Fifty years ago when Jacques Hadamard set out to explore how mathematicians invent new ideas, he considered the creative experiences of some of the greatest thinkres of his generation, such as George Polya, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Albert Einstein. It appared that inspiration could strike anytime, particularly after an individual had worked hard on a problem for days and then turned attention to another activity. In exploring this phenomenon, Hadamard produced one of the most famous and cogent cases for the existence of uncounscious mental processes in mathmatical invention and other forms of creativity.
Written before the explosion of research in computers and cognitive science, Hadamard's book, originally titled The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field, remains an important tool for exploring the increasingly complex problem of mental life and raises unusual and timely questions for readers interested in artificial intelligenc as well as in psychology, philosophy, and creativity in general.
Jacques Hadamard (1865-1963), an internationally known mathematician, was born in Versaills and lectured at universities throughout the world, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Columbia Universities, and at the Institute for Advanced Study.