Winner of the Neumann Prize 2017

Winner of the Neumann Prize 2017

Monday 11 December 2017

The BSHM is pleased to announce the results of the 2017 Neumann Prize


Jimmy Soni & Rob Goodman A Mind at Play (Simon & Schuster, 2017)

In this first major book on one of the most influential mathematicians of the 20th century, Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman bring Claude Shannon, the man who loved to ‘tinker’, to life.  They eloquently convey how it was that he had such innovative ideas and what motivated him to work on them, and they explain the essentials of information theory and how it shaped the modern world in a charming and illuminating way.  As they themselves say, they tell the story from the ‘bottom-up’ and, in their process of discovery, they show their readers the importance of Shannon’s ideas rather than, as so many books about mathematics do, simply tell them.  This makes the book supremely readable. 



Norman Biggs Quite Right (Oxford University Press, 2016)

This is an innovative approach to a short history of mathematics: seeing it through the prism of measurement and money.  The ideas are described in an accessible way and illustrated with high-quality diagrams and photographs which add richness to the text.  The book is both mathematical and a proper history always emphasizing documentary evidence.  It is well written with good quick précis at the start of each chapter, and with some unexpected humour. Norman Biggs is an author at the top of his game, easily able to summarise a wide range of thought and thinkers.