Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I would like to know which books on mathematics (from university texts to divulgative pop-math books) inspired you the most.

My choice is Spivak's Calculus, which is, IMHO one of the most inspirational mathematics books I've ever read: it has very meaningful examples and clear explanations.

share|improve this question

closed as primarily opinion-based by Ayman Hourieh, LTS, user127096, Lee Yiyuan, T. Bongers Mar 27 at 2:35

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

3 Answers 3

I'll second Spivak, but I was also inspired by E.T. Bell's Men of Mathematics, which has a lot of math content. And not a book per se (though there are collections), Martin Gardner's columns in Scientific American were also inspiring.

share|improve this answer

Honestly, though it's not exactly a text for mathematicians, Quine's Methods of Logic basically kicked off my interest in mathematics. It's the text I taught myself formal logic from, and the text in which I started to appreciate the beauty of formal logic.

Probably second is Goldblatt's Topoi, which introduced me, in one fell swoop, to category theory, topos theory, a smattering of topological ideas, and most of my basic set theoretic concepts. Most of the math I learned subsequently was originally part of an effort to understand this book better.

share|improve this answer

The Princeton companion to mathematics is surely a tour de force. It is a joint effort of many leading mathematicians, and show the beauty of mathematics rigorously in an inspiring way.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.