Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press
"Physics Forged in the Tripos": Review of Masters of Theory: Cambridge and the Rise of Mathematical Physics, by Andrew Warwick. Reviewed by Theodore M. Porter. Science, 24 October 2003, pages 569-570.
A Tripos is a written examination to determine honors in a field. This book describes mathematical education at Cambridge, including the Tripos, along with the physics studied at the University. Porter writes that the book "conveys a great deal about theoretical physics from Maxwell to Einstein, but its real point is to show we can understand a style of physics in relation to systems of training." He concludes the review by noting that many complex skills needed for higher-level thinking "are conveyed above all by teachers, ... and depend on a very personal level of interaction. Let our contemporary skinflint utopians who think the Internet can form the heart of a modern education note this well."
See also: "Training for the Tripos: Review of Masters of Theory: Cambridge and the Rise of Mathematical Physics by Andrew Warwick. Reviewed by Kathryn M. Olesko. American Scientist, May-June 2004, pages 276-279.
--- Mike Breen