Pushing Limits: From West Point to Berkeley and Beyond challenges the myth that mathematicians lead dull and ascetic lives.
It recounts the unique odyssey of a noted mathematician who overcame military hurdles at West Point, Army Ranger School and the Vietnam War, and survived many civilian escapades--hitchhiking in third-world hotspots, fending off sharks in Bahamian reefs, and camping deep behind the forbidding Iron Curtain.
From ultra-conservative West Point in the '60s to ultra-radical Berkeley in the '70s, and ultimately to genteel Georgia Tech in the '80s, this is the tale of an academic career as noteworthy for its offbeat adventures as for its teaching and research accomplishments.
It brings to life the struggles and risks underlying mathematical research, the unparalleled thrill of making scientific breakthroughs, and the joy of sharing those discoveries around the world.
Hill's book is packed with energy, humor, and suspense, both physical and intellectual.
Anyone who is curious about how a maverick mathematician thinks, who wants to relive the zanier side of the '60s and '70s, who wants an armchair journey into the third world, or who seeks an unconventional viewpoint about some of our more revered institutions, will be drawn to this book.