Thank you to mathematician Peter Kuchment, who suggested “this wonderful book of Constance Reid about her sister Julia Robinson.”
Here’s a couple of really nice Amazon reviews of the book:
By PK on February 8, 2016
Constance Reid was a wonderful biographer (see her books on Hilbert and on Courant). Here she wrote a touching account of the life of her sister, brilliant mathematician Julia Robinson. The time was, how should I put it, strange? Julia had achieved international fame and membership in the National Academy of Sciences BEFORE getting “normal” professor position.
Constance Reid has created a gem of a book about her sister. Beginning with the information that all royalties will go for mathematical scholarships at Julia’s high school, through to Yuri Matijasevich’s slightly technical essay, informed with equal parts of love for Julia and for Hilbert’s Tenth Problem, there is a consistency of tone that shows Constance Reid to be a true artist of book creation. The tenacity, reticence, and generosity that Julia brought to her mathematical life are conveyed to the reader in every aspect of the book. Give this to anyone who does not yet understand that the passion for truth makes fine human beings. Although it is consistently played down, the shocking discrimination against women emerges consistently throughout the book. Julia Robinson gave abundantly to the world despite illness, discrimination, and other obstacles. Her very generous spirit shines through the pages of this book. Do yourself a favor, and read this beautiful tribute from Constance Reid, Lisl Gaal, Martin Davis, Yuri Matijasevich, and the Mathematical Association of America to Julia Bowman Robinson.
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