Michael Spivak

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Michael David Spivak (born May 25, 1940)[1] is an American mathematician specializing in differential geometry, an expositor of mathematics, and the founder of Publish-or-Perish Press. Spivak is the author of the five-volume A Comprehensive Introduction to Differential Geometry. In 1964 Spivak received a Ph.D. from Princeton University under the supervision of John Milnor.[2]

Spivak was born in Queens, New York.[1]

Spivak has lectured on elementary physics.[3] Spivak's most recent book, Physics for Mathematicians: Mechanics I, which contains the material that these lectures stemmed from and more, was published on December 6, 2010.[4] Spivak is also the designer of the MathTime Professional 2 fonts which are widely used in academic publishing.[5]

Spivak coined Spivak pronouns, a set of English gender-neutral pronouns.[6]


Spivak's book Calculus takes a rigorous and theoretical approach to introductory calculus[according to whom?]. It is used in calculus courses, particularly those with a pure mathematics emphasis, at many universities.[citation needed]

Spivak has also written The Joy of TeX: A Gourmet Guide to Typesetting With the AMS-TeX Macro Package and The Hitchhiker's Guide to Calculus. The book Morse Theory, by John Milnor, was based on lecture notes by Spivak and Robert Wells.[citation needed] Spivak's book Calculus on Manifolds is also rather infamous as being one of the most difficult undergraduate mathematics textbooks[according to whom?]. In each of Spivak's books there are hidden references to yellow pigs, an idea Spivak apparently came up with at a bar while drinking with David C. Kelly.[citation needed]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Biographical sketch in Notices of the AMS, Vol. 32, 1985, p. 576.
  2. ^ "The Mathematics Genealogy Project - Michael Spivak". Genealogy.math.ndsu.nodak.edu. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  3. ^ Videos of Spivak's 2004 Pathway Lectures at Keio University and the text for Elementary mechanics from a mathematician's viewpoint.
  4. ^ "Physics for Mathematicians, Mechanics I". Amazon.com. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  5. ^ "MathTime Professional 2 Fonts". pctex.com. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ McCurdy, Christen. "Are Gender-Neutral Pronouns Actually Doomed?". Pacific Standard. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  7. ^ Guillemin, Victor (1973). "Review: A comprehensive introduction to differential geometry, Vols. 1 & 2, by M. Spivak". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 79 (2): 303–306. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1973-13149-0. 
  8. ^ Alexander, Stephanie (1978). "Review: A comprehensive introduction to differential geometry, Vols. 3, 4, & 5, by M. Spivak". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 84 (1): 27–32. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1978-14399-7. 
  9. ^ Fernando Q. Gouvêa (2 February 1996). "Review: A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Calculus by Michael Spivak". MAA Reviews. 

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