Friday, May 06, 2005

Mathematics and Narrative

An interesting conference .
Over the course of the last century, mathematics has become increasingly isolated from the culture at large. Despite enormous advances, and its central role in science and technology, the language of mathematics and its problems became so esoteric as to be completely inaccessible to outsiders. To make things worse, professional mathematicians frowned upon any outsider, however qualified, dealing with any aspect of their science. The consequence of this gap in communication has been the impoverishment of both mathematical discourse and the general culture.

However, the past few years have witnessed the beginnings of a change – and it is this that motivates our meeting. An unprecedented number of works, both fiction and non-fiction, have appeared that take their subjects from the world of mathematics. At the same time, scholars in the social sciences and humanities are showing increasing interest in exploring connections between mathematics and its cultural and historical setting. In all these, the narrative mode plays a crucial part.

On Mykonos, we hope to make progress in exploring the abundance of possibilities latent in the application of narrative to mathematics, both as a means of disseminating knowledge and as a cognitive tool for understanding mathematics itself.
Referred from the blog 3quarksdaily.

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