The Three Envies of a Mathematician: of the pen, of the brush, and of the stick
Meetings with Remarkable Minds
Piergiorgio Odifreddi has studied mathematics and logic in Italy (Torino), the United States (Urbana and Los Angeles) and the Soviet Union ( Novosibirsk), and has taught it in Italy (Torino), the United States (Cornell) and in various other countries (from China to Australia). His main professional interest is the theory of computation, which studies potentialities and limitations of computers. In this field he has published the 1600 pages of "Classical Recursion Theory" (North Holland, 1989 and 1999), in two volumes. In the last decade he has devoted himself to expository works, writing for many newspapers and magazines, from "Repubblica" and "L'Espresso" to "Le Scienze", and publishing many books: among the latest are "Penna, pennello e bacchetta" (Laterza, 2005), on the relationships between mathematics and the arts, and "Il matematico impertinente" (Longanesi, 2005), a collection of essays on science and the humanities. At the Academy he is working on "Incontri con menti straordinarie," a collection of interviews with Nobel laureates and other extraordinary minds, and on "Perche' non possiamo essere cristiani," a pamphlet against the current revival of Christian fundamentalism in Italy and elsewhere.