Mathematics without Apologies: Portrait of a Problematic Vocation

M. Harris

What do pure mathematicians do, and why do they do it? Looking beyond the conventional answers—for the sake of truth, beauty, and practical applications—this book offers an eclectic panorama of the lives and values and hopes and fears of mathematicians in the twenty-first century, assembling material from a startlingly diverse assortment of scholarly, journalistic, and pop culture sources.

Available at Princeton University Press

The book (unlike its author) has its own Facebook page and also a blog.

Some related publications

Dispatch From the Oscars of Science,, November 19, 2014

Mathematicians of the Future?,, March 23, 2015

On April 10, 2014 I presented part of Chapter 8: The Science of Tricks in London at the conference Mathematical Cultures 3.

On May 21, 2015, Cédric Villani and I held a reading of our respective books at Shakespeare and Co. in Paris.

Here are early versions of a few of the chapters:

Bonus Chapter 5: An automorphic reading of Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day (interrupted by elliptical reflections on Mason & Dixon): Download

Chapter 6: Further investigations of the mind-body problem: Download

Chapter 9: A mathematical dream and its interpretation: Download