Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Steven Strogatz

Steven Strogatz is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics at Cornell University. He holds a joint appointment in the College of Arts and Sciences (Mathematics) and the College of Engineering (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering). He is the author of Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos (1994), Sync (2003), The Calculus of Friendship (2009), and The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity (2012).

Not so long ago I asked him what he was reading. Strogatz's reply:
A few weeks ago I read The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin. The author is best known from his days as a chess prodigy (the terrific movie Searching for Bobby Fischer was based on his early achievements). But what is less well known is that Waitzkin has been even more successful as a martial artist, twice winning a world championship in Tai Chi Chuan Push Hands. His book is a thoughtful and often Zen-inspired take on learning and mastery from someone who has achieved world-class status in two different fields. I read a little bit every day, savoring the stories and wisdom and humor. Anyone interested in sports, education, or performance psychology would enjoy it. The lessons are broadly applicable to other competitive fields, whether in the boardroom or the courtroom, and even for artists, entrepreneurs, and anyone else trying to get better at what they love.
Visit Steven Strogatz's website.

Writers Read: Steven Strogatz (August 2009).

--Marshal Zeringue