In 1900, David Hilbert gave an address to the International Congress of Mathematicians that outlined the twenty three most important unsolved problems of mathematics, as he saw them. In "The Honors Class", Benjamin Yandell describes the problems and the very remarkable people who worked on them. More than a century later, there are still a few that remain unsolved, and some of those that have been successfully attacked withstood assault for many decades. I was familiar with many of the names in book because they are associated with equations that I have used and that I teach my students about. It was not until reading this attractive and well-written history that I was able to put those names and their contributions into context. This is the best popular book about mathematics that I have read since"Fermat's Enigma".
Benjamin H. Yandell