My Gift of Polio ~
An Unexpected Life
From the Rural Hills of Scotland to the Hallowed Halls of Oxford and Beyond
James Murray was the youngest of six children born into a poor working-class family in Moffat, a very small isolated town in rural Scotland, during the Depression of the early 1930s. He caught polio as a baby and his future looked bleak. This profusely illustrated memoir describes his early years growing up in poverty and follows his serendipitous life beyond - taking him from degrees at the University of St. Andrews to international renown in the world of academia at Harvard, Oxford, Paris and other universities around the world. Murray describes his involvement as an Advisory Director with the founding problems of the Arvon Foundation in Britain. Murray’s groundbreaking scientific research was a new field of mathematics of genuine use in the real world, which he applied to brain tumours, divorce prediction and many other areas. Aspects of this research are described in a non-technical way alongside other descriptions of his many other diverse skills, enthusiasms, and friendships such as those with Leonard Baskin, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes including some unpublished poems.
Selection of Reviews
Mathematical Biology by James D. Murray
(Translated into Japanese, Polish, Russian)
“Read This! ….. The wide range of subjects covered in J. D. Murray's
Mathematical Biology is very impressive and at times it kept my attention like a novel…….. This book is one of the most powerful arguments for the power of mathematics that I have ever read…..”
Mathematical Association of America book review column 1992
“About a decade ago, this reviewer had the privilege of writing a similar report on the first edition of J.D. Murray’s Mathematical Biology, published under a similar label in 1989. The bottom line was, “Murray’s Mathematical Biology is a classic that belongs on the shelf of any serious student or researcher in the field. I hold the same opinion today…….”
____Robert E. O’Malley
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics: SIAM Reviews 2004
'Mathematical Biology', with its 292 figures, is a rich and beautifully illustrated textbook on a subject which represents an exciting modern application of mathematics….. It is also essential reading for all those traditional applied mathematicians and biometricians who require a little cultural broadening…..
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. (The Statistician) 1991
"Murray has produced a magnificent compilation of mathematical models and their applications in biology."
Amazon book reviews:
Pierre Jean April 7, 2016
Actually indispensible…. No need to say more!
M. Krebs Jan. 19, 2015
What can I say? This is the bible, folks.
ubpdqn April 18, 2013
This book is a classic.
Shilian xu Nov. 4 2010
An excellent reference in the field of the Mathematical Biology.
Jeffrey Anderson Nov. 9, 1999
I thoroughly enjoyed this book…… An excellent book!
Royal Society Bakerian Public Lecture 2009
The Mathematics of Marriage
MIT Press, Cambridge MA 2002
(co-authored with John Gottman, Catherine Swanson,
Kristin Swanson, Rebecca Tyson)
Nonlinear-Differential-Equation Models in Biology
Clarendon Press, Oxford 1977 (Russian translation 1983)
Clarendon Press, Oxford 1974, Springer-Verlag, New York, Berlin 1984