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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Talk, Talk, Talk

On the heels of my transcribed interview with Dr. Colm Mulcahy, Sol Lederman now has a nicely-detailed podcast with Colm up for "Inspired By Math" covering a lot of ground:


And simultaneously, fresh over at MathTango is my new interview with... well... uhh...er, drop in and see for yourself:


Finally, below, a little Sunday meditation, this time from David Wells' volume, "Games and Mathematics: Subtle Connections":
"The vast landscape of modern mathematics guarantees that most mathematicians will only be at home in a small corner, and must lack the deeper understanding needed to make very delicate aesthetic judgements about regions of which they know little.
" 'Which Is the Most Beautiful?' was a questionnaire for readers of the 'Mathematical Intelligencer'  designed to test the plausible proposition that mathematicians no more agree on their judgements of beautiful mathematics than art lovers agree on favourite paintings or music lovers agree over Mozart and Beethoven. The items were chosen to be elementary, so that all respondents would be more-or-less familiar with them...
"It worked well! The introduction quoted several classic comments such as John von Neumann's that, 'I think it is correct to say that [the mathematician's] criteria of selection, and also those of success, are mainly aesthetical,' and Poincare's comment on this phenomenon: 'It is true aesthetic feeling which all mathematicians recognise. The useful combinations are precisely the most beautiful.'  In other words, the beauty of mathematics is not an add-on, it's not a bonus, and attention to beauty is not an option but an essential feature of mathematical creativity."

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