Behind the Scenes of the Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics

I’ve published an article Making the Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics in Mathematics Today, the membership magazine of the The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

The article describes the story behind the Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics, published in October 2015, which I edited (along with associate editors Mark Dennis, Paul Glendinning, Paul Martin, Fadil Santosa and Jared Tanner).

Among the topics covered are

  • the motivation for the book and for publishing it in hard copy (as well as in e-book form),
  • the question “What is applied mathematics?”,
  • the challenge of producing 1000 pages of high quality typeset mathematical text,
  • the design of the book.

Complementary to the article is the YouTube video below, recorded and produced by George Miller, in which I talk about the project. It was filmed in and around the Alan Turing building at the University of Manchester. An interesting tidbit about George is that when he worked at Oxford University Press he set up and commissioned the Very Short Introductions series, of which Tim Gowers’s Mathematics: Very Short Introductions was one of the first volumes to be published.