When you think about mathematics, what are your markers? How do you organize in your mind the development of mathematical reasoning and ideas? How do you integrate your historical, social, and personal perspectives? Day-to-day, as a teacher or as a researcher, you may have very clear practical and narrow goals: to effectively convey important and useful knowledge and methodology, or to reduce an open-ended problem to a well-defined and solvable setting. But all this is informed by a larger view of mathematics and its essential interest and importance. What are the landmarks that guide you, and how did they come to be a part of your landscape? What do you try to pass on to your students? How do you pass these on?
I look forward to your comments!
In the meantime, here is my featured book for this post.
Featured Book of the Day
(Paraphrasing the Bookstore.) The book consists of thirty lectures on diverse topics, covering a broad area of the mathematical landscape. The common thread in the selected subjects is their illustration of the unity and beauty of mathematics. A special feature of the book is an abundance of drawings (more than four hundred), artwork by an award-winning artist, and about a hundred portraits of mathematicians. Almost every lecture contains surprises for even the seasoned researcher.