Krantz’s book on mathematical maturity

Steven Krantz is a prolific mathematician; he is also the author of various books on the mathematics profession. A mathematician’s survival guide was sometimes useful to me as a book on how to survive graduate school in math; it focuses on graduate school and early-career mathematicians. Academic mathematicians spend lots of time writing and teaching; for these he’s written A Primer of Mathematical Writing: Being a Disquisition on Having Your Ideas Recorded, Typeset, Published, Read & Appreciated and How To Teach Mathematics. A book that I haven’t read (because it doesn’t apply to me), a sort of sequel to the Survival Guide, is the similarly-titled The survival of a mathematician: from tenure to emeritus. These books are perhaps not as all-encompassing as one might expect – they are rather idiosyncratic, being books on how to have a successful career at a research institution, and to do a good job of teaching without necessarily having it take up all of one’s time. But this is to be expected – Krantz is at Washington University in St. Louis and this is the milieu he knows best. In particular I’d say that the Survival Guide is better at giving advice on graduate school than books such as Getting What You Came For which purport to advise potential graduate students in all fields.

His most recent book is A Mathematician Comes of Age, which is a short book-length exploration of the concept of mathematical maturity and how to develop it in students. Sol Lederman interviews him about the book on his podcast series Inspired by Math.

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