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A lost mathematician, Takeo Nakasawa. The forgotten father of matroid theory. (English) Zbl 1163.01001
Basel: Birkhäuser (ISBN 978-3-7643-8572-9/hbk). xii, 234 p. EUR 49.90/net; SFR 89.00; $ 69.95; £ 43.99 (2009).
This very original book is devoted to the recovery of the mathematical articles and biography of Takeo Nakasawa (1913--1946), a Japanese mathematician who discovered matroid theory independently of H. Whitney and who has been utterly forgotten until recently. Very clearly and vividly written, the books is not limited to mathematics but on the contrary contains four chapters describing (1) T. Nakasawa’s life until his death, consequence of the bad treatment he was subjected to when detained in Siberia by the USSR forces and (2) the historical context or Japan during his lifetime. Lastly, Nakasawa’s mathematical ideas are analysed and the four articles published by him are both given in their original form and then wholly translated into English.
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