Category Archives: mathematics and …

how our discipline relates to other things

Estimation and accuracy

I am back in London, desperately trying to throw off a bad cold in time to start lecturing to 305 students on Monday morning. Various reading matter, chiefly Nature and Significance, provoked a few thoughts on the topic of estimation … Continue reading

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Will computers discover topology?

We have just had, as usual, a set of very fine lectures at the British Combinatorial Conference at Royal Holloway. I’ve said a bit about the lectures by Doron Zeilberger and Einar Steingrímsson. I can’t discuss them all, but I … Continue reading

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Some mathematical images

Some time ago, a friend gave me a book of poetry by the Iranian poet Sohrab Sepehri (1928–1980). The book consists of a long poem, The Traveler, and a collection of shorter poems entitled We Nothing But Look. The book … Continue reading

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An organ recital

Last week, the refurbished organ in the Great Hall of the People’s Palace at Queen Mary was officially inaugurated. Along with the Purcell, Bach, Handel, Wesley, Ketelby, Coates, and so on, was a piece by my colleague and co-author Donald … Continue reading

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Strange Attractors

Barry Mazur wrote a book Imagining numbers:(particularly the square root of minus fifteen), which was intended to convey to non-mathematicians that the act of imagination in mathematics is quite comparable to that in poetry. Specifically, he wants to explain how … Continue reading

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Necessity

While reading Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur, in Chapter 25 of Book 8, I came upon this striking sentence: Ye shall want no thing that you behoveth My first parsing of it was wrong. When it was written, the nominative … Continue reading

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Circles disturbed

My review of the book Circles Disturbed: The Interplay of Mathematics and Narrative has just appeared in the on-line version of the London Mathematical Society’s Newsletter, which can be found here. I do intend to return to this and say … Continue reading

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