Wednesday, January 27, 2016

James D. Stein

James D. Stein is emeritus professor in the Department of Mathematics at California State University, Long Beach.

His books include Cosmic Numbers and How Math Explains the World.

Stein's new story collection is L.A. Math: Romance, Crime, and Mathematics in the City of Angels.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
I'd love to find a mystery writer who writes like either Ellery Queen, Rex Stout, or Agatha Christie – with classic mysteries – but the authors I've read recently have way too much gratuitous violence for my taste. When I read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I came to the torture scene and skipped it – how does that improve the book? Beats me. The mystery, and the characters, were so good that this wasn't necessary.

I'm currently starting Our Mathematical Universe, by Max Tegmark, who has come up with some incredibly intriguing ideas in cosmology. He had a treatment of parallel universes in Scientific American a few years ago which was utterly fascinating. I'm also reading Swings and Arrows, a recently discovered book by Victor Mollo, who wrote about the game of bridge using a charming collection of characters inhabiting a fictional London bridge club, the Griffins. I no longer play tournament bridge, but bridge is a wonderful game, and through it I met some of the most interesting people I’ve ever known.
Learn more about L.A. Math at the Princeton University Press website.

The Page 69 Test: L.A. Math.

--Marshal Zeringue