MAA Writing Awards
The Thrills of Abstraction
Award: George Pólya
Year of Award: 1983
Publication Information: The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 13, No. 4, (1982), pp. 243-251
Summary: Addresses the mathematical concept of abstraction and an attitude or philosophical stand that contributes to the clarity and precision of mathematics.
About the Author: (from The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 13, No. 4, (1982)) P.R. Halmos is Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Indiana University and Editor of the “American Mathematical Monthly.” He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and has held positions at Illinois, Syracuse, Chicago, Michigan, Hawaii, and Santa Barbara. He has published numerous books and nearly 100 articles and has been the editor of many journals and several book series. The MAA has given him the Chauvenet Prize and (twice) the Lester Ford award for mathematical exposition. His main mathematical interests are in measure and ergodic theory, algebraic logic, and operators on Hilbert space.