My Book On P=NP Is Now Available
The P=NP Question and Gödel’s Lost Letter book is now available
Kurt Gödel is one of he main reasons I started this blog almost two years ago. We all owe him a great deal for so many things. For his completeness theorem, his incompleteness theorem, his notion of recursive functions, for Gödel numbers, for his work proving the relative consistency of set theories, and much more.
Today I want to thank Gödel and all of you for making writing this blog so much fun. Sometimes the time and energy required to write the next post is large, but it is worth it. Thanks again. Here is a photo mosaic of many of you that have been part of this enterprise—especially its first year, 2009.
If you cannot see the faces look at this larger version.
I started in 2009 not to write a blog. I thought there were plenty of excellent math and theory blogs, so I began instead to write a book on P=NP. I actually had a large part of the book written—not all—when one day I thought—forget the book. I would just write a blog. I opened a WordPress account, started to write, figured out how to handle HTML, and created my first post. Of course no one read it, but I wrote a second one, and then a third. I pressed on with the writing. Sounds a bit like the lines from one of the great scenes in Monty Python and The Holy Grail:
When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that’s what you’re going to get, Lad, the strongest castle in all of England.
Eventually the blog stopped falling down or burning up, and found a set of readers—you. I thank you for your continued readership. Some of my posts have been fun, some serious, some technical, more than a few wacky. I thank you for reading them, for making comments on them, and in general telling me directly or indirectly “thank you.”
I want to make an announcement that my book entitled The P=NP Question and Gödel’s Lost Letter is now published. It is available here at Amazon.com, for example. I started writing a book that became a blog. Now the blog has become a book.
The book was a great deal of work—more than I would have guessed. After all it “just” consisted of selected posts from the first year of this blog. But books are very different from blogs, and I had to do quite a bit extra work to get the book even into the shape it is. Susan Lagerstrom-Fife is my editor at Springer, who helped me this last year to put the book together. I thank her.
Some additional material is included in the book, all essays have been edited and updated. So if you enjoy this blog you should enjoy the book. Some of you who have started reading this blog more recently may especially enjoy the book, since it covers posts from only the first year.
Please take a look at the book, post a review at Amazon.com if inclined, and perhaps even buy a copy. I have no doubt about Susan’s first statement to me when we discussed writing the book:
You will not make any money on this book.
I have no illusions about that, but I felt it would be fun to get a book out. A book is still a more permanent object than a blog. Also, as I said, the book has some additional essays, and some additional information.
Finally, the book has a secret code embedded in it that contains a fact about P=NP that I have never told anyone. If you look at every character of the prime numbered chapters, then
Just kidding. But I hope you enjoy the book.
I plan further books based on this blog and on other topics. For example I am thinking about one on quantum algorithms without qubits and another on mathematical surprises and embarrassments.
I have been awed at the number of you reading this blog and am very grateful for your interest and support. The book tries to thank you all—you will see that I have tried hard to acknowledge all who have commented on posts. Check the book’s index to see if you are mentioned.
Finally, I want to again thank all of you who have supported this effort for close to two years now. It started in February of 2009: we are well beyond 200 posts, and I plan on going on for some time. I thank you all for making this effort fun.
Since I always like to ask open questions: should I put out other collections of these essays? What do you think? A final question: how about a collage T-shirt? I have thought about having them made up and sold for cost—would be about ten dollars. Would anyone want one?