Proofs, the mind, and mathematics

A recent article in Quanta Magazine anticipates the publication of the 6th edition of Proofs from The Book, collected by Martin Aigner and Günter Ziegler. The original volume was inspired by the well-known and prolific mathematician Paul Erdős, who traveled the world, participating in countless collaborative efforts, and who would say of proofs that he […]

Thinking as a churning, swarming activity

The Atlantic Monthly just did an interesting piece on Douglas Hofstadter, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gödel, Bach and Escher. Hofstadter’s 1979 book investigates the nature of human thought processes by looking at common themes in the work of the mathematician Gödel, the musician Bach and the artist Escher. In particular, it addresses the question of […]

Life’s music, movement, language and mathematics

Things happen in nature. Cells socialize and build structure, organisms grow, and move, and interact, and then more things grow – like music, language, and mathematics. Generally, talk about evolution is very pragmatic. Cell organization, the shaping of roots, leaves, nourishment mechanisms, reproductive drives, are all usually understood as fairly specific purposeful processes. Perhaps by […]

Mathematics, movement, music and Leonardo

I’ve always been intrigued by the sensation of movement in music. And it is fair to say that it was my first calculus class that led me to graduate study in mathematics because, for the first time, I saw movement in mathematics. My fascination with each of these was nudged again by an interview with […]

Listening to Mathematics

I wanted to do something today with math and music, not their formal relationship, but their mingling in our experience. The seed for the thought came from a 2003 MIT paper I found: Music as Embodied Mathematics. The idea explored in this particular paper was inspired by a composition project that involved software designed for […]

Math, Music and Polyphonic States

The following exchange between M.P. Schutzenberger and A. Connes is lifted from the book Triangle of Thoughts:

M. P. S. — …language begins with poetry rather than with grammar; euphony plays a big role here.

A. C. — Your point of view coincides with my own, since I sincerely believe that music is at its […]