewrites about some representative figures in the history of mathematics, including their inner world, life experiences and growth environment, as well as their contributions, thoughts, personalities and concepts of life.

Mathematicians have brought to the world numerous “first times”. As Archimedes put it, “Give me a fulcrum, and I shall move the world.” Of these great mathematicians featured in the book, some have made outstanding contributions in the field of humanities, such as Pythagoras, Khayyam, Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, and Poincare, while some have legendary personal experiences, such as Fermat, Newton, Euler, Gauss, Hilbert, Ramanujan, and Erdoes.

The book also has an in-depth discussion of the relationship between math and literature, poetry, and politics.

Mathematics is such a thing that reminds us of her invisible soul, endows the truth that she finds with life, arouses our enthusiasm, adds color to our inner thinking and eradicates our illiteracy and ignorance,” Cai wrote in the book.

Apart from being a mathematician, CAI is also known as a poet, traveler and photographer. His previous works have been translated into more than 20 languages.