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Mathematicians: An Outer View of the Inner World – Adebisi Agboola

Mariana Cook’s book Mathematicians: An Outer View of the Inner World was published by Princeton University Press in 2009 and is a remarkable collection of ninety-two photographic portraits featuring many of the most notable mathematicians of our time. Each photograph is accompanied by a brief personal essay either written by the mathematician or edited from an interview Cook conducted with him or her. For more information, please visit Mariana Cook’s website:

5469_Agboola, Adebisi
Adebisi Agboola - Photos and Text ©Mariana Cook “Mathematicians: An Outer View of the Inner World”


I remember on one occasion when I was very young, I decided that I hated mathematics so much that I was determined to think of a career that I could pursue that would involve the use of no mathematics whatsoever. My parents were understandably quite skeptical about this, and when I triumphantly announced “wood cutter,” they pointed out to me that this would not do because I would in fact have to measure the wood. This situation changed completely when, at about the age of twelve or so, in my school library, I came across one of the volumes of the Life Science Library, published by Time-Life International, entitled Mathematics, by David Bergamini.

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Mariana Cook

    MARIANA COOK is a fine art photographer whose work is held in numerous institutional and private collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art, New York City; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Bibliothèque Nationale and Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris; and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC. Ten books of her work have been published, including the best-selling Fathers and Daughters (1994) and the most recent, Justice: Faces of the Human Rights Revolution (2013). Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries was her first book of landscapes, which was released in 2011 to much acclaim. Her website is