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May 2009 Archives

May 1, 2009

The Mathematics of Fiction

More than a year in the making, and finally here! The long-awaited sequel to "Taming Infinity" (which already has enjoyed more than 11,000 viewers on YouTube). A new math video, which requires NO knowledge of mathematics! You'll see me talk about all the approaches to math that DON'T work, and then see how it really should be done. With lots of nifty animations. Please watch (drumroll, please) THE MATHEMATICS OF FICTION! (I promise you'll find it entertaining.)

And I would LOVE to hear your feedback.

Posted by Manil Suri on May 1, 2009 10:01 PM |Permalink

May 13, 2009


I've been having a great time being the mathematics consultant to the Folger theater for their production of Tom Stoppard's play Arcadia. I figured I'm probably never going to get closer to a theater production, so I even managed to wrangle a credit in the program for the play. Anyway, the play is quite amazing because of all the mathematics that Stoppard puts in it (along with about a dozen other topics - everything from Romanticism to Garden Design). But I've been concentrating only on the mathematics - the iterated algorithms, the fractals, the chaos, the population dynamics. If you want to learn more about these topics (especially in connection with the play), I invite you to watch the above video. Also, go to the Folger website, where I've put up a bunch of other links to help understand the math.

Several scheduled events related to this: On Friday, May 15, the Folger is sponsoring "Fractal Friday" - a pre-theater talk where I will explain some of the mathematics highlights behind the play. On Monday, May 18, the American Math Society and the Math Assoc of America are jointly sponsoring an event on theater and math, where I will talk to cast members and the dramaturg about the challenge of representing mathematics (and mathematicians!) on stage. On Thursday, May 28, I will be moderating a talk-back at the Folger, with cast members and the director. And finally, on Saturday, Jun 13, members of the Folger will get to ask me about the math in the play to their hearts' content (as usual, other questions, such as the meaning of life, will also be entertained).

Posted by Manil Suri on May 13, 2009 4:47 PM |Permalink