Paul R. Halmos, who worked on fields from ergodic theory to algebraic logic and who authored the textbooks “Naive Set Theory” and “Measure Theory”, details much of his academic life in his autobiography, “I Want to be a Mathematician: An Automathography”

. In this post I shall give a few of my impressions of this book.

Halmos writes almost exclusively on his professional life as a mathematician and provides commentary and opinions on research, supervising, teaching, administrative work, and it even includes a math problem or two. In contrast, he rarely writes about his personal life or his other interests besides mathematics. As a mathematics student however, I never thought this as a deficiency and Halmos’s lively and engaging writing kept me steadily reading until the end.

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